Hellwig, Graeme Richard (Corporal, b. 1947)

Places
Accession Number PR03645
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 13 cm; Wallet/s: 5
Object type Letter, Document, Card
Maker Adams, Barbara
Hellwig, Graeme Richard
Various
Place made Vietnam
Date made 1969-1972
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Description

Collection relating to the Vietnam War service of Corporal Graeme Richard Hellwig, 102 Field Workshop, Royal Corps of Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Australia and Vietnam, 1969 – 1972.

Collection consists of 175 items made up of letters, cards, and other ephemera dated between 1969 to 1972. Hellwig served in Vietnam from July 1971 to February 1972. The letters are written to Hellwig mainly from his girlfriend, and later wife, Barbara 'Babs' Adams. Babs wrote long, detailed letters about school, friends, family, activities, her attitudes, and plans for her and Graeme’s future together. At the start of the correspondence Graeme is 21 and Babs is still in high school, around 15 or 16 years old. Babs’ letters in particular are good examples of social attitudes, ideas, and activities of teenagers and young adults particularly relating to relationships, sex, marriage, and attitudes towards school. Babs also writes about antiwar demonstrations in Sydney (letter dated 13 April 1970), American serviceman on R&R in Sydney (letters dated 18 March 1970), and watching the moon landing in 1969.

While serving with the army in Vietnam Hellwig taught English to students, children, and adults. The collection includes a picture of a man cutting a cake in a Vietnamese school room that may be Graeme Hellwig (wallet 4 folder 2).

Wallet 1 of 5 contains 1 folder with 21 items consisting of letters and cards dated from 3 June to 30 October 1968.

Wallet 2 of 5 contains 2 folders. Folder 1 contains 27 items consisting of letters, cards, and ephemera dated from 6 May to 6 August 1969. Folder 2 contains 21 items consisting of letters and cards dated 7 August to December 1969.

Wallet 3 of 5 contains 2 folders. Folder 1 contains 27 items consisting of letters, telegram, cards, and postcards dated in 1970. Folder 2 contains 16 items consisting of letters and cards dated in 1971.

Wallet 4 of 5 contains 2 folders. Folder 1 contains 3 letters dated 1972. Folder 2 contains 22 items relating to Hellwig’s time teaching English in Vietnam, consisting of cards, letters, and other ephemera.

Wallet 5 of 5 contains 1 folder with 38 items including letters, cards, business cards, ephemera, and a photo.

History / Summary

Graeme Richard Hellwig was born on 25 January 1947 in Randwick, New South Wales. Corporal Hellwig was a National Serviceman who served in the Royal Corps of Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers of the Australian Army. He served in the 102 Field Workshop from 26 May 1971 to 22 January 1972.