Possibly Fraudulent Vet Neville Donohue Claims Cancer

Neville Donohue, a self-proclaimed officer in the Vietnam War, was due to appear before a judge to defend himself against alleged fraud. Often seen wearing a host of medals signifying his importance as a war hero, Donohue said that he would not be able to make his court date due to terminal illness. Having already been suspected of dishonesty, there is some speculation as to whether or not his claims of terminal cancer are reliable.

Many internet users have already seen the photographs of Donohue in a heavily decorated tweed jacket due to the massive swapping of the photos across message boards aimed at former participants in battle. Now his assertion that he is undertaking a fatal stay at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria due to cancer are being investigated by authorities as well as the Herald Sun. Prior to his sudden (and possibly fraudulent) outbreak of cancer, Neville Donohue’s rise to internet stardom as a potential hoaxer began on Anzac Day when a picture was taken of the bespectacled Donohue at the Mount Dandenong Anglican Parish.

Donohue, an apparent Magpie, was pictured again at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during a football game between Collingwood and Essendon. Many were perturbed by the picture of Neville in his many medals, feeling that something was off about his insistence on wearing several rows of war decorations to a football match. The photograph appeared on the Parish’s website, and as a result they were the ones to report Donohue to the authorities, the Herald Sun News reports.

Following the report by the church, Donohue was asked to report to the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court in mid-February. He was completely absent, and the authorities grew restless with what appeared to be a growing level of blatant dishonesty. One of the magistrates then received word from Alfred Hospital that Neville had been receiving cancer treatment there for nigh on a week, and that he was reaching a near-fatal point in his recovery and would have to stay at the hospital until he either recovered or died. Donohue’s court date was set off until Vietnam Veterans Day, but there was still one slight problem—The Alfred had no authenticated records of any doctor answering to the moniker on the documents that were sent to the court. The Alfred had nothing to say to the press about the matter.

While many online users have already written Neville Donohue off as a liar, and a cancer himself to all he claims to hold dear, his claims as a patriotic Australian are being investigated carefully by the Australia & New Zealand Military Imposters group. Their investigation has led them to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, which is able to name Neville Donohue as an ex-Corporal (Donohue claims to be a Major General), but they state that he was never a part of operations. This means that, even if his assertion to be a militaryman is true, he may still face charges for adorning himself in medals he did not earn. Whether or not he truly has cancer has not yet been verified.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE