Top of page
Apr 24, 2022

For Morse code Mavis, war memories never fade

Residential Aged Care

Elderly woman sitting on a park bench holding framed war memorabilia

At 96 years of age, Mavis Obst may have lost the touch for her Morse code training, but her memories haven’t faded.

Every ANZAC Day the former Royal Australian Air Force Wireless Telegraphist (Morse Code specialist), reflects on the time she spent doing her bit for the Australian War effort.

While she can’t remember all of her Morse code, Mavis jokes that she probably still knows a swear word or two!

Mavis, who now lives at the Wesley Mission Queensland St Mark's Aged Care Community, was working in an insurance office, when she made the decision to join the Royal Australian Air Force on March 6, 1944.

She was deployed to Melbourne for her basic training which lasted for nine months before being posted to the Australian Defence Force Head Quarters Fighter Sector in the Wills Building in Brisbane.

It wasn’t just adventure that Mavis found there, it’s also where she also met her future husband, Noel Obst who worked in the Australian Air Force as a Transmitter.

'We got to know each other a little as I had to call him each day for a change of frequency,' Mavis said.

'After some months of chatting daily we decided that we wanted to meet up in person which we did under the Horse at the ANZAC Square in Brisbane.'

The couple continued their service in the Royal Australian Air Force for the duration of WWII and married in 1947.

The rest as they say is history with the couple having three children, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Sadly Noel passed away 2002.

Mavis also lost one of her brothers who was killed in action during World War II, so this year as always she will remember him, and all of the others sadly lost, at the annual Wesley Mission Queensland ANZAC Day ceremony.