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Dave Reeve

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A Cry for Help

If little else, ARRSE likes to think that it provides some sort of a service other than allowing complete strangers to slag each other off and generally ‘willy wave’ into the small hours and beyond. In the absence of any official walt-outing body, it seems such duties fall upon the broad shoulders of a few diligent and devious ARRSErs to deliver the goods. Go on, just type ‘SAS bullshitter’ into Google and see which sites come up tops.

As the rhyme goes: ‘Remember, remember the 11th of November. Of badly-shaped berets and walts!’ That most hallowed of months never fails to yield an annual crop of idiots – and 2011 was no different than last year. On the 27th of that month, an individual using the user ID ‘SebA’ registered with the forum in an attempt to ‘out’ an acquaintance who had been getting on his tits for quite some time. SebA openly stated from the off that he’d never served in the military and didn't want to pass himself off as anything but a civilian with very limited military knowledge of such matters. [Like most ARRSErs then really? Ed.] Likewise he was reluctant to name names and whereabouts in case he was branded a stirrer. He was consequently slagged off in fine ARRSE bear-pit style for not having the spuds to deal with the bloke himself, but as ARRSEr ‘Arte et Marte’ succinctly put it:

The OP (original poster) has come to this site for info. His post will have been either digested, canned, ridiculed, or perhaps all three. However this site has had some success in outing those that need outing, and is often a port of call when scouring the internet for information on how to deal with this type of stuff.

It can be a delicate matter with consequences for all concerned if it goes wrong - and it has done; but to my mind it doesn't hurt to ask. The OP will know very quickly if he is barking up the wrong tree, and the MODS on this forum are not fools. There is a forum specifically set up for waltism, [and] if it’s not your bag, feel free to find another subject.

Like most on this site, I really don't give a toss about the silly arse in the pub with the 25 yard stare and big, fat, veiny red nose who insist they were ‘there man.’ They can be über-amusing. I do object to those who wear medals who don't have a right to wear them, and I do have a small problem with adults lying in order to gain access to schools.

If the OP has any doubts about the veracity regarding a charity collector’s actions, or accessing schools he should indeed go to the police as it's a matter for them. Nothing written on a web based forum will be used as evidence without further detailed checks. Ditto if someone is stealing benefits, there is a well advertised government department that deals very well with calls from the public. But it can be a start coming here. And it can be quite amusing.

What's Goin' On?

So what the heckedy heck was going on? In SebA’s own words:

Sorry if this in the wrong place, please feel free to move it to the correct location if I have made an error. Long story this one so please bear with me, but if you hate liars who devalue what our servicemen and women do by lying about their time in the forces then you will want to keep reading. OK, so I have known this bloke David on and off for about 13 years, first as a doorman at my local pub and then later as a neighbour. Right off the bat he seemed like a really decent person, very respectful which I put down to his South African upbringing. In the beginning we had a few drinks together whilst his missus was serving behind the bar, we got chatting and he mentioned he had been in the army for a while after moving from Durban. At that point it all sounded very credible, it seemed that he was an infantry solider (though he never mentioned which unit) but said he was given a medical discharge after roughly 15 months because he had broke both his legs. Fair enough, I felt sorry for the bloke and his time since service had been a disaster so it sounded like a genuine hard luck story and I happily bought him a few beers and we had a few really good chats.

Then over time the story started to change, initially about his length of service but also about the places he had been sent on 'tour'. He started expanding the story by saying that he had done a tour of Northern Ireland in the mid 1990s – also mentioning that a friend had died there and (he) seemed genuinely cut up talking about it. Hook, line and sinker I fell for it, so much so that I really liked and felt for him and for a few months we became pretty close friends.

Then the story was further expanded: now a tour of Bosnia and then a stint on Cyprus was added and eventually Sierra Leone was thrown into the mix. It was dawning on me that this all had a distinct smell of bullshit about it. He had gone from spending fifteen months in the Army to suddenly doing a few tours in Northern Ireland and other tours in war-torn areas as mentioned above. Personally I didn't see how that was possible within fifteen months - especially given the fact that it was four months from the time of his injuries until he was given his medical discharge. At that point I started to distance myself and the free beers stopped.

Time moved on and I didn't see him much. Then one day I bump into him in town and he is on crutches. I assumed that his legs were giving him problems but then I got the whole story about how he had undergone a couple of spinal operations, suffered nerve damage and was unable to walk without the crutches. Well, here we go again, I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Actually I felt like a twat for doubting this poor bloke who was obviously not in a good way in the first place. So back to the old routine of having a few beers and catching up.

Every single time he mentioned his service record it just got longer and longer, more outrageous and sometimes borderline psychotic - like the time he had been shot by drug dealers in South Africa whilst working for the security services. Yep, the scar was no bullet wound, it was a lower abdominal scar four inches long that looked like he had bowel surgery. Still I am no expert on wounds or surgery so I had to let that go but all my old 'bullshit' worries came flooding back, so again I distanced myself from him.

Three-to-four years later I ran into him again at a New Year’s party. He was still apparently 'disabled' but had no crutches, was blind drunk and more than willing to tell everyone in the pub about everything he had done in the army. The thing is, now it wasn't just the army but the Parachute Regiment - along with an entire story about how he was up for SAS selection until his subsequent injury and medical discharge. At that point I was getting annoyed so I called him out on it in a nice way, saying that I would love to see his uniform and photos from those days at some point.

He was ready for me! Fired right back at me was a line about how his mum in South Africa had died earlier in the year and she had been buried with all his gear including his wings All his photos had been stolen during a burgalry a few years before. At that point a few people in the pub - including his wife - backed him up on the death so I felt like a complete cock. Again, time to distance myself from this nonsense, as it was really begining to aggravate me as both my grand-father and great grand-father had served in the British Army during the world wars even though they were both proud catholic Irishmen.

His crazy talk felt like a slap in the faces to all those servicemen and women who had been sacrificed over the years but there was nothing I could do about it, just keep away and warn anyone who believed his bullshit.

More years rolled by. Occasionally I would bump into him and/or his missus and would spend ten minutes catching up. The stories became more outlandish and his 'injuries' became more extreme until the point where one day he broke down whilst talking to me and explained that he just could not cope with the pain anymore, couldn't sleep and couldn't live without the painkillers which he was obviously taking a lot of because he was totally smashed off his face. Well, I felt like a bastard but I just shrugged it off and left him to it.

Less than a year later I got a real eye-opener into this fraud of a man. Until about five years ago I used to play a fair bit of golf as a social thing even though I was utterly useless at it. My mates felt so sorry for me but were delighted I kept playing – and as they always got the beers in afterwards, it was a win-win for me, exercise and free ale! Anyway, one midweek afternoon I am getting ready to start a round with the lads, and as I am coming back from the car park I spot ‘Dave’ running up the fairway on the eighteenth looking for his ball. So, I decided to keep my head down and see how it played out. Dave finds his ball, plays a lovely shot up onto the green and seems one hundred percent fit. A remarkable recovery eh?

Well he isn't on his own either, as another regular from our local pub is playing a round with him and after asking at the club it seems the two of them have been playing regularly for months. It also seems that Dave is shit hot keen on the driving range. Me being a bit soft in the head I assumed that he had sorted himself out, got a job and was back on track. How wrong I was. Not long after my sister spots him in town - again on his crutches, but all dressed in combats with sunglasses during the middle of November. She told me about it, said he was a nutter and that she reckoned he was probably cheating the benefits.

Apparently he is known locally as 'dickhead Dave' and is a renowned bullshit artist. It didn't surprise me but it was nice to know that others had figured him out. I had no idea if he was on benefits or not but he was definitely playing the disabled card for sympathy down the local pub for a long, long time.

So, its now 2011 and years have passed since I had had the misfortune of running into Dave as I had moved away, though every so often a mate would mention him and the new bullshit stories he had cooked up. Honestly I didn't care, he was a harmless fool who very few people believed and whilst I didn't like him lying about his time in the forces I couldn't prove anything so I just let it go. Remembrance Day was approaching. I am visiting my old stomping ground and pop into Morrisons to grab a sandwich. Lo and behold, Dave is stood in the entrance on his crutches collecting for Help For Heroes, dressed in Parachute Regiment training kit and doing a roaring trade with his South African accent combined with a tragic story of military life and his eight dead mates lost in Afghanistan over the years. We spoke. I was nice enough but I wasn't getting sucked in again. In fact, an hour after I left I was steaming angry that he was wearing gear that I don't think he had earned the right to wear. It gets worse.

davereeve2.jpg

One week later in the local paper. Front page, surrounded by kids, Dave at the local primary school talking about Remembrance Day to a bunch of little kids. The article documented in very vague detail about the time he served, that he had been in the Parachute Regiment until his medical discharge. It gets worse. He tells the story of why he doesn't have a proper uniform for Remembrance Day. Basically all his kit and photos were stolen years before (weren't they buried with his mum?) and that he has fallen on such hard times that he has never been able to afford to replace them so he has to get by with his beret and PT kit. It gets worse.

Right at the bottom it gives his email address and asks that if anyone can help him replace the missing stuff he would be really grateful etc. Well, from what I just heard an hour ago via an old friend it seems he did the Remembrance Day march with our local British Legion right through the centre of town. A couple of former soldiers had to help hold him up part of the way and he was given a round of applause for his efforts raising money for Help the Heroes. That was enough for me. I had to make this post. Someone has to stop this before it gets any worse. He may well have served and I applaud him raising funds but that is the only good thing in this story, the rest of it is just despicable and he needs to be outed.

If you can help, investigate, advise or anything else then it would be more than welcome. That said, I haven't posted his personal details, links to the newspaper report or anything that would obviously identify him because I cannot disprove his story no matter how insane the actual details are. Also I feel very sorry for his wife, she knows what is going on but obviously isn't dealing with it. Apparently his also has a child now as well so I really don't want to identify this bloke in public unless I can prove he is what I am ninety-nine percent sure he is. Thanks for sticking with it if you read down this far!


Blimey! Pretty damning stuff – and hearsay at that. But non-the-less, stick they did. SebA’s post was one of the more eloquent requests for assistance the Waltenkommando has received and such meaty titbits were simply too good not to be devoured by the ravenous walthounds. The wheels on the walt-hunting machine groaned into action.

After much cajoling, SebA posted a link to an online article in a local rag named the Tameside Reporter and Dave’s whereabouts were thus quickly triangulated to Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester. It did indeed seem that Dave had been up to the antics described above and further online sniffing unearthed other stuff pertaining to Dave - complete with contact details, address and phone number. Dave’s PERSEC was dire: Ebay, Facespace, Twatter, Photobucket, OwnSkin (claiming to be ex-2 PARA) and some soft-porn girlie chat site called CandyCrib (nice) – all using the same user ID and all obviously Dave. The chances of there being another bloke with the same name, living in the same area, with the same medical condition, who claims to be an ex-professional rugby player - and who also plays golf and had served in the paras is slimmer than an anorexic with bulemia.

Read all a'baht it!

tamesidereporter.jpg

The Tameside Reporter was particularly interesting (and ultimately useful):

An ex-soldier who had his uniform and medals stolen after being discharged from the army has appealed for help to replace them. David Reeve, 38, was discharged from the Parachute Regiment after suffering two broken legs. The injury left him needing to use crutches for the rest of his life.

Having grown up in South Africa, David left the army after serving for two years in Sierra Leone, with nowhere to go and no possessions but his medals and his uniform. The ex-Sergeant moved to Ashton shortly afterwards to share a house with an old friend. But just weeks after arriving in Tameside he had all of his prized army possessions stolen – including his uniform, medals, certificates and the photographs of his army days and old colleagues.

Now, after getting involved with the Royal British Legion, the father-of-one is determined not let the thieves win – and for the first time since being discharged has thrown himself into raising money for the Royal British Legion. He has also vowed to get a replacement uniform before next year’s Remembrance Day, so that he can stand proudly alongside his former comrades in arms.

'‘I didn’t realise there was anybody in the area who understood what I’d been through.’ he revealed. ’A lot of my friends fought in Afghanistan and I know eight soldiers who have died there. It’s been hard. I wish I could have been there helping them. Then, just by chance a few weeks ago, I bumped into someone else who has been in the army. He introduced me to the Royal British Legion and SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) and I’ve found a group of people who understand. This year I was asked to speak at the Godley Remembrance Day ceremony but I had to wear what I could pull together – combat trousers and an old belt and t-shirt. I’ve set myself a year to get a proper uniform together. Next year I’m going to be able to hold my head high.'

For the first time this year, David helped out with the Poppy Appeal, collecting money in Morrison’s in Hyde. He also paid a special visit to Godley Primary School to speak to youngsters about war. ‘It is really important that nobody forgets that people gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy today,’ he said. ‘These last few weeks have really been a turning point. By this time next year I’ll be able to stand proud. I just hope I can find the uniform I need before then.’

Anybody who can help David find the uniform he is looking for is asked to email him on david.reeve46@gmail.com.

BY ANNA CLARKE

So in just three and a half hours from the initial thread post, the Waltenkommando had positively ID’d the individual – who was conveniently already in the public domain – and the hounds were well and truly sniffing the spoor – right down to Dave’s Ebay purchases. Again, Dave made it quite easy for the Waltenkommando - conveniently using the same user ID as he’d used for every other site found (thedoc1461). No surprises for guessing what they were: maroon beret, cap badge, wings, blazer badge, medals, chod certificates, rank slides, veteran’s pins etc. This was happening almost in real time and it was clear to see in which direction this was going. As Dave had kindly provided his email address, a concerned ARRSEr named ‘Phil’ decided to assist Dave in putting back together his stolen gear. Medals can be officially replaced, though quite why he wanted to ‘put together’ a uniform if he’d been MD’d is anyone’s guess.

A Helping Hand

So ‘Phil’ emailed Dave. As per usual, the following dialogue (or rather some of it) has been grammatically ‘cleaned up’ to make it easier to read.

08/12/2011 07:09 GMT

Hi Dave. I heard about your problem with thieves by a mate at work and he gave me this email address. Are you looking for Number 2 uniform or just normal Combat 95s? I can get the new MTP as well if you like? Let me know and I will see what I can dig up. I work at the Woolwich army cadets in their stores. I always wanted to be in the ‘paras’ but sadly could not make the grade due to health problems. I’m only too willing to help you out mate. Best Regards. Phil.

08/12/2011 17:14 GMT

Hi Phil. Cheers for that mate, much appreciated. Yeah, I'm after replacing my dress khaki Number 2 and dress blue Number 1 uniforms. My only problem is my size. I've got very broad shoulders and a 48-50 inch chest, so I'm struggling to get jackets, shirts and smocks. I also have to use between 38-40 inch waist due to having to wear a back brace. A few people have sent med things, which has been great and completely mind blowing, someone has even managed to sort me out with replacements of my Northern Ireland and Sierra Leone medal. I'm looking at getting some more 95s in DPM and desert gear, from boots to smock, including t-shirts. Any help would be really appreciated mate. Speak to you soon. All the best. Dave.

08/12/2011 17:19 GMT

Hi Phil. Sorry, forgot to mention getting the new MTP Gear. Yeah, the paras were brilliant, but you've gotta be a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, lol. I ended up finishing my career in the pathfinders and they are even worse, lol. Gotta be a complete nutcase to join, but it's worth it. Speak to you soon mate. Cheers once again, really appreciate it. Dave.

08/12/2011 17:30 GMT

Hi Dave. Yep, it must feel great to jump from a plane like that. I always wanted to do it. What was it like the first time? Did you have do it at night with all rucksack and mess tins and stuff? I take it the pathfinders are the special unit of the paras? Wow! What do they do if you don't mind me asking as I love this type of stuff?

Ref the uniform: do you know if it was the old the type Number 2s? I’m not sure I can help with the dress blues as we don't hold them here, sorry. The reason I ask about the 2s is that they changed a few times over the years. I think they changed in 1999 then (again) in 2002 and finally 2010. It was more a tailoring design thing. I'm not sure if the paras were any different from the normal line infantry uniform. The other thing was did you have any badges or lanyard as I can get those quite easily but I would need to know what colour and type. Regards Phil.

08/12/2011 18:37 GMT

Hey Phil. Yeah the first jump was mind blowing. We did the night jump last, but all our jumps were with full kit, apart from the balloon jump and the first if our 8 jumps. Yeah the Pathfinder Platoon is the Special Forces unit of the paras, although the paras are still classed as Special Forces. Unfortunately I can't tell you too much due to the nature of our work, but a lot of what I did was ‘black’.

Regarding the dress No 2s, I wouldn't mind getting the updated 2010 uniform. I need a lanyard, though can't remember what colour mine would be as it was a long time ago and I only wore it once. I have memory problems due to all the medication I am on. But I could do with one if you can find one. I could also do with the new gear that has the Union Jack on the left shoulder, but from what I've seen the new gear has this on already. I need the patches for my para wings, airborne, pathfinder, sniper, sergeant (both sleeve & slider), 16th Air Assault and Parachute Regiment patches for DPM, MTP and desert gear, as well as dress (number) 1s. Can't believe how many patches we had on, lol. I'll leave it in your capable hands.

Are you on Facebook? If so we should become friends on there. I'm not hard to find, my profile pic is me with Marco Simoncelli, the MotoGP rider who was killed at Sepang a couple if months ago, he was a good friend, the reason you can't miss it is that Marco has his Afroman hairstyle.

Going to a British Legion meeting tonight. Looking forward to it, it will be my first one, and there is a lot of stuff that they would like me to do and be a volunteer, which I would love. Catch you later. Dave.

08/12/2011 19:04 GMT

Dave. No probs. I will go through the army Argos book for the badges and let you know once I have them. Do you have an address so I can get them sent? Would love to know about the ‘black ops’ stuff as ordinary blokes like me only get to read them in Andy McNab books. I remember reading somwhere about the pathfinders having to parachute at night into some place to rescue some Irish soldiers. Powerful stuff. Phil

09/12/2011 10:41 GMT

Hey Phil. That would be awesome mate, my address is: ---------- Unfortunately I can't really talk about the ‘black ops’ stuff, even though I know that you would love to hear about it. It was really wicked stuff. A lot of stuff was done in Africa - Sierra Leone to be exact - and the story you have heard about the pathfinders jumping in to rescue the Irish lads is true. It was a HALO jump and was pretty heavy stuff. I've been deployed to some really hairy countries, and often did work with DELTA, which was really cool. Speak to you soon mate. Dave.


And so ‘Phil’ did. It’s worth pointing out at this juncture that anyone with the 1157 issue of brain cells would have twigged that something was going on. It was obvious it was all bullshit as there were some glaring howlers and downright fantastic claims straight out of a Cyril Clunge action novel. Why would someone who had been medically discharged want all this field gear, badges, dress kit and shiny stuff? The dialogue continued – in the same way a Stuka continues, i.e. downward.

11/12/2011 09:32 GMT

Hi David. Just been looking at the badges on the books and there are a fair few wings on there. Do you have any pictures of the wings so I know what ones to order? There are normal para wings in green and in blue plus HALO wings, HAHO wings and TALO wings. I don't know what that means but I'm sure you will. There is a badge with just a parachute as well. There are loads of lanyards as well. What para battalion was you in as they have different colours? I think its green for 1 PARA, red for 2 PARA and blue for 3 PARA. I don't know what the ‘parthfinders’ is.

Wow you worked with Delta Force? That must of been great. Was it like James Bond stuff? I can only imagine what that must have been like. On the TV I was watching some military program about Navy Seals parachuting and when their parachutes open they go up a little bit but really fast, what is that like? Is there a lot of G force on you when your parachute opens? Sorry for asking but I love this stuff. You must think I'm a right wanabe. By the way, I think I have the No 2 jacket in your size, just need to get the trousers now. All the best. Phil.

11/12/2011 22:07 GMT

Hey Phil. Howz it goin mate? Hope you've had a good weekend. Regarding the para battalion colours, I was in 2 para, which is blue. Don't worry about the pathfinder one. I can't remember the colour, but from what I can remember, we didn't have one. Can't remember. That's what happens when you're on forty painkillers a day.

I would love to tell you more of what I did in the pathfinders, but due to the Official Secrets Act I can't. Not even my wife or parents know. Up until Friday my wife didn't even know I was a sniper. Jumping out of a plane is awesome, but when you do pull your shoot, especially on a HALO jump the jolt is pretty intense as you're traveling at about 120mph and suddenly slow to about 20-30mph. HALO means High Altitude Low Open, HAHO means High Altitude High Open and TALO means Tactical Altitude Low Open, that is when you go in as a tactical unit with parachuting in vehicles. I will tell you this, when we went into Sierra Leone, we went in HALO and it was awesome.

Can't believe you managed to get a Number 2 dress jacket, you are the man. My waist size is 38, as I have to take into effect my Back Brace. Like I said, you are the Man. Are you on Facebook? If so send me a friend request, you can't miss mine, my profile pic is me with Marco Simoncelli, the MotoGP racer who died at the Sepang MotoGP Race. He was a good friend of mine, he has this massive Afro hairdo, really cool bloke.

Don't think you're a wannabe mate, it is the stuff of childhood dreams that I did. I used to play soldiers when I was a kid. We had a massive bush behind us on our street and we used to put shoe polish on our faces and get matty clothes and try to turn them into camo. It was great fun. Little did I realise that when I was older I would be doing exactly that, lol. Speak to you soon bud. Cheers Dave

11/12/2011 22:23 GMT

Me again. Sorry, having to use my phone for emails and stuff as I am still struggling to put weight on the top of my right thigh from when I had hip surgery in June.

Yeah, working with Delta was great, it was amazing how similar our training was and how we do things in the field. If you could get me all the para wings you can, I would be forever in your dept [sic] mate, I forgot about them. Anyway, have a good evening and I'll speak to you soon bud. Cheers. Dave.

12/12/2011 17:38 GMT

Dave. No problems. I will order what I can and see what I get. I was chatting to one of my mates. His father makes replica parachute training certificates like the real thing for people like yourself who may have lost them. He said he could sort one out for you if yours was stolen. He would only need your full name, rank, number and date when you did your para course. Not sure if you have to give your regiment but let me know if you want me to get it sorted.

13/12/2011 16:43 GMT

Hey Phil. Cheers for that mate, I really do appreciate what you are doing for me, thanks. That would be awesome. I will dig out the details.

Regarding being a sniper, I have 30 confirmed kills, the furthest away being 1200 metres. I used an AW50 anti-materiel sniper rifle. They are great as they can shoot a number of different rounds, including armour-piercing. It was a wicked weapon and was my baby. I try to forget about the people I killed. I think sometimes I block out certain things because of what I did and saw. Being a sniper puts you right in the mix. You see what your bullet does to a hostile, not like when you are in a firefight where everything is happening at a pace and you don't see the damage until after, and when you do, it is also not very pretty, but in both instances you learn to lock it away. [You want locking away you thick twat. Ed.]

Unfortunately due to the nature of my job, we didn't get medals for certain ops, you're right. All we got was a pat on the back, but the main thing we were worried about was not any medals, but completing the op with no casualties and as efficiently as possible.

13/12/2011 18:58 GMT

Hi Dave. I have a few samples attached that he sent me. The ones he will do are all framed and properly signed. All he will need is name, rank, number and date or year you were on the courses. What Royal British Legion do you go to? If its near I will have to come over for a pint. I would love to hear more about the paras and parthfinders. Did you ever go for the SAS or was it just the same as the parathfinders? That sniper weapon sounds amazing. Did you have to blow up stuff as well? If you can let me have those details for the certificates as soon as, as I should be able to get them to you before Xmas. Phil.

And so it went on. Dave was not merely digging himself into a deeper hole with these claims, rather undertaking an archeological dig that would shame the Time Team. Still, needs must I suppose. Give people enough rope etc. So ‘Phil’ asked Dave for his service number and course dates and Dave obliged - eventually.

13/12/2011 21:49 GMT

Hi Phil. Wkd mate, I'll check the email on my laptop, it's a lot easier. I've been using my phone all this time as the weight of my laptop is a bit too much on my thigh, it affects the pin inserted into my thigh to connect it to my hip. So I'll need to check the certificates while replying so that I get the correct dates for each one. What an awesome Christmas present that will be. I'm a member of the Hyde Branch of the Legion. That would be great to get together for a drink and put a face to the emails. Will email you either later it tomorrow. Cheers mate. Dave.

17/12/2011 16:59:49 GMT

Hey Phil. Sorry bud, been a couple of bad days. Right, here goes:

  • P Company February 1998
  • II Para Service - April 1998 to June 2000
  • Number: 25071033
  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Name: David Reeve
  • Unit: Parachute Regiment
  • Course: 9 Jump Course at RAF Brize Norton - March 1998
  • Rank: Private
  • HALO Jump: No1 Training Centre RAF Brize Norton (date if needed was Feb 99)

Cheers mate, you are a legend. Can't believe you've managed all this, including sorting out a Number 2 dress uniform for me and patches as well You are the Man. Speak to you soon mate. Dave.


Actually, we couldn’t believe Dave had managed all that either. Sergeant in two years? The service number, however, was a good effort, as it implied a post-1997 enlistment, so Dave had obviously done some homework on this – even if everything else was alles uber der platz. Dave was quite correct in one respect though: that ‘Phil’ was indeed ‘the Man’. It was time to up the ante.

18/12/2011 11:56 GMT

Hi David. I’m a bit worried mate. I was speaking to one of the cadetslast night and told him about you and what had happend with your kit being stolen. He said he thinks you’re a Walter Mitty. I had a bit of a shouting match with him but he was insistent that you had never been in the paras or the parthfinders. He said he had seen an army web site forum that mentioned you by name and that you were lying.

I have asked him to send me the web address as I said if he is just going by what had been said on a web forum then he should at least hear your side of the story other than from facless people on a website. Do you want me to send you the web address once he sends it so you can have a go at them? I can send his email address as well if you like so you can put him straight. I hate people who go just by web site rumours. Do you want me to send what I have so far or do you want me to wait until the all the badges are with me? All the best. Phil.

18/12/2011 17:25 GMT

Dave. My so called mate sent that link. I will join the site as well if you are thinking of telling them like it is. I will be only too happy to defend you. A lot of them on there sound like bitter wanabes with nothing better to do. Hope all is well? Phil.

18/12/2011 17:54 GMT

Hey Phil. Cheers for that mate, I appreciate it, will check out the site and stir up some trouble. I think the best thing to do is send everything all at once, if it will save you money on postage, if not, send them now. I really appreciate what you've done for me mate, I will forever be in your debt. What's your mates name, did he ever serve or is he just a wannabe, who thinks he's the dog’s bollocks? Cheers mate. Dave.

18/12/2011 18:39 GMT

Hey Phil, what's your mate’s name? Cos I feel like kicking the shit out of him with my crutches. Firstly, I don't appreciate what he said about my wife, secondly, I never told anyone that I had served in Bosnia, or that I did more than one tour of NI, thirdly, the article that was written, the journalist who wrote it thought that I had just come out of Afghanistan and at no time did I ask to have help with replacing my kit, I just told her that next Remembrance Day, I would make sure that I looked more presentable. She's the one who decided to say that I wanted help and put my email address in. To be honest, I didn't even want to be interviewed and the picture in the Reporter was the idea of the school where we had been invited to for lunch after the Remembrance Day memorial. Please tell me who it is, as I don't even have a local anymore. He's right, I did come off crutches for 3 years and got my life back, until my back went again in Feb 09. I have been on crutches ever since. I had Hip Surgery in June and am due to have more back surgery in either March or April next year.

I wanna know who he is? He hasn't got a clue what I did or anything. My wife doesn't even know what I did and neither do my parents, well my dad anyway. My mom passed away 10 years ago and I don't know where he got the idea about my gear being buried with my mom, because she was cremated and we didn't even have a service cos it was too much.

Thanks for letting me know about this. He says he's fuming, where does he get off saying anything about me? I have a scar on my stomach, but it is over the area where I was shot as there were complications from the bullet removal. Speak to you soon, but I want to know who he is. Don't worry, nothing will come of it, I just want to know who my ‘friends’ are. Cheers. Dave.

18/12/2011 18:51 GMT

Hey Phil. He sounds like a wannabe, especially since he is only 17 and could not have been out drinking with me.

The reason I advanced as rapidly as I did was due to my job in the Black Ops Unit of the South African Police - something that neither my parents nor my wife were aware of My wife knows now because of the nightmares I have and the fact that I hardly sleep, even though I take 5mg morphine tablets twice-a-day, 20ml of oral morphine every 3 hours, Diazepam 3 times a day, 6 Gabapentin a day, 3 Amitryptaline tablets a day, plus other shit for Diabetes.

Also don't know where he got the idea that I walked around Manchester in full combats. It would've been pretty hard considering that the only camo clothing I have is a pair of camo fashion pants and a fashionable camo jacket that you could buy from any store.

Sorry mate, the more I write and think about it, the more cross I get, especially since the fucker is only 17. He hasn't got a clue about army life and he is in for a big surprise. [Not as big as the one you’re in for. Ed.] The reason I got into the sniper was because I was one in South Africa and I have the badge to prove it.

Fuck, I'm pissed. I'm gonna hit that site, but only once I calm down otherwise I'll say something that I will regret. If you wanna join it, go for it. Just let me know what your screen name will be. Speak to you soon. Dave.

Dénouement?

So - and somewhat to his credit - Dave registered with ARRSE and attempted to defend himself. He was immediately flamed. Again, to his credit, he did not invoke the usual phases of Bernoulli's Law. What the good people of ARRSE were unaware of was the behind the scenes work done with great cunning by ARRSEr 'THESUNJOCK' - a noted waltsmeller with several swastikas painted on the side of his cockpit. Well, they are now.

'Phil' continued with the correspondence, though Dave was under the mistaken impression that 'Phil' had been duped by someone off ARRSE. Mistaken because the one minor detail that ‘Phil’ had omitted to mention to Dave was that he wasn’t really an ACF AI in Woolwich, rather a serving soldier – and one of the airborne variety.

Confessions & Admissions

Claims, counter-claims and back-pedalling ensued - with even a bit of forward pedalling lobbed in for good measure. Dave was all over the shop.

Basically what that journalist has done is taken what I have said to her and twisted some of it around by saying things like I was talking to these kids and telling them all about my service, when the honest truth is, I never even talked to the the kids apart from having a quick natter about their clothes and gas masks. I wish I'd never spoken to her, cos it's caused nothing but trouble, just because there are people out there who have nothing better to do with their lives, especially when they are commenting on a post made by a bloke who is just a saddo, and I have a feeling I know who it is, and if it's who I think it is, he is just that, someone who says shit about what I've said to him and then basically slagging me off for helping out the British Legion. I know it is something he would never do, cos he is basically a spoiled brat who has had everything handed to him on a plate.

All I did was volunteer my help and I get slagged off for it. I actually only got one email from a vet and he said to me to just ignore the shit as that site is full of sado's who have no life. It made me feel a lot better and like he said to me, he said 'Don't let them put you down and win, cos it would not do me any good and worrying about what they said is just not worth it.' He just said to me to keep up the good work and keep helping who I am, guys like a bloke I met at Morrisons who has been struggling with PTSD, and we've had some good natters and went out last Thursday for a few drinks and it turned messy as it usually does when squadies get together, lol. This lad is a great bloke and we're going out again this week and it's gonna be even messier

Just to put things straight about the school kids, I never spoke to them about anything, we just sat there for the photo. To be honest, they were telling me about the gas masks they had and how cool they thought it would've been to be a kid at the Battle of Britain. There were no stories from me.

As I said in my last message, I don't want to be seen it perceived as a hero, cos I'm not, I am just trying to help out the RBL raise funds and help guys with PTSD, who I have only met through RBL and putting them in contact with Pathways. You should check them out. If there is anyone you know who has PTSD, give them the info. I was trying to get replacement certificates, well because I arrived in the UK with nothing and once I came out of the Army, I got a place to lodge at.

I had no idea that I could get things like that replaced, I was a foreigner in a strange country and did not know that I could get stuff replaced. If I did, don't you think I would have got them replaced back then? Why would I wait over 10 years to get them replaced? Not only that, I appreciated what you were doing for me and I was not gonna take the stuff you had sorted for me without paying for it. Like I said at the beginning, I left South Africa in 1997, spent a few months in Scotland and then joined the paras. On leaving I was not given much information on what I could do regarding any problems I encountered in civvie street, including replacing my kit if it ever got stolen, so I was extremely naive when it came to that, because if I had known I would've git my kit replaced there and then.

Correspondence with 'Phil' continued apace. And then...

Confession

Right, here goes. I owe you the truth because of what you've been through, which is totally unfair. Nobody has even been in contact with me about this. I suffered bi-lateral stress fractures during training and spent 6 weeks in plaster. I got out of the plaster and had been back squadded due to the injury. I restarted training, this was during Phase 2 at Catterick leading up to P. Unfortunately for me and my dreams, I had a repeat of the injury and was Medically Discharged. I kept in touch with the guys and I suppose with all the disappointment I tried to convince myself over the years that I carried on, it doesn't help with all the painkillers I've been on.

The South African Police stuff was true, I will tell you about it if you are still interested in being my friend. The back problems I have are attributed to my Army injuries, that is the truth. My shins feel like the Rocky Mountains due to the injuries I suffered. I gave the Afghanistan and Queens Silver Jubilee (medals) to my mate yesterday as well as the Afghanistan OP Herrick OSM Badge. He was over the moon as he didn't know that you could get them. I am still waiting for a combination OP Herrick & Queens Jubilee Ribbon Medal. The look on his face and the smile it brought to him is the reason I am getting involved in helping out with the RBL, SSAFA & Pathways. All I want to do is help, I am not after anything in return, just a smile and happiness from the guys that I can get help for by putting them in contact with the right people and if necessary, taking them to see those people. They used to only deal with The Parachute Regiment, The Royal Marines, The SAS & SBS, MI5 and MI6, but due to the need of other soldiers they moved.

Sex & Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll

I joined the South African Police as a Reservist at the age of 16 and became a full time officer when I was 18. At first I was involved in general security work and then moved into the Riot Police after becoming a Sergeant at 20. You can start working towards this and becoming an officer after you have been in for a year. I then went into undercover work as there was no major need for a riot unit after Mandela had established himself and his dreams for a united South Africa.

The undercover units worked on sex trafficking, and mainly drug trafficking between South Africa and North America and also Europe. It was a successful operations due to the ports in both Durban and Cape Town, as well as the easy accessibility of crossing the borders of South Africa into places like Namibia, Angola, Botswana and Bophutatswana. I was based in Durban and the Drakensberg where I worked in a hotel as part of my cover. We all had a cover job strategically stationed throughout the country. We often worked with Interpol for European Ops and the DEA for North American Ops. What you call Weed in the UK, we call Daga in South Africa, which comes from the same marijuana plant. It was a very lucrative business and still is. I left in 1997 to move to the UK after my best friend was killed in an op that went wrong. I hope this clears things up between us?

Actually Dave, rather the opposite. And on it went until 'Phil' decided it was high time Dave's bluff on his undercover life as a drug and sex-busting hotel receptionist/cop was called. The wheel bearings started to sound in need of lubrication - and lots of it.

A Friend in Need

[It should be pointed out that the Editor has now become bored with endless grammatical and spelling corrections.]

And how do you know I was not a Special Operations Officer? I spent money to try and keep respect for the regiment. I'm not walking around in DPM's with medals and a beret on, I am just trying to put this behind me and get on with my life. I have not even worn anything I bought, or paraded myself around and talking shit. I am just trying to get everything sorted out to spend a lovely Christmas with my family and the last thing I need or want is people that are questioning my life and especially my past, something of which they have no idea, considering I grew up in a country thousands of miles away and did things that nobody in this country knows about time I had served my 8 years, it just under 8, I was a 1st Lieutenant and when I joined up sun Inverness, I was offered the chance to go to Sanders, but turned it down as I wanted to work my way up, considering I had signed up for 22 years. To be honest, you have no idea how things in South Africa work or are. I grew up in Apartheid. [Actually Dave, I don't have any idea how things work in your head! Ed.]

I don't know where you are getting your info from, especially regarding doing my Hotel Management Training, as it was an In-House Training Programme. I only moved to the UK in 1997 and I have told you about my early discharge from the army. I don't know what else to tell you that would make you believe me , I joined the army in November 1997 at the age of 24 and was Medically discharged in July 1998 after suffering bi-lateral stress fractures. I am a qualified Hotel Manager, which I qualified for in 1993. I started in the Police as a Reservist at 16, which you can do, so that would be in 1989. By the time I came out it was 1997 and I moved to the UK as I had a British Passport, 6 months after arriving I joined the army.

Now I only want to help, as I have seen first hand what my help is doing to an Afghan Vet who is only 23, and to see the change in him from the day I met him to how he us now is brilliant to see It was only this October/November when I met the first ex squadie since I had been out and he asked if I would like to get involved with the Poppy Appeal, which I accepted gladly cos I wanted to help out. I was never in it for fame, fortune or recognition, I just wanted to help and so far, that head led me to meeting a bloke from the Royal Artillery who came out in May Andre got chatting and he was telling me about his PTSD.

Dave is clearly in need of help himself - never mind his generous offer of helping others (something he is totally unqualified for). Now one could be forgiven for thinking that it was game over for Dave and that he'd realise he'd been rumbled and simply slink off and get on with his life. But Dave is made of sterner stuff than he'd been given credit for.

An Apology

Now apologies are a rare beastie on ARRSE - and even more so when they emanate from the walting community. There have been only a couple of such events in the past: Barry Simkins and Mark Powell. Dave logged on and (posting under his user ID of TAZ13) spilt his beans.

I would like to apologise for what had happened on this site and what I have said and done. I never said I was an Afghan Vet, if anyone thought I was, I told them there and then, if anyone on the site thought I had played myself off as an Afghan Vet, then they were wrong. I would like to apologise to everyone who I upset or insulted. I would just like to put this whole thing behind me and get on with my life.

Good effort, but more pathos please.

I would like to apologise from the heart about everything that has been said and I would like to apologise to all those members of the Armed Forces, both serving and Veterans. I was completely in the wrong about what I did and claimed to do. I am trying to put things right with regards to helping out the Legion and SSAFA, & Pathways by trying to help those Veterans who need help by helping point them in the right direction regarding getting them the best help they can. This is the only good thing to coke out of my lies and crap.

I was involved in the SAP, but that is a long time ago. None of that has anything to do with what I did and I cannot condone or make excuses for my actions. I am truly sorry, especially considering that I even tried to cover myself by trying to say I was someone that I wasn't and trying to defend my actions by getting involved in the thread and trying to lie my way out. I am truly sorry and would like to apologise again to all of you on this Forum, I was wrong and deserved everything that you guys said about me and tried calling me out on.

The only thing that has gotten to me is the talk about my wife and daughter, I don't think it was necessary to say all the things that were said about them. What was said about me I can take and accept, but not about them. I know from Basic Training that there is a lot of banter that is thrown around, but I also know that none of that banter is ever pointed towards guys partners and especially their children, especially what was said about my daughter. I deserved everything that you guys said about me cos I was wrong and looking back I can see that it was an insult to those members serving and those who have come out with horrendous injuries. My injuries suffered in Basic Training are nothing compared to what these soldiers have suffered.

I am truly sorry and would like to put it all behind me,and just get on with my life and continue to try and help those who need it, as I have made some good contacts through all this and I am now going to use those contacts to help those who deserve it. Once again, I am truly sorry, I am not expecting to be forgiven, as I don't deserve it, I just want you all to know that I will not try and disrespect those who have served and those who currently serve.

A far better simpering offering than the first half-hearted attempt to be sure. Dave got flamed - again. But he did have a point regarding his missus and nipper. Totally uncalled for. It went on, with Dave valiantly defending his crumbling mealie bag barricade against the stampeding, rabid hordes - and that was just 'AleeGee1698'.

You are totally right, I am extremely embarrassed and I would like to apologise to everyone else on this Forum. I never mean't to hurt or insult anyone. I have a little to think about, but I feel that some good has come from this. I have been put in contact with Pathways and have so far met an Afghan Vet who is suffering from PTSD, I took him up for a chat and an initial assessment and after he had his chat with the gentleman who set this place up with his wife, and you could see that a weight had been lifted off his shoulders, that made me feel happy that I have managed to do something for him. We have become friends and in the new year he will be going there for 6 weeks to help him. This is a non profit organization, you might have heard of it and they are the best people for this guy to see. I have even bought a couple of things off eBay for him, for which he was most grateful, I did this not to make me the bigger man, I did it just to bring a smile to his face, which it did. I now realise that I can help guys out by putting them in contact with the right people who can help them settle back into civilian life.

The flaming continued - like a furniture warehouse on a summer's evening. ARRSE Mod 'Porridge gun' hit the nail on the head:

You'd be better leaving the poor cunts alone. Stop sticking your fat fingers where they aren't wanted. Combat Stress employ experts to deal with PTSD, not cot deaths with ebay certificates and shiney doc martin boots. I can't think of a single soldier, past or present that would consider your company worthwhile. Not because you are a dirty big fat fibber, but because you look like Private Pile. Instead of spending time attempting to large it with victims or mental injuries, just fuck off and look after your wife and child, instead of spending money on your fibbing outfit, put food on their table and clothes on their backs, as looking at their photos it would appear they got dressed in an airstrike on a Rwandan warehouse.

Subtle, but sage words indeed. But Dave persisted with the claims he was an ex-para.

The End of Days

If there’s one thing the 'Maroon Machine' dislike ‘with fries to go’ is fat piss-takers basking in the reflected glory of their regiment and the whole airborne family. What 'Phil' had also neglected to mention was that Reeve did not appear on the course rolls for the Basic Military Parachute Course at No.1 Parachute Training School, RAF Brize Norton. It had already been checked.

That last detail kind of nails it really - sort of. There were, however, still some lingering doubts amongst the Waltenkommando as to the veracity of Dave's claims - in particular the service number (which seemed to tally with the dates he'd provided). Was there a tiny grain of truth after all? It therefore came as no small surprise to learn that Dave Reeve really had served in the British Army - for all of six months. Repeatedly back-squadded during basic training, he was eventually biffed without passing out of depot. So what qualifies him to turn up at a school and spin yarns to bewildered and impressionable school kids - other than what he’s learned from cheap airport novels? Surprisingly, this sort of thing has happened before with another fake para named Ron Mainhood doing the rounds. That episode ended in tears - via the national press.

Another thing that really upsets people is the fund-raising. Again, it’s not the first time this has occurred, as a trawl through the Infamous Walts section will reveal. It’s tantamount to fraud and it’s a breach of trust with the people who willingly donate to someone who they perceive to be a disabled ex-soldier. It also undermines the genuine individuals who undertake such activities. Quite frankly, the fund-raising community (and the RBL for that matter) does not need liars and fantasists, as it’s hard enough to convince people to part with money as it is in these straightened times. The PTSD angle is also something we've seen before with Alec Webster. This is an area that is best avoided and left to experts and not interferring muppets with questionable backgrounds.

Reeve’s antics are a textbook example of walting at its most basic, badly-researched and performed level - which is even more surprising given he'd actually been in the army! Six months is certainly long enough (one would have thought) to have garnered a fuller understanding of the 'nuts and bolts' of system and how it works, so Dave had clearly not been paying too much attention. He should also have realised that everything is checkable. Had he bothered to read Walting With Confidence he could well have avoided the ridicule - or simply got a life.

External Links

National ridicule [1]

Local self ridicule [2]


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