Eighty years after the start of the Second World War, Ian Hutchison still considers himself lucky: lucky to have survived the war in the Middle East and New Guinea; lucky to have married the love of his life; and lucky to have celebrated his 100th birthday with friends and family.
“I think to get to 100 you have to have a bit of luck,” the Second World War veteran said, laughing. “So, yes, I think I’ve had a bit of luck.”
A farmer’s son from Queensland, Ian was born in Toowoomba in the aftermath of the First World War and was teaching at a school in Texas on the Queensland border when war broke out in September 1939.
“People at that time thought the war would be over in the new year,” he said. “People like me thought we’d miss out on an adventure, so instead of waiting to be called up, we joined the army.
“I had always thought of England as our mother country, and I just wanted to do my bit.”