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
tit-bits 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!
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
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
somewhere 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 going 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
(bollocks). 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 cadets last night and told him about you and what had
happened 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
faceless 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.
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' didn't bother replying to Dave again, 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; and if there’s one thing the Maroon Machine dislike ‘with fries to go’ is fat piss-takers who’ve obviously never been in green basking in the reflected glory of their regiment and the whole airborne family. He also neglected to mention 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. In fact, Dave Reeve was never in the British Army full stop. 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.
Reeve’s antics are a textbook example of walting at its most basic and badly-researched and performed level. Had he bothered to read Walting With Confidence he could well have avoided the ridicule - or simply got a life.