The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (237504) Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hercules Green, 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Korean War

Accession Number PAFU/886.01
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 27 July 2013
Access Open
Conflict Korea, 1950-1953
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial every day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Craig Berelle, the story for this day was on (237504) Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hercules Green, 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Korean War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

237504 Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hercules Green DSO, 3rd Battalion, RAR
DOW 1 November 1950
Photograph: P02037.024

Story delivered 27 July 2013

Today, we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hercules Green DSO.

Green was born on 26 December 1919 at Grafton, New South Wales, where he left school at age 13 to take up farming on his parents' property.

At 16, he joined the 41st Battalion, the local militia unit. He was soon promoted to sergeant and in 1939 was commissioned as a second lieutenant. When the Second World War began that September, he volunteered for service on the first day recruiting centres opened. He was commissioned as a lieutenant into the 2/2nd Battalion, AIF.

On his final leave, Green had a fateful encounter at his local newsagents when he bought a fountain pen from the store owner's daughter, Olwyn Warner. His unit then left for the Middle East. Green missed the battalion's first actions at Bardia and Tobruk owing to injury, but took part in the ill-fated Greece Campaign. During the Allied retreat, Green and several comrades were separated from the battalion and made a daring escape, eventually reuniting with the battered battalion in Palestine.

Following his escape, Green wrote to Olwyn with the fountain pen he had carried through the Middle East and Greece. From then on, they exchanged frequent letters.

After returning to Australia in August 1942, Green was promoted to major. Again, an injury meant that he missed deploying to New Guinea with 2/2nd Battalion. In January 1943, Charlie and Olwyn were married. He spent much of the next two years as an instructor, before undergoing senior officers training. He was posted to New Guinea in December 1944 and in March 1945, aged 25, took command of the 2/11th Battalion, the youngest Australian to command a battalion during the Second World War. For his leadership during the Wewak campaign, he was awarded a Distinguished Service Order.

After being discharged from the AIF, he returned to Grafton and soon the Greens' daughter Anthea was born. In 1948, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and given command of the 41st Battalion, CMF. With the establishment of the Australian Regular Army in 1949, Green returned to full time service and attended staff college at Queenscliff, Victoria.

When 3RAR was committed to the Korean War in September 1950, Green was sent to Japan to take command. He had two weeks to weld his men into a cohesive unit before being deployed to Korea. In late October, Green successfully led 3RAR through its first battles at Yongju (known as the Apple Orchard), at Kujin and Chongju. In the evening of 30 October, 3RAR was fired on by North Korean artillery and Charlie Green, who was resting in his tent, was hit in the stomach by shrapnel.

He was evacuated to a nearby hospital, but died on 1 November 1950.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, along with 339 others from the Korean War, and his photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is but one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hercules Green DSO, and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (237504) Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hercules Green, 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Korean War (video)