Stolen-Valour Canada was advised by a number of parties that there was a potential issue with the medals that Mr Matthew Connolly had been photographed wearing.
SVC does not act upon unsubstantiated intelligence or malicious tips that are often initiated as a result of petty jealousy, marital misadventure or, sheer vindictiveness. We will not waste any staff effort on someone’s “gut feel” nor do we do participate in witch hunts. Tipsters must provide evidence (pictures, news articles, social media links) of their concerns before we can move forward.
Prior to investing any research effort into what often becomes an unfounded wild goose chase; we contact named individuals in order to provide them with an opportunity to sort out the reported situation. Our hope, they would take advantage of our offer to protect his reputation and silence this issue once and for all.
To that end, we asked that Connolly on 14 Feb 2019 to provide us with the documentation that would prove his entitlement to wear the Special Service Medal (NATO) and the NATO Non-article 5 Medal.
The result – Connolly read our communication and told us that the medals he wore were replica medals ordered to replace the originals lost in a house fire. He had advised the medal mounting company of his dates of service / units and, a four medal group consisting of the SSM, CPSM, UNIFICYP and NATO Non Art 5 medals was created.
Connolly’s medal group including the SSM, CPSM, UNFICYP, NATO Non Article 5 Medal and the QDJM. Prior to 6 March 2019.
Unfortunately, the ships (FRASER / HURON) that he claimed to have served in between 1977-1980 did not meet the 180 day threshold for the SSM during the time he said he was a member of the ship’s company.
The NATO Non Art 5 Medal presented a challenge as there is no clasp detailing a particular mission however, that particular medal was created to recognize specific operations that did not occur until many many years after he left the CF…
Connolly’s actual medal group consisting of the CPSM, UNFICYP and QDJM. After the 2 medals he lacked any lawful entitlement to were removed.
We were asked to review a number of photographic images of former Master Corporal Kenneth (AKA”Ranger Ken”) Arthur POITRAS CD who resides in the Winnipeg, Manitoba area.
Our review identified a number of inconsistencies in his medallic display and, when combined with his confusing claims of service, that gave 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 and in the United States in order to determine the legitimacy of his claims.
When recently questioned by a retired senior PPCLI Officer who is actually a US Army RANGER, this was Poitras’ response…
Poitras wearing a maroon beret next to the mural dedicated to a true PPCLI hero!
SV-C then reached out to the regimental associations, their museums and other organizations in which Poitras has claimed to have served. The publicly accessible records, that we have had the opportunity to review, did not support 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…
Our next step, we contacted Mr Poitras on 5 May 2019 and provided him the opportunity to sort out the reported situation.
In this image, sent to SVC by Mr Poitras on 7 May 2019, shows the medal group and jump wings he routinely wore at military themed events.
*Special Service Medal (NATO/OTAN),
*Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal,
*U.N. service medals (6) – India/Pakistan, Cyprus, Golan Heights, Lebanon, Namibia, and Angola,
*International Commission of Control Supervision (Vietnam),
*Multinational Force of Observers (Sinai), and
*Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal (1977).
He separated the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD), his sole legitimate medal from this group on our request.
Recorded history and simple arithmetic caused us to raise a number of red flags in regards to Mr Poitras’ medal group.
India/Pakistan- UNMOGIP (1948-1979) and UNIPOM (1965-1966). These two missions used the identical medal ribbon. CF participation was limited to military observers, all officers, and RCAF aircrew.
Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) The names of PPCLI recipients of this medal are recorded in the regimental journal. There are no 21 year old Private soldiers with broken service listed…
Lebanon-UNIFIL (1978) only 117 CF members received this medal and their names are known to SVC. Of note, this medal was also worn fraudulently by a convicted valour thief / senior officer.
Angola-UNAVEM II (1991-95) Canadian participation in this mission was limited to a total of 60 military observers, all officers.
Vietnam-International Commission of Control Supervision (1973) – 14 PPCLI Officers served on this mission that predates Poitras’ enrolment by almost 2 years!
SO, what we do know…
Former Master Corporal Kenneth Arthur POITRAS was an Infantryman in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He served in both the 2nd & 3rd Battalions of PPCLI between 1975 and 1983. Poitras was selected for and attended basic parachutist training at the Canadian Airborne Centre in Edmonton in the Spring of 1977, he failed to complete the course.
There is absolutely no record of him attending the US Army’s RANGER qualification course although he claimed to have been a trainee on Class 2 of 1976.
Was he honouring a friend by wearing the RANGER garb?
He continued to serve in the 3rd Bn PPCLI at Work Point Barracks until he applied remuster to Mobile Support Equipment Operator. Poitras then served at a number of Air Force bases until he retired from the CF in 1991.
By surrendering the bogus medals and wings, former Master Corporal Kenneth A Poitras CD confirms that he didn’t serve overseas in any capacity and had had no lawful entitlement to the wear the items.
Stolen Valour Canada was advised by a number of parties that there was a potential issue with the claims made by Gallowsglass who was regular participant in events and ceremonies in the Manitoulin area hosted by various veterans support organizations.
Prior to investing any research effort into what has the potential to become a wild goose chase, we attempt to contact named individuals in order to provide them with an opportunity to sort out the reported situation. SVC does not act upon unsubstantiated intelligence or malicious tips, and we hoped that the “Green Beret” would take advantage of this offer to assist in protecting his reputation.
Unfortunately, Steelgrave immediately went silent, not surprisingly images were deleted from social media sites and then the inevitable occurred, we were contacted by an enabler (Spouse/partner/spiritual advisor?) asking that we remove the content from our media platforms and making threats of legal actions against someone for something…
Of course, we responded.
SVC has had no further communication from the “Green Beret’s“ witchy-woman so, we can only surmise he’s on a deep undercover mission for the CIA or he’s been turned into a newt.
Two individuals, both who publicly claimed to be veterans of the PPCLI lead to the creation of Stolen Valour Canada. Mr Carl Dale is one of them!
Four and an half years later, SVC staffers have turned over, SOPs have been refined & our network of like minded groups has evolved in strong partnerships to address this world wide problem.
We have been attacked by cowards and their enablers, threatened with violence and legal action & our main social media platform was nuked due to false allegations that we “encouraged drug use”.
Despite the challenges we have remain committed to our mandate to expose fakes, posers and embellishers…
Now back to Mr Dale,
*He claims to have served in the Canadian military, but when challenged, he states that nobody has heard of him in the Canadian military because he was “on loan” to the US 101st Airborne and served with them for most of his term of service.
*Claimed to be a sniper, and wore the patches on his CAV vest, but two instructors who have served with the Canadian military for years have never heard of him
*in 2014 he claimed to be serving under a “Queen’s Order” and was on loan to the US Military, assisting a Colonel Baker at 29 Palms with a top secret plan to conduct an air drop into a country “overseas” (by the way…he could tell me it was Pakistan…wink, wink)
*Claimed that Colonel Baker was sending him top secret satellite photos for his review on his email account (an unsecured internet connection that he was pirating from his neighbor!)
*He had been seen around town wearing a Captain’s uniform, and at one point claimed to have been promoted and was, for a few weeks, wearing a Major’s uniform, only to return to the Captain’s uniform
*Claimed that Colonel Baker sent a Blackhawk helicopter to Trenton to pick him up for an airdrop over 29 Palms — he was acting as an instructor to the US paratroopers (’cause the US doesn’t have anyone who could do that). He told five people in Kingston that he left at 0700 hours, that it took two hours to get there, they did the drop, and he was home by 7:00 p.m.. When he was asked how he could be in California in two hours, he replied that Blackhawks are really fast and that they don’t have to fly on commercial air routes.
*His first mission involved crawling on his belly for three days to get into position to snipe a “foreign general” in some unknown country, that he was not expected to return from the mission but that he did his job and he was a hero
*He told everyone he was away for deployment last year on the aforementioned drop into Pakistan — either he is the biggest security risk that the Canadian/US military has ever encountered or he is, as we all now know, a pathological liar.
*He also claims to have swiped a 50 caliber sniper rifle that he has hidden at his father’s home.
*He now works as a general contractor in the Kingston Ontario area and claims to be a licensed electrician, licensed plumber, licensed pipe-fitter and journeyman carpenter — he does not hold licenses in any of these fields that anyone can verify.
And, from our US partners
Mr David Jeffery DODD was the second individual falsely claiming to be a Patricia in 2014, his actions lead to the creation of SVC
Dodd in no longer telling his Remembrance Day “My buddy died in my arms; I can still feel her blood on my hands” stories.
Gervais pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful use of military uniforms and unlawful use of military decoration while dressed as a sergeant while attending Remembrance Day services at the National War Memorial in 2014.
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 Forces 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!
Master Warrant Officer Richard Fancy MMM CD, he was the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Halifax Rifles, but apparently that wasn’t enough for him. He pretended to have served in Somalia and Afghanistan and he claimed that he was a paratrooper with the Airborne Reconnaissance Troop.
He was illegally and fraudulently wearing the Canadian Somalia Medal, the General Campaign Star (South West Asia) and, the Canadian Forces Parachutist Insignia.
So, he was court martialled, convicted, reduced in rank and fined.