Summary

Title: Papers of Charles and Olwyn Green.

Date Range: 1942-2002.

Extent: 20 boxes.

Collection number: PR00466

Location: Private Records collection, Research Centre, Australian War Memorial.

Abstract: A collection of papers documenting the life of Charles and Olwyn Green from 1942-2002. They cover Charles Green's military service in the Second World War and Korea and Olwyn's related post-war writings on Charlie's career and the role of 3 Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) in Korea.

Administrative information

Provenance: Donated by Olwyn Green in 1994 and 2002.

Access: Open with exceptions. Series 1 restricted.

Restrictions on use: Copyright of materials described in this guide is governed by copyright law in Australia. For further information contact the Curator of Private Records, Research Centre.

Preferred citation: Papers of Charles and Olwyn Green, AWM PR00466.

 

Additional information

Subjects: 3 Royal Australian Regiment; Patriotism; 2/11 Battalion; Love letters; Letters of condolence.

 

Biographical note

Charles Hercules Green was born on 26 December 1919 in Grafton, New South Wales, the second child of Hercules John Green and his wife Bertha. He was educated at Swan Creek Public and Grafton High School and began working on his father's farm when he was thirteen years old.

In October 1936 he enlisted in 41 Battalion Militia and was promoted to sergeant and lieutenant in 1938 and 1939 respectively.

In October 1939, Charles was seconded to the Australian Imperial Force and joined 2/2 Battalion. From February 1940 he was based in the Middle East and his first experience of battle was at the Pinios Gorge, Greece in April 1941. During the retreat, Charles evaded capture and escaped through the Aegean islands and Turkey before reaching Palestine in May 1941 where he met Allied Forces.

In August 1941, 2/2 Battalion spent time doing garrison duty in Syria and later Ceylon (Sri Lanka), returning to Australia in 1942. Green had injured his foot and become ill with typhoid in Sri Lanka, so he did not contribute to the New Guinea campaign. He was promoted to substantive major in September and posted in December as an instructor to the First Army's Junior Tactical School in Southport, Queensland. On 30 January 1943 he married Edna 'Olwyn' Warner in St Paul's Anglican Church, Ulamurra.

In July 1943 Green was selected as second in command of the 2/2nd Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel A G Cameron. In December 1944 the unit was sent to New Guinea where in March 1945 Green was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and given command of the 2/11 Battalion. He was only twenty-five years old and possibly the youngest officer to command an Australian battalion during the Second World War.

From May-July 1945 the 2/11 Battalion were involved in the attack on Wewak and in operations around Boram from which Green was awarded the Distinguished Service Order

Green returned to Australia in November 1945 but did not find the transition to civilian life an easy one and in January 1949 he joined the Permanent Military Forces. When the Australian government committed 3 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment to the conflict in Korea, Green, due to his distinguished service in the Second World War, was selected to command it. He was sent to Japan on 8 September 1950.

His intelligence officer Lieutenant (later Lieutenant-Colonel) A Argen described him as
"a tall, dark, sinewy man with the bearing and unhurried deliberateness one usually associated with men of the land. Pressure never seemed to bother him. He had a fine touch and the presence of a natural leader. His command in Korea was always firm and sure."

The battalion moved to the Republic of (South) Korea that month and 3RAR joined the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade. They advanced north, defeating enemy forces at Yongju, 22 October, Pakch'on, 25-26 October and at Chongju on 28 October. On 29 October the Battalion withstood a North Korean counter-attack and occupied positions on a ridge overlooking the Talch'on River. At 6.10pm six shells hit the battalion headquarters area. The headquarters was protected by being situated on the reverse slope of a hill overlooking the river, however the sixth shell cleared the crest and hit a tree, exploding close to Green's tent. Asleep on a stretcher, he was badly wounded in the stomach by a shell fragment. Green was taken by ambulance to the surgical hospital at Angu but died at 8pm on 1 November 1950 and buried in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery, Pusan, South Korea, survived by his wife and daughter. In 1951 the United States awarded him the Silver Star for bravery.

Olwyn Green was born on 21 September 1923 at the Sydney suburb of Lidcombe and grew up in Ulmarra, New South Wales. Her father was a petty officer with the Royal Australian Navy and a veteran of the First World War. Olwyn was educated at Ulmarra Public School and attended Grafton High School for two years. She left school at thirteen to work in the family newsagency. In 1940, after the outbreak of the Second World War, Olwyn went to work at the local Pioneer Dairy Company and managed the General Store there. After the death of her husband in 1950, Olwyn obtained a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of Sydney in 1958. From 1960 until 1977 she worked as an English teacher at the Department of Technical Education in Meadowbank, eventually being promoted to Senior Head Teacher. After her retirement in 1979, Olwyn wrote a biography of her husband, The name's still Charlie, which was published by the University of Queensland Press in 1993. Olwyn has been actively involved with the Korean War Veterans Association for which she is a patron. She is also a member of a number of associations including the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment Association and Australian War Memorial Anzac Foundation.

References:

  • Green, Olwyn , The name's still Charlie (University of Queensland Press, 1993).
  • Barter, Margaret, Australian dictionary of biography, volume 14: 1940-1980 (University of Melbourne Press, 1996).
  • O'Neill, Robert, Australia in the Korean War 1950-53: Volume 2 (Commonwealth of Australia, 1985).

Scope and content note

The papers of Charles and Olwyn Green comprise records relating to Charles' service in the Second World War and Korea. These include letters exchanged between Charles and Olwyn from 1943-1950; letters of condolence after Charles' death in November 1950 and photograph albums documenting the the movements of 2/2 Battalion in Palestine, Greece, Sri Lanka and New Guinea. Throughout the 1980s Olwyn researched and wrote a book about her relationship with Charles and his career with the AIF and 3 RAR, called The name's still Charlie. This part of the collection consists of correspondence with publishers, including Barbara Ker Wilson, an editor with Angus and Robertson.

Olwyn Green's Korean collection began as research for a post-graduate degree thesis entitled 'The Anzac Tradition in a new war in a new army'. Olwyn withdrew her candidature due to illness and began to concentrate instead on collecting testimonies of soldiers with the support of the Australia Korea Foundation. She focused on gathering information from men of 1RAR, 2RAR and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Each soldier's story is contained in a file comprising of service records, correspondence and photographs.

 

Series List:

Series number Title of Series and Date
1 Correspondence of Charles and Olwyn Green, 1943-1950
2 Second World War photograph albums, 1942-1945
3 Korean War, 1950-1951
4 The name's still Charlie, 1981-1994
5 Correspondence with Bruce Brock, 1983-1984
6 Testimonial files
7 Thesis research material, 1950-2002
8 British research material
9 Charles Green research material

SERIES 1: Correspondence of Charles and Olwyn Green, 1941-1950

Description: Letters written from Charles Green to Olwyn Green (nee Warner) during the Second World War. Also filed in this series are letters of condolence sent to Olwyn after Charles' death in November 1950.

Series/Wallet Title, date and description Box
1/1 (Restricted) Letters exchanged between Charles and Olwyn Green during the Second World War and Korean War. Includes Charlie's first letter written from Greece with 2/2 Infantry Battalion, 19 September 1941; letter written by Charlie to Mr Warner requesting permission to marry Olwyn Warner, 7 January 1943. Letters written from Korea, September - October 1950. 1

SERIES 2: Photograph albums, 1941-1950

Description: Photographs documenting 2/2 Battalion, 1942-1945. The majority of the images were taken by Green in Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Palestine, Damascus and Jerusalem.


Series/Wallet Title, date and description Box
2/1 Album of photographs taken by Green while serving with 2/2 Battalion in Palestine. Images include Lieutenant G S Cox, Lt-Col I N Dougherty, Major Foster, Palestine, Nazareth, Damascus, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Folio
2/2 Album given to Olwyn Green by a soldier who served with 2/2 Battalion. Photographs of Gaza, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Folio
2/3 Photographs of the 2/2 Battalion in Ceylon, 1942. Folio
2/4 Photographs of Green during enlistment, training in Palestine and service in Tobruk, 1941-1942, Greece 1942 and New Guinea, 1945. Folio

SERIES 3: Korean War, 1950-1951

Description: Newspaper cuttings and letters of condolence relating to Charles Green and 3 Royal Australian Regiment in Korea, 1950. Correspondents include General Douglas MacArthur and Prime Minister Robert Menzies.


Series/Wallet Title, date and description Box
3/1 Newspaper cuttings relating to the experiences of Charlie Green and 3RAR in Korea, 1950. 1
3/2 Letters of condolence sent to Olwyn Green, after the death of Charlie, 1950-1951; Newspaper cuttings and biographical notes on Green's death, 1951. 1

SERIES 4: The name's still Charlie, 1981-1994.

Description: Correspondence, drafts and research material relating to the writing of The name's still Charlie. Correspondents include Barbara Ker Wilson, Margaret Barter, John Dunlop and Brigadier Fred Chilton.


Series/Wallet Title, date and description Box
4/1-4/3 Draft manuscript, with editorial annotations, by Barbara Ker Wilson, 1992. 1
4/4-4/5 Correspondence with Central Army Records Office, 1981, photographs, newspaper cuttings relating to the writing of The name's still Charlie,1950-1981. 1
4/6 Correspondence with Olwyn Green from former soldiers of 3RAR, 1982-1993. 1
4/7 Correspondence relating to 41 Battalion. Correspondents include John E Dodd, Don Pierce, Tom Harvey, Harry Bell, Jack Steep, Brigadier Fred Chilton, John Dunlop. 2
4/8 Draft of The name's still Charlie with editorial corrections, [nd]. 2
4/9-4/10 Proofs with editorial annotations. 'Authors marked set and working notes', [nd]. 2
4/11 Newspaper cuttings, photographs and notes on Second World War and of 3RAR in Korea, compiled during research for The name's still Charlie, 1951-1982. 2
4/12 Memoir sent to Olwyn relating to Gunner Ray Shepherd after the publication of The name's still Charlie; correspondence with Margaret Barter regarding her entry on Charlie Green for the Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1994. 2
4/13-4/14 Correspondence with Olwyn Green regarding the publication of The name's still Charlie, 1991-1994. 2

SERIES 5: Correspondence with Bruce Brock, 1983-1984

Description: Letters from Bruce Brock to Olwyn relating to the writing of a history on 2/2 Battalion.


Series/Wallet Title, date and description Box
5/1 Correspondence, 1983-1984. 2

SERIES 6: Testimonial files

Description: Individual files on soldiers who served in the Korean War in 1 Royal Australian Regiment, 2 Royal Australian Regiment, 3 Royal Australian Regiment and the Royal Australian Air Force. Each file comprises documents collected by Olwyn while interviewing and researching the individual, including copies of service and award records, correspondence, photographs and memoirs.


Series/Wallet Title, date and description Box
6/1 Addison, R 3
6/2 Allebone, P 3
6/3 Bandy, R; Bauld, E G 3
6/4 Beam, S J 3
6/5 Beard, D D 3
6/6 Bennett, J E 3
6/7 Bombell, S 3
6/8 Boshammer, C 3
6/9 Bowen, D E 3
6/10 Breen, A 4
6/11 Bull, H 4
6/12 Bury, Grace Elizabeth 4
6/13 Cannard, E J 4
6/14 Cashman, R K 4
6/15 Carr, N 4
6/16 Choi, Y K 4
6/17 Coffman, W J 4
6/18 Cooper, B C 4
6/19 Cooper, E C 4
6/20 Daymon, J 5
6/21 Denness, A P 5
6/22 Derrington, N H 5
6/23 Derrington, N S 5
6/24 Dicker, M C 5
6/25 Downey, H R H 5
6/26 Dunque, R E 5
6/27 Eberle, B 5
6/28 Eberle, M J 5
6/29 Edwards, R F 6
6/30 Ersser, E 6
6/31 Forbes, P 6
6/32 Franklin, D G 6
6/33 Garrett, R E M 6
6/34 Geisler, K 6
6/35 Glenn, N 6
6/36 Godfrey, I J 6
6/37 Goldsmith, B J 6
6/38 Goldsmith, J 6
6/39 Guest, R 7
6/40 Hasler, H 7
6/41 Harris, G D 7
6/42 Healy, V T 7
6/43 Henderson, T Y 7
6/44 Hipworth, R J 7
6/45 Holden, E R 7
6/46 Hollis, T H 7
6/47 Holt, L R 7
6/48 Hummerston, K J 8
6/49 Jacobs, A 8
6/50 Johnston, S 8
6/51 Jones, J H 8
6/52 Kealy, C R 8
6/53 Kembrey, E 8
6/54 Kim, C 8
6/55 Kimmorley, A M 8
6/56 Knowles, P J 9
6/57 Lang, G 9
6/58 Lawrenson, F J 9
6/59 Leverett, B J 9
6/60 Lewis, B J 9
6/61 Lewis, J E 9
6/62 Longmore, J R 9
6/63 Madden, H W 9
6/64 Maletz, G 9
6/65 Martin, L 9
6/66 McGee, G F 9
6/67 McInnes, A 9
6/68 Moon, L J 10
6/69 Morison, R F 10
6/70 Muggleton, T L 10
6/71 Murray, T 10
6/72 Neil, C 10
6/73 Newell, J 10
6/74 Newman, J C 10
6/75 O'Brien, D 10
6/76 O'Dowd, B 10
6/77 O'Loughlin, W H 11
6/78 Opie, L M 11
6/79 Origlassi, F J 11
6/80 Owens, C 11
6/81 Paik, S Y 11
6/82 Parsons, J D 11
6/83 Peel, N D 11
6/84 Perring, J I 11
6/85 Perry, J 11
6/86 Phillpot, M 12
6/87 Portener, W J 12
6/88 Prowse, L F 12
6/89 Ralston, G C 12
6/90 Rixon, H F 12
6/91 Roberts, F H 12
6/92 Robertson, I 12
6/93 Rose, R 12
6/94 Rowlinson, W J 12
6/95 Ryan, W R M 13
6/96 Saunders, J P 13
6/97 Saunders, R 13
6/98 Servos, M 13
6/99 Silver, H 13
6/100 Smeaton, L B 13
6/101 Smith, A R 13
6/102 Stocker, H A 13
6/103 Stewart, R 13
6/104 Svenson, V P 13
6/105 Troth, I G 14
6/106 Trump, P O 14
6/107 Tyler, H 14
6/108 Walker, R G 14
6/109 Waller, J P 14
6/110 Weaver, A 14
6/111 Wells, G A 14
6/112 White, A 14
6/113 Wilson, J 14
6/114 Wilson, M E 14
6/115 Wright, E 14
6/116 Bererd, S L 15
6/117 Davis, R 15
6/118 Hickey, M 15
6/119 Hwang, C H 15
6/120 Ferguson, I B 15
6/121 Perkins, R E 15
6/122 Phillips, E A 15
6/123 Terry, L J 15

SERIES 7 Thesis research material, 1950-2002

Description: Other records compiled by Olwyn while researching her post-graduate thesis on 3 Royal Australian Regiment during the Korean War. Includes correspondence with former 3 RAR soldiers, copies of maps, official documents and newspaper cuttings.


Series/Wallet Title, date and description Box
7/1 List of names of contributors to testimonials collected by Olwyn Green during her thesis research. 16
7/2-7/3 Articles, notes and correspondence with ex-soldiers in the AIF. Includes memoirs and copies of service records. Correspondents include Ernie Holden, Jim Eddy, James Harper, Patrick Melican and Frank Donnelly, 1997-1998. 16
7/4 Newspaper cuttings on 3RAR in Korea, 1950. Other items include post-war articles about the Korean war, 2000-2002. 16
7/5-7/6 Scanned copies of black and white photographs of 3RAR in Korea, 1950-1953. Includes photographs of Charlie Green, Kapyong and Hill 522. 16
7/7 Photocopies of maps of 3RAR battles at Kapyong, Maryang San and Packchon, November 1950. 16
7/8 Photocopied articles about 1RAR in Korea, nd. 16
7/9 Pamphlets and publications on the Korean War. 16
7/10-7/11 Correspondence, 2002. Emails in response to Olwyn Green's request for details of the 187th Airborne Regiments' impressions of 3RAR. 16-17
7/12 Notes and articles on the New Zealand 16 Field Regiment, 2001. 17
7/13-7/15 Casualty statistics for Australians in Korea, 1950-1953. 17
7/16-7/21 Copies of US official documents on Korea War, 1950-1953, and other publications 17
7/22 Poetry written by Margaret Gibbons for the National Memorial Walk at Enoggerah, 1998. 18
7/23 Correspondence on Korean Nationals, 2000-2001. 18
7/24 Royal United Service Institution seminar papers, "Korean War 1950-1953". 18
7/25 Royal Australian Regiment Association, Qld Div, newsletter, July 1999 and publication on the National Memorial walk at Enoggerah, Queensland, 2000. 18

SERIES 8: British research material,

Description: Records relating to British military units during the Korean War, compiled by Olwyn Green while researching the history of the Korean War. Contains correspondence, publications, copies of materials held in The National Archives, United Kingdom, and materials relating to the Royal Ulster Rifles, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and the Middlesex Regiment.


Series/Wallet Title, date and description Box
8/1 General topics on British military history for the Korean War 18
8/2 Famous Battles, involving British units 18
8/3 Research Notes 18
8/4 Notes on British Units 18

SERIES 9: Charles Green research material

Description: Records relating to the Second World War and Korean War service of Charles Green, and records relating to remembrance of Green.


Series/Wallet Title, date and description Box
9/1 Second World War service 19
9/2 General biographical 19
9/3 Archival and reference material 19
9/4 Battles under Charles Green command 19
9/5 Memorials and commemoration 20
9/6 Correspondence 20
9/7 Part 1 Papers: Turner; Coffman; O'Dowd; Butler 20
9/7 Part 2 Papers: war letters; Miranda Public School; Enough Rope; Argent 20
9/8 Book materials, photographs, media 20
9/9 Book "The Rakkasans" US 187th Airborne, Steel Berets 20
9/10 Maps of Greece and Korea Flat stack

 

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