Veteran marks his century
One of Albany’s last surviving World War II veterans has celebrated his 100th birthday.
Evan Hobley, who turned 100 yesterday, enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force after the outbreak of World War II. He served as a wireless operator-air gunner with the RAF’s No. 55 Squadron, flying over North Africa and Italy.
Mr Hobley has fond memories of his crew, but other moments from the war still haunt him, from a bombing raid over an Italian town to receiving news a good friend had died in a crash landing.
Raised near Nyabing, he returned to the Great Southern after the war and married his late wife Violet, whom he met during his RAAF training in the Eastern States. He served as a councillor with the Shire of Nyabing-Pingrup before moving to Albany in the 1960s. For about 20 years, he raised and lowered the Australian flag at Albany’s RSL sub-branch every day.
On Anzac Day last month, Mr Hobley waved to the crowd lining York Street. He still collects the Albany RSL sub-branch’s mail and enjoys a daily pint at the Stirling Club above RSL headquarters.
Mr Hobley marked his birthday with a party at the Stirling Club on Saturday and a family lunch at Rustlers Steakhouse and Grill yesterday.