We were asked to review a number of photographic images of “Sergeant” Robert Kelly who resides in the Leamington, Ontario area.
Our review identified many inconsistencies in his dress / appearance and, when combined with his confusing claims of service, that has given us cause to question his entire military narrative.
Our team conducted a thorough review of all available records, this included websites, newspaper articles, photographic images, regimental tour books, searchable data bases of medal recipients and extracts from military documents in Canada in order to determine the legitimacy of his claims.
SV-C then reached out to the regimental associations, their museums and other organizations in which Kelly has claimed to have served. The publicly accessible records, that we have had the opportunity to review, do not support the majority of his claims. That being said, the absence of verifiable records alone does not conclusively prove that an individual is a fake or embellisher, it just indicates that there are no records…
Kelly has alluded to being a WW2 Veteran yet, he was born in Douglastown, New Brunswick in 1936. Now, we are not mathematical geniuses but, those numbers just don’t work… Therefore, question becomes, is he a legitimate Korean War Veteran, a Cold War era Veteran or, is he a Veteran at all?
In addition to his World War 2 foolishness, he has also claimed over the years to be an infantryman with The RCR “SPECIAL FORCES” (1953-1959), a “sky trooper”(whatever the hell that is!), a “NATO Peacekeeper” in Europe, a Code Talker, a Korean War Veteran, a British trained commando and, quite amazingly, he claims to have served in the Canadian Airborne Regiment over a decade before it was formed in April 1968.
Judging by the extensive press coverage he has received over the years, it appears that he’s being pimped as the veteran “go to guy”. The leadership of the Windsor Veterans Memories Project have showcased Mr Kelly at many of their events so, one would assume that they must have verified his military service. Factual errors and omissions occur due to misremembering & that can be forgiven. However, complete fabrications, not so much…
In the old style Battle Dress uniform image, he’s wearing a highly unlikely, and quite confusing display of medal ribbons including the (1) unofficial Aboriginal Millennium Medallion in the senior position, (2) followed by the 2 x WW2 ribbons (including the France & Germany Star), (3) the Special Service Medal NATO, (4) the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal without any accompanying tour medal , (5) the Coronation Medal, (6) the Canadian Decoration indicating a minimum of 12 years of good conduct and loyal service, (7) the Commissionares Long Service Medal, (8) the Service Medal of the Order of St John (without its accompanying ribbon) is often worn on his right lapel & there’s are some sort of parachutist wings on his left breast pocket.
On a stand up poster prominently displayed in the Windsor area, Kelly’s story included the following -“While in Europe, his tours included Germany, England & Holland. A highly trained reconnaissance soldier, as part of a 30 man reconnaissance team. He would gain information on Germany during the day, and then inform his Commanding Officer in the morning”
Was he alluding that he’s a WW2 vet who gathered information on the Nazis or, is he implying that he crossed the IGB and was gathering intelligence on Warsaw Pact Forces? Wearing the France and Germany Star leads us to believe that he was proclaiming himself to be a WW2 Vet!
In the more recent/current images, he’s wearing a maroon blazer along with maroon beret & any evidence of his claimed WW2 service has been removed.
The constant on his many make-believe uniforms is the Queen’s Coronation Medal. That particular medal was presented to just 15 junior ranks of the 2nd Bn of The RCR, all combat veterans/paratroopers who were members the Canadian Contingent in London, England during the 1953 ceremony. Not surprisingly, Mr Kelly’s name is not on that list…
He also says that he met the Queen in Picadilly Circus, and he talks about JOHN Prince (Does he mean Sergeant Tommy Prince MM of the 2nd Bn PPCLI?) who he claims he was forgotten by his regiment and family!
Other than the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, which he is a bonafide recipient, and the Special Service Medal (NATO) which he would have been awarded for his limited service in Europe, what’s the story regarding the other medals he’s been sporting?
This includes the Canadian Decoration (CD), which requires 12 years of qualifying service and good conduct so, how can an individual who claims only 6 years of service (1953-59) be entitled? Additionally, there’s absolutely no evidence that he’s eligible “peacekeeping service” to wear the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal.
We believe Mister Kelly may have found himself in a situation in which his stories, unchecked embellishment & outright lies finally caught up with him, and he was finding it difficult to extract himself. SV-C was prepared to assist with correcting this situation if and when Kelly made contact with us.
*What we do know.*
Private Bob Kelly, actually served in the Canadian Army as an infantryman with the 2nd Bn, The Royal Canadian Regiment in NW Europe. This was followed by a number of short time periods of service as a reservist in the Royal New Brunswick Regiment and the Windsor Regiment. He never advanced past the rank of PRIVATE during any of his actual service nor, did he get anywhere near the 12 year threshold to be awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD).
SV-C reached out to Kelly in order to clarify the situation & he has not responded. But, the President of the Windsor Historical Society – Veterans’ Memories Project jumped into the discussion, vouched for Kelly’s service, and states he has all the paper work to back it up his buddy’s claims. However, he has refused to release the information so it could be independently verified and, has threatened SV-C with legal action, because we had “slandered an innocent soldier”!
What’s particularly disturbing, his supporters were actually going turn a blind eye to Kelly’s military fairytales and allow him to escort Hockey’s Memorial Cup, a trophy that is dedicated to all Canadian Armed Forces members who gave their lives in the service of our great country.
Kelly’s wife believes that the Memorial Cup was “designed with veterans in mind” and, here we thought the Memorial Cup commemorates Canada’s military sacrifices.
*The bottom line*
PRIVATE Robert Kelly had legitimate military service during the Cold War, that’s something in which he should have taken great pride. He had no need to embellish his time in the Army but, by doing so, he stood in the blood of our brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate price for our freedom during the period 1947-1991!
All of our research was provided to the law enforcement agencies which would have jurisdiction(s) in the area in which the alleged violation of s419 CCC had occurred. Additionally, we provided them with the contact information for the Library and Archives – Canada and the CF’s Directorate of Honours and Recognition so, a formal request for relevant documents should they so desire to further investigate Mister Kelly’s bogus military narrative.
Regardless, it’s been a long slog with former Private Kelly as a number of his supporters and enablers interfered with our activities, this entire situation could have been wrapped up a year ago!
We have no doubt that the demand for an apology has now been taken off the table.
The truth was always out there, now a friend and supporter of SVC has Kelly’s medals in his care and custody, the bogus medals will be removed from the group, and the legitimate medals will be returned in the very near future.
SVC also expects a public apology will be made to everyone who has been negatively impacted by Mr Kelly’s medallic fuckery™.
Mr. (Patrick) Robert (Bobby) Collins came to the attention of SV-C when an on-line image his unique stand of medals was featured on the cover of the Peninsula News Review on 13 November 2015. After Collins’ picture was published, there was a significant activity spike on veteran’s web sites discussing his medals and their legitimacy.
Shortly thereafter, a thorough review of all available records including web sites, newspaper articles, photographic images, searchable data bases of medal recipients and extracts from military documents, both in Canada and the US was conducted. Our findings indicate that Collins appears to be wearing many medals, awards, military insignia and accoutrements without meeting the legal requirements or having the qualifying service. This could be due to a series of long overlooked, administrative errors or, it could indicate that Collins has embellished his claimed military service. In fact, he’s likely committing an offence under s419 of the Criminal Code of Canada – “Unlawful use of military uniforms or certificates”.
Mr. Collins is/was a member of several Victoria, BC area veteran’s organizations including the Canadian Association of Veterans of United Nations Peacekeeping, the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Legion of Frontiersmen. He has been recognized for his advocacy work by the Minister of Veterans Affairs and a local Member of Parliament. (VAC Minister’s Commendation / Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal)
Collins says that he was a member of the Canadian Forces from 1963 to 1979 and served as an Infantryman in the 1st and 2nd Bns of the Canadian Guards, 2nd Bn PPCLI and The Canadian Airborne Regiment.
He also claims service in the Republic of Viet Nam as a draftee, infantryman / paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and / or the 101st Airborne Division (dates unknown however, his previously claimed CF service would have precluded any RVN service). There is no record of him ever being a member of the US ARMY nor, is there any record of him being awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Viet Nam Campaign Medal, the Viet Nam Service Medal and the US Army’s Senior Parachutist qualification insignia.
Collins is wearing the hazardous skill badge of a CF Parachutist, stating he trained in Rivers, Manitoba in 1974 however, there is absolutely no record of him holding this qualification nor, is there any record of him serving in any capacity with the Canadian Airborne Regiment. There is a legendary paratrooper with the same last name who proudly served with the CAR, let’s not confuse this individual with the real deal as some of Bobby Collins’ supporters and enablers have done.
As a result of our research, SV-C believes that Mr. Collins has been (1) Wearing the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal without any legal authority. (2) Wearing Canadian Forces Parachute wings without legal authority. (3) Wearing the US Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Viet Nam Service Medal and Viet Nam Campaign Medal without legal authority. (4) Wearing US Army Senior Parachutist wings without legal authority. (5) Wearing privately purchased United Nations commemorative medals, in conjunction of at least one legitimately awarded medal in direct contravention of the Canadian Order of Precedence, http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=14979.
PO2 Collins’ undress ribbons and miniature medals were sent to the Chancellery in Ottawa for disposal.
Collins was a cook in the Canadian military from 8 June 63 -10 Nov 1979 so, he must have served in the RVN with the US Army on nights week ends and on annual leave…
Mr Collins, it’s long past time for you to cowboy up and apologize for standing in the blood of the wounded and fallen!
Leonard came to the attention of Stolen Valour-Canada (SV-C) when we were asked to comment upon photographic images of him attending military and veteran oriented ceremonies in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario. According to multiple sources, Leonard claimed to be a long serving Military Police member who was wounded in action during combat operations in Kandahar in 2003. He also stated he had completed deployed operations in Cyprus and in the Balkans where he witnessed ethnic cleansing and due to the rules of engagement, he was left powerless to intervene.
SV-C conducted a thorough review of all available records including websites, newspaper articles, photographic images, searchable data bases of medal recipients and extracts from military documents in Canada in order to determine the legitimacy of his claims.
The first document we uncovered was the newsletter of Region 2 Canada of the International Police Association dated March 2016. The lead article titled “A Military Veteran’s Personal Journey with Combat-Related PTSD” is a most amazing story detailing the life of a wounded veteran suffering the effects of a penetrating head wound/traumatic brain injury and PTSD. He details his struggle from emerging from a comatose state after aeromedical flight to Canada, his long term rehabilitation and the positive impact a service dog had on his daily life…
Unfortunately, his narrative doesn’t match the time line! The first red flag, claiming to have been wounded in action in Kandahar Province in 2003 and, taken to the “military wing” of Mir Wais Hospital in Kandahar City. Anyone who knows of Canada’s experience in Afghanistan, will realize that “MP Sergeants” weren’t in Kandahar Province during that time frame nor were they tasked on missions to arrest criminal/terrorists! In fact, Canada’s main effort was taking place in the Kabul area until December 2005!
Coalition casualties, would have been treated at the then US lead Combat Support Hospital located on Kandahar Airfield… The description of his injuries is amateurish at best, and his story of being held in comatose state for 30 days in a German hospital is a complete fabrication according to individuals who were intimately involved in the movement of wounded Canadian Forces personnel by aeromedical evacuation resources during the time frame!
Secondly, the medals pictured in the IPA article do not match the medals he is wearing, Leonard claims to have served 3 tours in the former Yugoslavia under a United Nations mandate yet, he wears the NATO medal… The article states “Sgt. Art Leonard has been acknowledged for his exemplary military police service with a number of prestigious medals, including: the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) with bar; the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal; the UNPROFOR medal (3 tours); the Cyprus medal (2 tours) the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan; and the Canadian Forces Sacrifice Medal [Canadian equivalent to the Purple Heart Medal]”
In his own words, “ My life was haunted with flashbacks, sleepless nights, cold sweats and anxiety from living through some of the darkest, most terrifying experiences that a person could ever endure………despite a chest full of medals for my service, I had hit rock bottom; I had reached a point of not caring to live anymore”. “For a long time I blamed myself for failing as a Soldier. I would think that if I hadn’t been injured my family wouldn’t have left me, and my career in the military would still be intact. Instead, I was left alone ……..fighting to stay alive after several suicide attempts.”
Aware of his on-going struggles with combat-related PTSD, friends from the Royal Canadian Legion in Newmarket, Ontario, realized the positive health benefits a service dog could provide. They contacted Nicole Taylor, founder of United by Trauma, to enquire about a PTSD Service Dog for him – a program United by Trauma offers to first responders, including military veterans, in partnership with In Canis Speramus. In support of this highly decorated military veteran, the Hamilton Police Association generously donated $5,000.00 towards the costs of training a service dog.
Leonard was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces from 1981-1986. He completed recruit training, was a Naval Ops tradesman for a period of time and then re-mustered to the Military Police. He was posted to CFB Chatham NB where his claim to fame was ticketing the Base Commander’s staff car during an alert! On completion of his Regular Force service he joined the Reserve Force where he failed to achieve any further occupational / operational training or be promoted beyond the rank of Private.
Leonard’s tales of multiple overseas deployments and being Wounded in Action are a complete fabrication, and he has absolutely no entitlement to any of the the medals he sports! It’s SV-Cs opinion that Leonard is likely committing an offence under s419 of the Criminal Code of Canada – “Unlawful use of military uniforms or certificates”. An offence that several individuals have been recently tried and convicted in Ontario including Clayton Donoghue, Franck Gervais, Donald Lemmond & Eric Janssens.
His reprehensible actions, particularly the wearing of the Sacrifice Medal are yet another example of why Stolen Valour claims are so outrageous and injurious to those who actually served. Leonard made a choice to stand in the blood of our wounded and fallen, and for that he should pay a significant price!
Ex Corporal Wave Rayner, a cook who self identifies as a Gunnery Sergeant of Marines is apparently causing some churn over his attendance / participation in Remembrance Day services hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion branch on 11 November 2019.
Some of you may remember this fake from a few years back and the ridiculous claims he made…
The Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, parachutist wings, combatant swimmer insignia are all worn without lawful authority.
Claiming that his son was Killed in Action is about as low as a human being can sink, we know too many folks who have suffered this tragedy, and this con man and grifter wears that story like some badge of honour!
He played a sick game with the families of the RCMP’s Mayerthorpe Fallen Four and 3 PPCLI’s fallen from the Tarnak Farm incident by presenting them with “his” Purple Heart medals to recognize their sacrifices!
It’s long past time for the good people of Leduc to put this compulsive liar on ignore!
Mr Gerry Conway is another dude who likes to enthral gullible audiences into believing his military fairytales. Conway has spent the past few years telling Guelph, Ontario school kids of his exploits and then being splattered with piss outside of a US Marine Base in San Diego, California.
The Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star with the V for Valor and the Purple Heart, which Conway has absolutely no entitlement to, are clearly visible.
His obvious and frankly ridiculous uniform embellishments prompted us to contact our US counterparts in order to initiate a Freedom Of Information Act request to secure Conway’s military career file including the DD Form 214. The DD 214 is the capstone military service document, as it represents the complete, verified record of a service member’s time in the military (Active and Reserve), awards and medals, and other pertinent service information, such as highest rank/rate and pay grade held on active duty, total military combat service and/or overseas service.
The results will determine if, in fact, he was a member of the US Army, served in Vietnam with the 3rd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valour and the Purple Heart which recognizes an individual wounded in action.
Additionally, the documents will prove his entitlement to lawfully wear the RANGER tab, US parachute wings, Air Assault wings (established in 1974 without retroactivity), Canadian Parachutist Wings and, what he likely believes to be British Parachutists Wings (however, he’s wearing the hat badge of the UK Parachute Regiment, as he likely doesn’t know the difference)
Mr Conway and his claim of being a US Army soldier leaving a US Marine Base to face 1000 protesters is nothing but a fabrication meant to deceive his gullible audience in a sick sympathy play!
Veterans take mental health issues seriously and many fight the stigma of PTSD on a daily basis yet, Mr Conway perpetuates lies and mistruths that lead to the view that all returning service members are damaged goods…
No need to run his particulars with the National Personnel Records Center, as he has admitted to never being an American Soldier, a paratrooper or a Vietnam War veteran.
Lest We Forget
“So where do these stories come from?”
The Myth of the Spitting Antiwar Protester – The New York Times
JERRY LEMBCKE OCT. 13, 2017
“The reporter was asking about accounts that soldiers returning from Vietnam had been spat on by antiwar activists. I had told her the stories were not true. I told her that, on the contrary, opponents of the war had actually tried to recruit returning veterans. I told her about a 1971 Harris Poll survey that found that 99 percent of veterans said their reception from friends and family had been friendly, and 94 percent said their reception from age-group peers, the population most likely to have included the spitters, was friendly.
A follow-up poll, conducted in 1979 for the Veterans Administration (now the Department of Veterans Affairs), reported that former antiwar activists had warmer feelings toward Vietnam veterans than toward congressional leaders or even their erstwhile fellow travelers in the movement.
I was glad the reporter was interested in the origin of these stories, because beginning even before the war ended, news organizations had too often simply repeated them — even though some stories had the hallmarks of tall tales all over them. Even The Times once quoted, matter-of-factly, a veteran telling of how he arrived stateside from Vietnam on a stretcher with a bullet in his leg, only to be splattered with rotten vegetables and spat on by antiwar college kids.
Whoppers like these go unchallenged by reporters and scholars perhaps because of their memoirist first-person quality, stories told by the men who say it happened to them. I collect the stories, I told the reporter, and have a spreadsheet with about 220 first-person “I was spat on” accounts.
But you don’t believe the stories, right? she asked. Acknowledging that I could not prove the negative — that they were not true — I went on to say there is no corroboration or documentary evidence, such as newspaper reports from the time, that they are true. Many of the stories have implausible details, like returning soldiers deplaning at San Francisco Airport, where they were met by groups of spitting hippies. In fact, return flights landed at military air bases like Travis, from which protesters would have been barred. Others include claims that military authorities told them on returning flights to change into civilian clothes upon arrival lest they be attacked by protesters. Trash cans at the Los Angeles airport were piled high with abandoned uniforms, according to one eyewitness, a sight that would surely have been documented by news photographers — if it had existed.
Listeners, I speculated, are loath to question the truth of the stories lest aspersion be seemingly cast on the authenticity of the teller. The war in Vietnam was America’s longest war at the time, and its first defeat. The loss to such a small, underdeveloped and outgunned nation was a tough pill for Americans to swallow, many still basking in post-World War II triumphalism. The image of protesters spitting on troops enlivened notions that the military mission had been compromised, even betrayed, by weak-kneed liberalism in Congress and seditious radicalism on college campuses. The spitting stories provided reassuring confirmation that had it not been for those duplicitous fifth-columnists, the Vietnamese would have never beaten us.
The “war at home” phrase captured the idea that the war had been lost on the home front. It was a story line promulgated by Hollywood within which veteran disparagement became a kind of “war story,” a way of credentialing the warrior bona fides of veterans who may have felt insecure about their service in Vietnam. In “First Blood,” the inaugural Rambo film, the protagonist, John Rambo, flashes back to “those maggots at the airport, spittin’, callin’ us baby killers and all kinds of vile crap.” The series supported the idea that decisions in Washington had hamstrung military operations. “Apocalypse Now” fed outright conspiracy theories that the C.I.A.’s secret war run from Washington had undercut the military mission. “Coming Home” and “Hamburger Hill” played on male fears of unfaithful wives and girlfriends, a story line hinting that female perfidy and the feminist subversion of warrior morale had cost us victory.
Women had been prominent in the opposition to the war. Two organizations, Women Strike for Peace and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, led early protests; Cora Weiss, Jane Fonda and Joan Baez lent their social and celebrity standing to the efforts to end the fighting. New Left organizations such as the campus-based Students for a Democratic Society intersected with the burgeoning women’s movement to boost young women into leadership roles in the antiwar movement. Placards reading “Girls Say Yes to Boys Who Say No” — no to the draft, that is — lent credence to the fears of conservatives who were pro-war and distraught over loosening strictures on premarital sex and believed that the rising of the women meant societal collapse.
The adoption of long hair, embroidered shirts and bell-bottom pants, and general rejection of military bearing by men in the movement evinced a softening of conventional sex-gender boundaries. By the late 1960s, troops in Vietnam were battling authorities over hair length, and the right to wear love-bead necklaces and draw peace symbols on their helmets.
Finger pointing for the loss of the war began even before it was over. The pacifists and radicals who stoked the antiwar movement were easy targets for the patriotic right wing looking for scapegoats, but the visibility of women in the resistance to the war made them suspects as well. After Ms. Fonda went to North Vietnam on a peace mission in 1972, she was denounced as a traitor in profanely sexist language and tarred as “Hanoi Jane.” Years later, the feminist author Susan Faludi wrote that fears of emasculation having cost America its victory in Vietnam were the basis of a backlash against women in the 1980s.
But, the reporter pressed, why spitting? Resisting the urge to plunge into the Freudian exegesis I wanted to take, I pointed to the long history of spitting imagery in legends of betrayal. In the New Testament, Christ’s followers spit on him in renunciation of their loyalty. Following Germany’s defeat in World War I, soldiers returning from the front claimed to have been spat on by women and girls. The German stories were studied by historians and found to be part of the “Dolchstosslegende,” or stab-in-the-back legend, that the military had been betrayed behind the lines, sold out at home.
Anticipating the question, I agreed that the presence of such stories in religious teachings and myths only pressed more questions to the fore about where the biblical Apostles and German folklorists got them, questions that will keep professors and students of cultural studies occupied for years.
But, I ventured, where the stories go — how they play out in the political culture — is more important than where they come from. The reporter seemed interested. In Germany, I recalled, the imagery of shellshocked World War I veterans became a stand-in for the nation’s lost pride and damaged sense of racial superiority. The riffs of betrayal in the photographs, films and news reports of veterans made victims by war kept alive the certainty that enemies outside the gates could never defeat a rearmed and unified Germany; the stories incited a dangerous witch hunt that led to the Holocaust.
Is the abiding American discomfort with the war it lost in Vietnam and the enduring allure of the spat-upon veteran stories indicative of betrayal preoccupations at work in our own culture? Is it the post-Vietnam lost-war narrative that feeds the back-to-the-future sentiments in campaign promises to restore and rebuild America? And are the recent public and political spectacles of nativism and gun-toting masculinity symptoms of a wounded people more than deviant personalities?
Mr Simon de Rothschild, also known as Simon McDonald, is the self appointed Captain/Commanding Officer of an alternative Army Cadet program in Alexandria Ontario.
The cadet corps which has absolutely no connection to the CAF sponsored program appears to making an attempt to “put the Army back into Army Cadets” by including more military type activities into a youth citizenship group.
He was charged by the OPP under s419 of the CCC, no action has been taken against the other “officers” / adult leaders of the program. SVC has been aware of this individual for quite some time however, the investigation which lead to criminal charges was initiated by the OPP.
Additional details will posted once they become available.
The “captain” has been observed leading his cadets wearing a Multicam battle dress uniform complete with a tan beret and insignia that is so similar to an actual military uniform that it’s likely to be mistaken as one. Perhaps, he should have a wander past CSOR City in Petawawa and have a look at the soldiers who earned and wear that uniform combination…
He‘s not an Admiral, Not a recipient of the Commander of the British Empire, Not a recipient of the Distinguished Service Order, Not the recipient of the US Navy Cross or Silver Star, and Didn’t serve in the Vietnam War. However, he likes to inspect cadets dressed up his naval finery…
Based on his stellar military career and the experience gained in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy, he’ll offer you advice on creating the perfect CV and how to dress for success!
SVC made several attempts to contact the “Admiral”, although the signals were receipted, there has been no response from the Admiral, his Flag Lieutenant, his staff secretary nor his Chief Yeoman.
We can only assume he’s leading the fleet from his flagship
SVC has been able to uncover exclusive footage of the “Admiral” leading his forces into action! https://youtu.be/VXkVZ0rloio