One thing's for sure, you never have to wait too long before another idiot steps to the fore - and the month of November is usually a fruitful time on the Walt front.
Roger Day from Earl Shilton, Leicestershire, committed the normal Walter Mitty mistakes and inadvertently created a worldwide media furore when he was photographed at a small, provincial Remembrance Day parade in Bedworth, Warwickshire. Not only did he wear an SAS beret but also a multitude of medals that in Real Life would have been impossible to have gained. The photograph, which appeared on an Air Cadets' website (amongst other pictures of the occasion) soon flagged up on ARRSE whereupon it was instantly derided. The image did the rounds and was passed on to the Gongpolizei who laughed and laughed until they could laugh no more.
He also came to notice in the local East Midlands Press. Questions were asked after organisers of the parade (which numbered about 600 ex-serviceman) rumbled something was not quite right. Day had taken part in a march past where well-wishers, who included the recently bereaved families of servicemen, had clapped and cheered. When Day was challenged he admitted the deception and disappeared, having annoyed a great deal of people. But who was he?
The mainstream media soon took interest after being prompted by the Waltenkommando and the hunt was on . The (then) unnamed impostor was soon identified. When grilled by journalists he denied he'd been rumbled by the parade's organisers and claimed he'd gone on for a few beers with some of his ex-SAS 'buddies'. [Like yer do.]
He Who Dares... Gets Noticed
The medals that Day wore were totally and utterly implausible and would have made him the most decorated soldier in the entire history of the British Army had he been genuine. Though cheap and obvious copies, it's what they represent not what they are. The gallantry decorations were as follows:
- DSO - Day decided to embellish this prestigious decoration with a Queen's Commendation. Wrong. Queen's Commendations are worn on the appropriate campaign medal or alone if no medal is associated with the award.
- MC - Day sported 'his' MC with a Mention-in-Dispatches. Wrong. See above.
- Cross for Military Valour - a French award. In any case, it was worn in the wrong order.
- QGM - Sorry Roger. Wrong order again.
- MM - See above.
- DCM - See above.
- MSM - See above.
Let's stop there shall we, as it's pretty pointless continuing. This is extremely poor walting skills - especially as the correct Order of Wear is easily sourced on the Internet. [You lazy cnut Roger!] He also sported various campaign awards such as a GSM, a South Atlantic Medal, a Gulf Medal and some Johnny Foreign tat - in the wrong order. As ever, if Roger had bothered to gen up on Walting With Confidence then he might have carried it off.
Who can tell. In 2007 Day had joined the Hinkley Ex-Services Club, and wasn't very forth coming about the unit he had served with. After being challenged he again admitted he wasn't genuine and wasn't seen again. He did the same down his local pub and did one sharpish after being challenged by an ex-squaddie who pinged his SAS lapel badge.
After Day had been tracked down - and let's be honest, it didn't take very long - he did the normal Walt thing about not being able to talk about his service with the SAS because of the Official Secrets Act. Day claimed to The Times about his medals 'They’re all proper, pukka campaign medals. Medals I won in conflicts while I was serving with the British forces. All I can say is South Atlantic, the Gulf, Kuwait and one or two other stations.' 'Also' the über-hardman added 'If anyone dares mention my tie I will bring down the wrath of God and two of my SAS mates who were on the balcony with me and give em a good shoeing.'
The Truth Emerges
All this attention certainly got tongues wagging and it emerged that Roger had actually done some time in the Army in the 1970s... for all of fourteen months. Apparently unable to hack it he most likely bought himself out. He certainly never served any operational tours. It as yet to be determined which unit he was in, but Ladbrokes are offering good odds on ACC.
You're Nicked You Slag!
Then 'someone' made a complaint. Early one morning, Roger's front door went in and his hallway was filled with screaming coppers. A helicopter hovered overhead and bathed Roger's gaff in a bright searchlight beam. Myriad blue lights flashed up and down Acacia Avenue and the entire neighbourhood came out to watch as poor Roger was dragged kicking and cuffed from his home. His beautiful teenage Thai bride sobbed and frantically tugged at a burly policeman's arm but to no avail. Roger was unceremoniously bundled in to the back of a waiting armoured police van which duly sped off in armed convoy with sirens wailing... sort of.
The reality is rather less exciting. Roger was invited to his local nick for tea & coffee whereupon he was charged  under some law or other. Roger was then bailed.
ARRSE legal experts think this is a first - and probably last, as Roger was allegedly charged under Section 197 of the Army Act 1955, which makes the wearing of uniform items and decorations without authority a criminal offence. Unfortunately the said act became defunct on the 30th October 2009 and was replaced by the Armed Forces Act 2006. Surely plod would have known this minor technicality?
Walt in Court
Finally the story of this sad bugger came out. Desperate to impress a younger woman, Day told the future Mrs Day his 17 medals had been 'lost in action' or sold. The poor deluded woman then spent £600 buying them 'back'.
Prosecuting James Francis said: “The medals were displayed incorrectly and grouped with other medals which no one person could have collected. Mr Day married his wife, who is 24 years younger than him, five years ago. In order to maintain interest in him he made up stories about having served in the British Military and various accounts of bravery he was involved with.
Day pleaded guilty to Section 197 of the Military Act 1955 which appears not to be off the books as first thought. Magistrate Alan Jones confiscated Day’s medals and ordered him to do 60 hours’ community service.
It has now emerged that this walty one has been 'vindicated' due to a legal cock up. It turns out that the act used against him had been repealed only 11 days before November 11th. What a fine example of this legal system riddled with holes.