Wyndham History

Neville Read Hudson (1923-1980)



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Neville Read Hudson (1923-1980)


Shire President 1975-1976









Person Item Type Metadata

Birth Date

Death Date

Biographical Text

Neville Read Hudson (1923-1980) was born in in Gardvenvale, Victoria to William Read, accountant, and Nellie Francis Marion Downe. He was educated at Brighton Grammar and began his working life as a bank clerk.

In 1942 he was awarded the Royal Humane Society Certificate of Merit for rescuing a drowning woman off Brighton Pier in 1941. On his eighteenth birthday Neville joined the RAAF and was soon after stationed in England with the RAF fliying Lancaster bombers. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for courage during attacks on Munich, Bremen and Dortmund with the 436 Squadran RAAF.  Although he wasn't a Dam Buster, he did bust dams as part of his thirty sorties over Germany.  

After returning from the war, Neville married Valda Ellis from Tallangatta. They moved to Werribee in March 1948 where they took over a laundry, which they developed into a successful dry clearning business. The business had a number of locations in Watton Street and Station Street.  Neville and Val had three sons, Bill, Peter and Jim. The business is still in the family today with the head office in Old Geelong Road.  

In 1964 Neville decided he would like to farm and went to Bega, New South Wales. (His wife Valda stated "My husband was a redhead and it seems every five years he had to have a change.")  After years of sustained drought he returned to Werribee in 1970.  He was a Werribee shire councillor 1961-1964 (where he was instrumental in the building of the swimming pool), 1971-1978 and Shire President 1975-1976. Neville was the first member for Werribee (Liberal) in the House of Assembly, serving from March 1976 until March 1979.

Neville passed away after a long illness on 29 July 1980. At his funeral Mr Eric Burgess, MBE, paid tribute to Neville saying he never did things by half. Anything he did, he did with all his might. He feared no man and any obstacle in his way became a challenge and the greater the obstacle the more effort he put into the task in front of him, and he never retreated. He is buried at the Werribee Cemetery.


Werribee Shire Banner, 30 July 1964 p. 1 Werribee Shire Banner 6 August 1980

Parliament of Victoria, Former Members, http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/re-member/bioregfull.cfm?mid=1167, accessed 3 April 2012

Campbell, Margaret From there to here, Werribee Community Centre Inc, Werribee 2005, p.280.


Wyndham City Libraries, “Neville Read Hudson (1923-1980),” Wyndham History, accessed September 28, 2023, http://www.wyndhamhistory.net.au/items/show/5.


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