Frederick Hobley was a prominent member of the Victorian Police Force. The... :: Genealogy
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Frederick Hobley was a prominent member of the Victorian Police Force. The...

Journal by itellya

Frederick Hobley was a prominent member of the Victorian Police Force. The Chief Commissioner,who had come from Scotland Yard where forensic science was well developed,reorganised the Criminal Investigation Branch in 1938.Detective training courses, run by Frederick Hobley, were organised at the headquarters in Russell St, Melbourne. Frederick was an expert in photography and ballistics. He spent much of his time in investigating baffling cases and giving expert testimony in courts.(Trove.)
Frederick's father was William Henry Hobley, who was born at Schnapper Point(Mornington)on the Mornington Peninsula,Victoria,Australia in 1857. William married Elizabeth James at Main Creek (possibly Red Hill) on the Peninsula on 11-6-1884.By 1885 William and Elizabeth were settled at Rosebud on land for which William received the grant in 1890. The International Genealogical Index-Southwest Pacific shows that their first child, William Henry Hobley, was born there on 31-8-1885. Then followed George (2-2-1887),Ethel May (2-5-1889), Joseph (1-5-1894), Charles (9-8-1896), Frederick (4-10-1898), Elizabeth Violet (26-1-1901),Harold (20-6-1904)and Samuel (17-5-1906), all born at Rosebud. Their next child, Ernest, was born at Leongatha in Gippsland on 24-8-1908.A BIT MORE PEACEFUL THERE PERHAPS!

Dromana's beach was less shallow than Rosebud's and as a result the bay steamers could berth there and would carry a few passengers as well as cargo throughout the year, but in summer there would be a flood of tourists who filled the many guest houses in Dromana. Robert Henry Adams had a guest house at Adams Corner(Wattle Place on the car wash site) named after the Governor, Lord Hopetoun,who often stayed there on his way to the fort at Point Nepean. Other traps that transported tourists to Rosebud etc were driven by "Back Road Bob" Cairns and his sons, and William Hobley.
William had been transporting passengers since at least 1895 when he gained licences for three passenger and nine passenger stage coaches in the Dromana Court.In 1902 he won the contract to transport the mail between Rosebud and Mornington and his advertisements regarding parcels, passenger fares and departure times continued until 1904.
In that year William was unjustly accused of causing the flooding of the Hobson's Flat Road (otherwise known as the Back Road or Cape Schanck Rd, and now called Bayview Rd.) The area affected was west of the present Armstrong Rd where the properties of Back Road Bob (between Hobley's land and the present freeway) and Robert Henry Adams (across the Hobson's Flat road between The Avenue and Adams Ave) adjoined. Ex Councillor Robert Anderson said that the problem was caused by Hobley. This claim was denied by William and refuted by the Shire Engineer, William naming Cairns as the culprit and Moors hinting the same thing fairly strongly. (See Hobson Bay Drainage on trove, 1904.)
The Cairns/ Adams animosity came to a head in 1905 when Adams was charged with assaulting Cairns and his son, Godfrey.From the body of the court, Wiiliam Hobley offered evidence and stated that Adams had signs forbidding tresspass on his land but changed his mind when cross examined.(Trove.)
Frederick Hobley, a famous ex student of Rosebud State School, died on 5-6-1996.

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by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-10-28 06:15:52

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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by estevard on 2012-02-09 03:24:24

William Henry HOBLEY and Elizabeth JAMES had another son, Richard, who was born around November 1891 near Dromana (presumably at Rosebud). He enlisted in the AIF on 19 September 1914 and served with the 8th Light Horse Regiment. He was at the Gallipoli landing and was killed in action on the Sinai Peninsula on 9 August 1916. His service record can be accessed at the National Archives of Australia. There is also an entry for him at

Two of his brothers, George and Joseph, also served in the AIF. Both survived.

by itellya on 2012-02-09 06:15:25

by itellya on 2012-02-09 06:39:42

Extracts from emails sent to the editor of the Great Southern Star (Leongatha area.)

Rosebud did not forget the Hobleys; all three boys were remembered on its Roll of Honour.

If you google "Hobley, Leongatha" you will find much of the information I sent you on the first page and the 7-7-2010 (page 2, Soldiers Worth Remembering) article as item 7 on page 2 with the heading GREAT SOUTHERN STAR.
As I've stated, Joe's name was on the list, but George's wasn't. He was born in Rosebud in 1887 and the family moved to the Leongatha area sometime between the births of two children in 1906 and August, 1908. This would mean that George was about 20 when they arrived there. He enlisted in Western Australia and died there but it likely that he spent some time in your area before moving to W.A. Even though he may not have been a longtime resident, his family connection would have entitled him to inclusion under the rationale applied with most war memorials. If you google Hobley, George, A.I.F., the first three sites will be the service records of George, Joe and Dick.
In relation to George's residence in the Leongatha area, the family was there by Feb., 1907. (Morwell Advertiser 15-2-1907, page 2; Palmros v Hobley case over a lease. When George was listed as dangerously ill and then recovering, his address was given as Leongatha in both reports.
I'll attach a bit of background. I thought William Henry Hobley had drowned himself in a waterhole in 1921 during a visit to Rosebud but notices indicate that he might have resumed cab driving. He was certainly not in financial strife judging by the estate he left Elizabeth.

There were Wickhams at Rosebud at the same time as the Hobleys and both families were members of the Methodist congregation. It is interesting that there were Wickhams at Sale. It was probably W.H.Hobley's son in law who saw Jim Melrose crash at Melton South.

The Leongatha police and school and the communities at Mardan (where Fred's dad was living when he died by drowning at Rosebud in 1921) and Koorooman East (where his widow was living when granted probate of his will) might like a copy of Who am I?

William Hobley and his son were praised for travelling from Rosebud to fight a fire that started on the area now called Safety Beach and split into two fronts that threatened to engulf Dromana. (Mornington Standard 21-1-1905.

by ngairedith on 2012-02-09 06:48:07

Regimental number - 390
Place of birth - Rosebud, Victoria
School - Rosebud State School No. 2627, Victoria
Religion - Methodist
Occupation - Farmer
Address - Leongatha, Victoria
Marital status - Single
Age at embarkation - 23
Next of kin - Father, William Hobley, Whelans Ro, Leongatha, Victoria
Enlistment date - 19 September 1914
Embarkation details - Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A16 Star of Victoria on 25 February 1915
Rank from Nominal Roll - Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll - 8th Light Horse Regiment
Fate - Killed in Action 9 August 1916
Place of death - Bir-el-abd, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
Age at death - 24
Age at death from cemetery records - 23
Place of burial - No Known Grave
Commemoration details - Jerusalem Memorial, Palestine
Panel number, Roll of Honour, 6 Australian War Memorial

Regimental number - 5116
Religion Methodist
Occupation - Farmer
Address - Nyabing, Western Australia
Marital status - Single
Age at embarkation - 29
Next of kin - Father, Mr W H Hobley, Leongatha, Victoria
Enlistment date - 12 February 1916
Embarkation details - Unit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on 31 March 1916
Rank from Nominal Roll - Private
Unit from Nominal Roll - 11th Battalion
Fate - Returned to Australia 22 February 1917

Regimental number - 2027
Religion - Methodist
Occupation - Farmer
Address - Wheelan's Receiving Office, via Leongatha, Victoria
Marital status - Single
Age at embarkation - 21
Next of kin - Father, William Henry Hobley, Wheelan's Receiving Office, via Leongatha, Victoria
Enlistment date - 6 August 1915
Embarkation details - Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 28 January 1916
Rank from Nominal Roll - Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll - 3rd Field Artillery Brigade

Recommendations (Medals and Awards) - Distinguished Conduct Medal
Refers 3 December 1917.
Recommendation date: Unspecified

Fate - Returned to Australia 12 May 1919

* Distinguished Conduct Medal
... 'For conspicuous galantry and devotion to duty. While his battery was in action a box of bombs close to one of his gun pits was set on fire by an enemy shell. He at once left his gun pit under heavy enemy shell fire, and, with the assistance of one man, carried four burning boxes of bombs away from the position. He showed total disregard of danger and great courage and initiative.'

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 110
Date: 7 August 1918

by estevard on 2012-02-10 16:52:26

Further to 2012-02-09 06:39:42

The death registration for William Henry HOBLEY shows him dying "on or about 10th November 1921 near Rosebud", the cause "suicide by drowning. Verdict of inquiry held by Mr. A. V. Shaw J.P. on 12th November 1921".

On another matter Hobleyesque --

The Edward WICKHAM mentioned in newspaper reports of the Melrose air crash, and ensuing inquest, in 1936 is almost certainly Elizabeth Violet HOBLEY's husband. The 1936 Commonwealth electoral roll for the division of Corio, subdivision Melton, lists just one Edward WICKHAM and he appears with Elizabeth Violet WICKHAM, living in Melton South. He is shown as a labourer which more or less tallies with newspaper descriptions of him as a mill-hand.

Edward had an earlier brush with mortality. The Bacchus Marsh Express for Saturday, 3 January 1914, reports that three lads, including Edward and his twin brother George, discovered the body of an "old man" (it turns out he was only 60) while out rabbiting on Christmas Day 1913. It reminds one slightly of Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry.

by skater on 2012-11-11 01:14:06

Hi - great to see this wonderful research. Edward and Elizabeth (Ted and Vi) were my grandparents. Gran had a wonderful big picture of Richard, George and Joe in uniform on her wall. I can remember my Pa talking about the plane crash - I think he was more frightened giving evidence at the inquest! I have pictures of both William and Elizabeth Hobley hanging on my wall. thank you

by jaromeer on 2017-07-30 11:56:25

Hi skater we have been doing research on the Hobley side and noticed your entry. I am a decendant of Joe Hobley and the photo you mentioned of the 3 brothers in uniform is probably a similiar copy which is hanging on our wall as well. The above information is fasinating early account of the family in Rosebud. We have obtained copies of the statements into the cause of death of William Hobleys suicide and information contained in the above blogs certainly goes to his state of mind before he took his own life in the old Adams brick kiln dam.

by itellya on 2017-07-30 13:06:10

Hi jaromeer, either Ken Bucher or Mick Dark, can't remember which, told me a year or two ago that William Henry Hobley had drowned himself in Robert Henry Adams' clay pit, which obviously would have become a dam, so it's nice to have confirmation of this claim.

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