08:55AM, Friday 15 February 2019
A Royal Military Police group is considering expelling a man who has been a prominent member of Burnham Royal British Legion as it claims he has fabricated his army service.
Nick MacDonald’s claims of seeing action in the Falklands War and earning medals were called into question last year by an online group which says it is dedicated to exposing ‘Walter Mittys’ – people who falsely claim or exaggerate military service.
Mr MacDonald has insisted his service is legitimate and told the Advertiser last year that it was difficult to find his military record because he had changed his name – while the ‘Walter Mitty Hunters Club’ (WMHC) said he was using a ‘typical excuse’.
He said he joined the Royal Military Police after serving in the Royal Highland Fusiliers and had been active with fundraising and memorial activities at the Royal British Legion in Burnham.
Mr MacDonald has been a member of the Royal Military Police Association (RMPA), which says it will consider kicking him out at its annual meeting in May.
In 2012, Mr MacDonald, then living in Farnham Royal, was interviewed by the Advertiser in good faith, in which he said he was in the battles of Goose Green and Wireless Ridge during the Falklands War.
Now the RMPA has reasserted that ‘Mr MacDonald had no service in the armed forces beyond a short and incomplete spell of basic military training in 1974’ and ‘no right to purport or appear to be a veteran of any standing’ or one who earned medals. It said it had attempted to work with Mr MacDonald to offer an apology after speaking to him.
In a statement, the RMPA, which includes Royal Military Police veterans, said: “Mr MacDonald has had a dialogue with the RMPA and with individual members during which he has admitted his wrong-doing and uttered regret for his actions. He has reportedly also done so on social media.
“Regrettably however, when challenged, he has then followed such ‘admissions’ with a denial, claiming that he had not made such admissions and that others were so doing to implicate and embarrass him.
“Despite this, the RMPA has attempted to engage with Mr MacDonald to offer him assistance in making a public apology so as to enable him to move on with his life in a new direction.
“Sadly, every such approach has either been ignored or rebuffed by him.”
The RMPA also said it had approached the national Royal British Legion about Mr MacDonald, and the Royal Military Police’s regimental secretary was invited to share concerns about Mr MacDonald in December.
In May, the RBL told the Advertiser it was ‘conducting a review into the concerns raised in this instance’ but, when contacted this week, it declined to comment on individual cases.
The Advertiser understands the Burnham branch has not been in contact with Mr MacDonald since November.
The WMHC has continued to post updates about its investigations into Mr MacDonald’s past in recent months.
When contacted by the Advertiser on Wednesday, Mr MacDonald said he would not comment to respond to the RMPA’s statement.
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