EBAY TAT & Veterans

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by chockhead819, Jun 24, 2006.

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  1. Dont know if any of you are aware of this but recently a guy was selling what he classed as SOUTH ATLANTIC FALKLANDS ENAMEL MEDAL RIBBON TIE PIN on ebay, with closer inspection they resemble nothing like the ribbon.
    I contacted him & this was the outcome
    "why are you calling this a South Atlantic Falklands medal ribbon when it doesn't resemble the correct medal colours?"

    One of our members noticed lots of SA medals as well as others are being sold & has written the following.
    This is the item in question south atlantic falklands tie pin

    It saddens me to see these medals for sale on eBay. It is obviously a tantalising way of getting a lot of money, most are now selling to collectors for over £1000. We should respect the decision of those who decide to sell, for whatever personal reasons, and remember that selling and collecting is perfectly legal. I think there are currently 7 SAMs on auction with prices so far from £500 to £1300, and most are Parachute Regiment recipients.

    I do however object to those who make, supply and sell fake junk as real or authentic solely to make money and with no thought to the feelings or respect of veterans. I also dislike persons who like to pretend to be a veteran by wearing medals, awards and insignia they have no entitlement to wear or conning others by their lies and stories into believing they are veterans. We have all met the "Walter Mitty" or "wannabe" and yes to a point we can ignore or pity them, but these are not isolated cases. Some have made it into national newspapers because they are so blatant and fraudulent. I think something should be done about this and that veterans should enjoy the same protection from fraudsters, wideboys and wannabes as serving members of HM Forces.

    Maybe we should start a movement to gain veterans the support and status they deserve within society. June 27th is Veterans Day. No better opportunity than now to write to your MP or local councellor and ask what they intend to do to support veterans in their struggle to gain a correct status in society.

    As I don´t live in the UK I don´t have am MP, so I have taken the time to write to Tom Watson MP who was newly appointed as Minister for Veterans. I have copied the text of the letter below.

    Minister for Veterans
    Mr Tom Watson MP
    MOD Ministerial Correspondence Unit
    5th Floor, Zone A
    Main Building
    Whitehall, London
    SW1A 2HB 23rd June 2006

    Dear Minister,


    Firstly, allow me to congratulate you on your recent appointment as Minister for Veterans.

    I am a veteran, having served over 15 years with 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, and I am also a member of the South Atlantic Medal Association (www.sama82.org) and Parachute Regimental Association.

    Recently, members of my associations were made aware of the sale on eBay of medal ribbons for the South Atlantic Medal 1982. The products in question are in fact very poorly made copies of the medal ribbon, made in metal and enamel, with a clutch pin for attachment. These “badges†are not offered for sale as a replica or copy but as an “exclusive†product and thereby allude to authenticity, they are also sold at a rather high price at £4.99p. It transpires that the seller also sells copies of medal ribbons, GSM62 N Ireland, Gulf War 91, Afghanistan, Iraq, and UNFICYP.

    This has led to a huge amount of upset amongst Falklands veterans and Parachute Regiment veterans who see this as cashing in on the memory of fallen comrades and trivialising their service and sacrifice. It has caused many veterans to contact the seller and eBay to express their disgust at the product and appeal for their sale to be stopped or to be removed from the site. EBay are not prepared to intervene, using the excuse that they merely facilitate for others to sell and that they have nothing to do with products on sale on their website. The seller is not prepared to remove his products and amongst many unbelievable comments replied that he has in the past offered to give a percentage of income as a donation to the Royal British Legion, but that they had declined the offer.

    There has recently been a large amount of media attention in relation to persons pretending to be veterans and wearing uniforms and medals or insignia not entitled to be worn. While it is a criminal offence to impersonate a serving member of HM Forces, the law looks upon those who impersonate veterans as pathetic “wannabe´s†and they are seldom, if ever, charged with any offences or merely cautioned. Whilst this may or may not be a correct view or handling of the matter, the impression for veterans is quite clear. Veterans, their service, medals and insignia are not considered worthy of protection under the law. It would appear that anyone can copy, in any form and without regard for accuracy, medals and regimental or unit insignia and offer them for sale. They often make considerable amounts of money without fear of paying royalties. They may or may not of course pay taxes on their income. There appears to be no copyright for medals, even though they are the exclusive domain of the government or nation to award.

    These medals and insignia are held in the very highest esteem by serving members of HM Forces and ex-service veterans. Veterans´ organisations struggle every day to find funding to provide support for veterans in need. The problems concerning PTSD, suicide and mental illness amongst veterans are well documented, along with homelessness, substance abuse, criminal prosecution and imprisonment. Every day veterans and the public are exploited by unscrupulous dealers selling poor quality replica medals, awards and insignia on eBay and in other places. Huge amounts of money are made, but not a penny goes to those who have to rely on charity to get by in life. Yet another sad reminder of their lives and memories thrown on to the rubbish heap of a society that doesn’t care and doesn´t want to care.

    Genuine and reproduction medals and insignia are worn as trivia and the memory and respect for the recipient and other veterans is steadily diminished. Whilst it is legal to collect and sell original and reproduction medals and insignia, sellers are obliged to inform buyers of a products authenticity and status, i.e. genuine/reproduction and ownership or background, otherwise they leave themselves open to prosecution for fraud or theft. On the other hand, those who make large amounts of money from producing, supplying and selling replicas are seldom, if ever controlled, investigated, prosecuted or taxed on their products. They are just part of the murky underbelly of society which carries on unaffected by the rule of law or morally acceptable behaviour. It would be more tolerable if these people just labelled their products correctly, but then of course no-one would buy them!

    This government has made great efforts in the cause of recognition and support for veterans. The 27th June is Veterans Day. Veterans´ lapel badges are to be given only to veterans or widow(er)s of veterans on application to the VA. How long do you think it will take for the wide-boys to cotton on to yet another chance to make some money and will the VA have any powers to stop them? Next year is the 25th anniversary of the Falklands Campaign and there are considerable celebrations planned for the commemoration. I hope that veterans and members of the public will not be exploited.

    Finally, I would like to ask 3 questions:

    1. Will the Minister look into the feasibility of introducing copyright for medals, badges and insignia?

    2. Does the Minister agree with me, that this type of moneygrabbing enterprise should be regulated by law?

    3. Would the Minister support legislation which would require the licensing of the reproduction of medals, badges and insignia. Would he also support making it an offence to falsely make, sell or misrepresent medals (including ribbons), badges and insignia or to impersonate a veteran of HM Forces and falsely wear or display medals, honours and awards not entitled to be worn?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours faithfully,

    A Nother

    Can I ask people to forward the letter on to their MPs
  2. Chockhead I do agree what you say however

    the value of an item is priced accordingly for the buyer.
    Medals impressed with the recipients name and accompanied with relevant documentation are highly regarded as collectors items -- once in that collection they are usually kept as a show item and never worn again.
    Because medals are issued they become the property of the recipient for all time his/her to do as they please with. Or as disposable estate on the death of the recipient.
    Medals have always been collectable from the days of Trafalgar or before.

    The SA tie pin --its obviously a sought after item--even though its is as you say a piece of badly made memorabilia. However its totally unofficial and if vets want to wear it they are free to buy it.

    Reproduction medals-- are usually stamped as copy .

    To do spot checks on so called non entitled medal/badge /pin wearers would become embarassing to say the least. Apart from the fact that like yourself most of the participants in the various conflicts are usually within a umbrella organisation that possibly vets each member prior to allowing the person to join.
  3. I value all my medals highly and would never sell them, however if other people want to there will always be a market. If people want to dress up as servicemen I don't think in the majority of cases it would harm anyone else and so yes I would tend to see them as a bit sad, but no sadder than a grown man wearing a football strip with beckhams name on his back trying to be a wannabe footballer. Some people see imitation as a form of flattery. As for checking, what would people do, come around on rememberance Sunday and check the names on our medals? Good luck to anyone who wants to check mine, I think they may here some new and unusual words.
    Seems like a storm in a teacup really. IMHO.
  4. I'm with Lingyai 100%. In fact I find it difficult to get excited about all this. I can see the Ebay item is obviously a pile of crap and no-one who was there would give it a second look.

    So why are we bothering to worry about it. Anyone seen wearing the pin has obviously never been closer to FI than the M27 motorway !
  5. Agree with the above , if some mindless little shite has fantisies about having served in hot spots , well then one must feel sorry for them :twisted: have'nt got the bollock's to get out there and actualy do it , sad bastards :twisted: :roll:
  6. Ok so long as it means that Vets are NOT obliged to wear their medals! I could see a situation where attending Remembrance Day without said insignia, ribbons results in arrest for impersonating a civilian! :lol: Or even being arrested for not attending one's local Remembrance Day service - horrible thought. :roll: I don't see myself as a Vet at all - I still feel quite young, so I'd describe myself as ready for call-up if suitable adaptations can be made. :lol: :lol:

    It might also raise problems for those of us who have joined the RNA as Associate members because our memories are so crap we find it less embarrassing. For the record I am also aware of a number of people who were dishonourably or administrativly discharged from the Service because they were gay, in the 1970s and 80s who for because of this "blemish" on their record are obliged to join the RNA as Associates in any event. So on balance I'd leave things as they are.
  7. Just a follow on regarding medals and copies .
    The Mod will only supply a replacement for a lost medal if you really have a good reason for having lost it!! I remember in my earlier Navy days when guys gave their medals away!! Cos they didn't want to have the bother of having them on their number ones or the hassle of stitching them onto a medal bar.

    So now when they want to wear them as vets the various medal dealers can and will supply very good copies. Also like in my Fathers situation his originals are all in a display case and he had a duplicate set made up .
    Same as the minature medals non pusser items.
  8. I never knew that dishonourably discharged queers were not allowed to be full members, regardless of their habits I think they should be allowed to be real members (so long as they don't dress up in wrens rig) :twisted: Personaly if I applied to be a member and I was told I could only have associate membership I would tell then to shove it up their stern gland. Brown hatter or not they still did the job.
  9. Ditto the above , as long as they don't try it with me , then they can do what they like , within the normal bounds of decency , :twisted: :roll:
  10. The point is that to join the RNA you have to produce your parchment (or at least you did 15 years ago) with your service record on - those who were dishonourably discharged have it clearly marked. Would you want to send in your parchment for inspection under those circumstances, knowing that the person(s) scrutinising it at the other end might feel antipathy towards gays? After all, the RNA is NOT the RN and NOT bound by so-called political correctness. Not everybody feels comfy with the idea & I know I certainly wouldn't in their position. So you see, regardless of whether it is is not in writing, it can arise by default. After all a condition of RNA membership is a clean record if I remember correctly. Dishonourable discharge certainly used to sufficient reason for refusing someone Full membership.

    Maybe someone reading this can clarify the position?
  11. Im in the RNA and the Legion and a couple of Associations --never been asked for my S.C --all they want is your service number and rank/rate held. and possibly any decorations /medals .

    If you were dishonorably discharged they cut the corner off the top of the first page of your S.C's.[ discharged with Bad character or with disgrace.
    or if specifically directed by Admiralty.]
  12. Hi Greenie,

    Well in that case it has changed.

  13. A few years ago I visited Leyland RNA Club and the Bar Person was a Tran sexual, who served on HMS Plymouth during the Falklands.

    I don't know if she was a Full Member of the RNA, or if she had a Full Member (Double Bagger at the very least) :wink: :wink:
  14. Chockhead, if you are so enraged by this person selling the tie pins complain to ebay they have an email complaints system and can and do ban members from trading quite regularly

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