The Terry Birch story is becoming a bigger story because of the recent medal award to him and the weak sauce spin the Local Legion has tried to pull to avoid yet another Stolen Valour stain. Clearly this also exposes statements made to other media by his son on his behalf.
Mr. Birch was given the opportunity to speak with this newspaper and SV to answer a few basic questions which would categorically exonerate him.
As you can see in our chat with Mr Birch and SV’s below he was spoken to respectfully and all he had to do was resolve the query. Only he can answer why he refused, but as more facts come out it certainly doesn’t look like he has answers to those questions that would exonerate him.
At this point this is not a simple case of Stolen Valour, but the role of the Cornwall Legion Executive has to be resolved. You simply can’t keep putting posers in your executive and have them appear at events such as Remembrance Day without being held accountable; and men and women of Honour that serve in our Armed Forces under stand accountability; even if the current Legion President and his executive don’t seem to.
Below is what Stolen Valour published on its facebook page:
“Stolen Valour Canada was advised by a number of parties that there was a potential issue with the medals that Birch was photographed wearing at a ceremony held at the Cornwall City Hall on 13 June 2019.
Prior to investing any research effort into what has the potential to become a wild goose chase, we 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 Birch would take advantage of this offer to assist in protecting his reputation.
SVC asked him on 24 July 2019 to contact us over a sensitive situation. The goal was to request that he provide us with the documentation proving his entitlement to the wear the (1) Special Service Medal (ALERT and NATO clasps), (2) the Centennial Medal (1967), (3) the Canada 125th Medal and (4) the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) thereby silencing this issue and his detractors, once and for all.
As we waited for a response, our team reviewed websites, newspaper articles, photographic images, searchable data bases of medal recipients and extracts from online / open source military documents to determine whether Birch was potentially in contravention of laws, rules and/or regulations, and/or the legitimacy of any public claims being made.
The GG’s web site is a starting point for reviewing national level awards, in Birch’s case only the most recent award of the Sovereign’s Volunteer Medal is listed. As Birch is also wearing the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, one would expect that would also be recorded on the site.
The GG’s site is not infallible and we discovered a number a number of minor errors (names misspelled, first and last names reversed or names missing) So, we do not use that list as a single source to determine entitlement to low level awards.
The names recipients of Centennial Medal (1967) and the Canada 125th Medal are not available on-line however, they are listed in the Canada Gazette. We can find no evidence of Birch receiving these two medals.
Birch was a Cadet Instructor List / Cadre Officer, given their training limitation / employment restrictions he would have never deployed to CFS ALERT nor participated in a NATO mission.
However, he wears the Special Service Medal with clasps indicating he served in those two areas. Interestingly, Birch did not sport this medal until 2010, many years after leaving the cadet movement.
He eventually responded to us with “You ass hole I have proof they are all mine. How many do you have shit head”.
Not exactly the response we were hoping for…
And, then we discovered this gem!
Recorded history certainly doesn’t support this fairy tale. SSM Walter Leja was the sole Canadian Soldier wounded in action while attempting to render safe a bomb placed in a mail box by FLQ terrorists.”