Bullwinkel, Vivian (Lieutenant Colonel, b.1915 - d.2000)

Accession Number AWM2018.179.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 2.5 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Scrapbook
Maker James, Winifred 'Wyn' Frances
Place made Australia
Date made 1937-2008
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection relating to the Second World War service of VFX61330 Lieutenant Colonel (Matron) Vivian Bullwinkel, Australian Army Nursing Service [AANS].

The collection consists of a scrapbook which was compiled by Bullwinkel's friend Winifred 'Wyn' Frances James (nee Milner).

The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings:
A cutting dated 1937 from the Broken Hill 'The Barrier Miner' paper with a group photo of school prefects who include Zelda Treloar and Vivian Bullwinkel; Banka Island massacre; the recovery of Australian nurses from Sumatran prisoner of war camps; their voyage home on the hospital ship Manunda; the reception of the nurses in Fremantle and Perth; a call for Sister Bullwinkel to be awarded a Victoria Cross; Wilma Young (nee Oram - an Australian nurse imprisoned with Sister Bullwinkel) elected first female president of a Victorian RSL sub-branch; Australians travelling to the War Crimes Tribunal in Japan; Sisters Betty Jeffrey and Bullwinkel travelling to England and having an audience with Queen Mary in January 1951; Ex-Service representatives including Sister Bullwinkel returning to Singapore for the unveiling of the Kranji War Memorial; Vivian Bullwinkel's retirement (1979) and death notice (2000); cuttings from 21st century newspapers relating to the Banka Island massacre. There is also a Souvenir Programme from a radio broadcast 'War Nurses Memorial Centre Appeal' held at St Kilda Cricket Ground on 14 March 1948.

Pasted into the scrapbook are the following letters:
- A letter from Major A E Saggers dated 24 Sept 1945 informing Winnie James that he has met Sister Bullwinkel in hospital in Singapore. He reports that Nurse Bullwinkel is in excellent spirits 'although not quite 100% fit'.
- A handwritten letter from Sister Bullwinkel to her friend Wyn from the Kia Ora Hospital in Hamilton Victoria dated 12 May 1939. [Sister Bullwinkel had completed her General Nursing at Broken Hill and District Hospital in 1938 at the age of 23, followed by Midwifery in 1939.] This letter describes the greenery of Hamilton after Broken Hill; she refers to her friend 'Zel' working at the same hospital; delicious morning teas and social gatherings.
- A handwritten letter from Sister Bullwinkel to her friend Wyn dated 1 November 1941 from Malaya. She describes leaving Australia, arriving in Malaya, visiting Singapore and taking up her post at the 13th AGH.
- A copy of an undated letter from Vivian Bullwinkel to her mother from Palembang camp allaying fears and saying that she is quite well. This letter was copied out by Sister Bullwinkel's friend Zelda Treloar.
- A letter to Wyn from Sister Bullwinkel written 23 October 1945 from the Manunda after leaving Western Australia.
- A letter to the Editor of 'The News' Adelaide calling for appropriate recognition of Sister Bullwinkel.
- An official British Commonwealth Occupation Force Christmas card from Sister Bullwinkel to Wyn from Tokyo. Undated, the card was written on the eve of her testifying at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal in December 1946.

Photographs pasted into the scrapbook include:
Vivian Bullwinkel in Kings Park on her last day in Australia; with Wilma Oran on their return to Fremantle in October 1945; Sister Bullwinkel holding flowers at Hollywood Military Hospital in Perth; light-hearted photo of Sister Treloar 'the patient' and Sister Bullwinkel dispensing care entitled 'New Nurses Victoria'; Sister Oram, Sister Bullwinkel and Wyn James at Fremantle; photo of Matron Annie Sage at Bullwinkel's departure from Fremantle; Sister Bullwinkel on the gangway; wedding photos of Sister Margaret Anderson; Vivian Bullwinkel holidaying in Western Australia post-war; Vivian Bullwinkel with Donald Bradman; Wilma Oran on her wedding day 5 December 1947, Vivian Bullwinkel as bridesmaid.