Wishing a very happy birthday to Peter Derwent Driver, who was born in Hobart, Tasmania 100 years ago.
When Peter was a youngster, his family moved to Queensland to look for work and he never returned to Tasmania.
Peter is a Second World War veteran. He enlisted as an ordinary seaman 2nd Class in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in October 1941 at the age of 17. After training at HMAS Cerberus, Peter sailed to England to continue training at HMS Victory.
He later embarked on HMAS Quickmatch which escorted convoys to Russia. He recalls sailing from Liverpool to North America accompanying an aircraft carrier and sailing through a hurricane all the way.
In 1944, Peter left HMAS Quickmatch and returned to Australia for leave before boarding the new ship HMAS Hawkesbury. He served in New Guinea and the Philippines doing escort duties and fighting the Japanese. In September 1945, HMAS Hawkesbury sailed to Singapore to repatriate prisoners of war to Australia. After returning to Darwin, the ship sailed to Singapore to take part in the Japanese surrender ceremony on 3 October 1945.
Peter was an able seaman when he discharged from the RAN in April 1946. He became a butcher and eventually owned his own butcher shops in Queensland’s Oxford Park, Zillmere and Clontarf.
In 1952, he married Grace and they raised three sons and three daughters. They now have a large, extended family. Sadly, his beloved wife passed away in 2022.
In his spare time, Peter built a 12 ½ foot sailing boat. He took his children sailing at Beachmere and Mumpybong at Margate.
Peter believes his long life is heredity – his mother lived to the age of 96 and one of his sisters to 93.
#mattkeogh #veterans #100thbirthday