Max Gordon HUDSON

HUDSON, Max Gordon

Service Number: SX17807
Enlisted: 3 March 1942, Adelaide, SA
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, 7 January 1913
Home Town: Hawker, Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Schooling: Pulteney Grammar School, South Australia
Occupation: Furniture manufacturer/Banker
Died: Natural causes, Naracoorte, South Australia, 15 October 1997, aged 84 years
Cemetery: Naracoorte Cemetery, S.A.
Memorials: Adelaide Pulteney Grammar School WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Hawker District WW2 Roll of Honour, Hawker War Memorial Park
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World War 2 Service

3 Mar 1942: Involvement Private, SN SX17807, 2nd/10th Infantry Battalion
3 Mar 1942: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN SX17807, 2nd/10th Infantry Battalion, Adelaide, SA
21 Dec 1942: Embarked 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, HMAS Katoomba
3 Nov 1943: Discharged 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN SX17807, 2nd/10th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Ned Young

Max Gordon Hudson, son of Hugo Hudson Schuetze and Alice Amelia Gordon (nee Feast) was born in Adelaide on the 7th of January, 1913. The German surname Schuetze was changed to Hudson during World War I, hence the discrepancy in parent and son surnames.

Max was the second eldest child in his family, and had four siblings. His older brother, Allan Hugo Gordon, died when he was only 3 years old. Max was then born in 1913. His younger brother, Ronald Hugh, was born in 1916 but sadly died that same year. Max’s twin sisters Margaret (Peg) and Elizabeth (Beth) were born on the 11th of July, 1917. They went on to marry a pair of brothers, Ken and Stan Blake from Victoria.

Throughout Max’s childhood, the Gordon family lived at 37 George Street, Hawthorn. Max’s father Hugo worked as a travelling salesman before opening his own clothing business. Over the course of World War I, the clothing business floundered, prompting Hugo to sell the business and purchase a furniture manufacturing business in North Adelaide, which he named Hudson Furniture. The factory was located at 100 Sussex Street. Alice Gordon, Max’s mother, worked as a district nurse. She died in 1939. 

Max married Gertrude Edwards in 1941. Before the outbreak of war, he worked as a banker for the Bank of South Australia, and was posted to multiple rural towns, including Hawker. Max was also an excellent football player. He played for Sturt before he was tranferred to Pinaroo for work. He captained and coached the Pinaroo football team, and in 1935 he won the Mail Medal for best and fairest in the Port Lincoln District League. Max waited to enlist in the AIF until the 3rd of March 1942 because he did not want to leave behind Gertrude (who he called Ted or Trudy) who was pregnant throughout 1941. Their first daughter Christine Louise was born on the 27th of November.

Max served as a Private in New Guinea, undertaking campaigns in Buna and Sanananda with the 2nd/10th Battalion. He spent some time in the in the 9th A.G. Hospital in 1943 after contracting malaria and two bouts of dysentery, but was never wounded. He told his father in a letter that, although he had lost some good friends fighting in Sanananda, he “came through without so much as a scratch”.

He was forced to return home after the sudden death of his father. The feeling must have been bittersweet; although Max was returning home from the horrors of New Guinea, he had also lost his father, whose final year of life he had missed. Hugo Hudson is buried in the Mitcham Cemetery.

Max was now required to run the Hudson Furniture business his family relied on. He moved from Hawker back to Adelaide, purchasing a house on Dutton Terrace in Medindie, walking distance from the furniture factory. On the 2nd of January 1944, Max and Gertrude gave birth to a son, Hugh (Dick) Hudson. Six years later, in 1950, they gave birth to their third child, Pauline Hudson, on the 12th of November.

Max sought out refugees who had recently emigrated to Australia from war-torn Europe to work in the furniture factory. He provided them with a place to stay in a outhouse behind his own until they could afford to purchase a house. As his daughter Christine recalls, one could expect a generous helping of vodka if they were to pay a visit to the ‘Balts’ house behind the Hudsons’. 

The Hudson Furniture business was regretfully sold in the early 1950’s in order to pay out Max’s sisters Margaret and Elizabeth. Max moved his family to Naracoorte in 1955, where he founded Naracoorte Furnishers, a furniture supply store. His children continued their schooling in Adelaide: Hugh at Scotch College, and Christine and Pauline at Wilderness School for Girls.

Max contributed a huge amount of time and effort to the Naracoorte community. He was a foundation member of the Naracoorte Community Club, and was also on the board of the Naracoorte Hospital. He was the Chariman of the South East Tourist Association and Vice-President of the South Australian Guild of Furniture Manufacturers from 1948-50.

As Max grew older, he suffered with reoccuring malaria and night terrors that had stayed with him from his time in New Guinea. He was never one to talk about his time in the army, preferring to spend his days working at the furniture store and raising his three children.

Max Gordon Hudson died in the Naracoorte Hospital in October of 1997. He will forever be remembered by his surviving family.