ROYAL Navy veteran and woodworker, Desmond George Hobgen, has died aged 87.

He was born in Ryde, in April 1933, one of four children to Anna and George Hobgen.

He described his formative years as being poor but happy, and during the war, his two brothers joined the RAF.

Mr Hobgen's father was too old to sign up, and instead joined the home guard, while his mother worked as a warden.

Schooled in Ryde, Mr Hodgen left at 14 to join Saro as an apprentice joiner and woodworking machinist.

At 18, he was called up for national service. He joined the Army Parachute regiment and spent a year in the UK and another in Cyprus, transported by the Royal Navy.

Isle of Wight County Press: Desmond Hobgen.

It seemed to him a good life, and he transferred to the Royal Navy as a regular, signing up for 12 years.

Mr Hobgen became a veteran for his time in Korea, French Indo-china, Suez and Malaysia.

He was also seconded with the Australian Navy, serving in Vietnam, and was at sea during the cold war.

Mr Hobgen married in the early 1950s and had a son, Bryan. He and his wife drifted apart due to long periods away and later divorced.

Upon leaving the Royal Navy in 1980 after 30 years of service, he went to Saudi Arabia as an officer ­— to teach and train fire rescue personnel.

He spent five years in the country, and during this time, on leave, he met his future wife Maggie at Yelf's Hotel.

The pair wrote to each other often, and their letters in and out of the country would be censored.

Isle of Wight County Press: Desmond Hobgen.

They married in Florida, and the happy couple travelled around the world on holiday.

After Mr Hobgen finished his contract with Saudi Arabia, the couple spent time in Spain.

At home on the Isle of Wight, in Ryde, Mr Hobgen went to work at the auction rooms in Shanklin. He enjoyed his time as an auctioneer and valuer.

In 2010, he had a bad stroke and could not read, write or talk for a while.

His wife Maggie helped him recover by going through the alphabet with him, teaching him to read and write again.

Because he had written his autobiography, Maggie was able to reintroduce his life back to him through pictures and memories.

His hobbies included woodwork, and he once built a built a doll house modelled after his own house.

He also loved gardening and was very proud of his home.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.

Mr Hobgen died on Friday, March 5.