Project Description

Leonard Frederick BLYTH (Fred) was born on 2 July 1926 in Busselton Hospital. His father, Len, was the son of Roland whose grandfather James was the first Blyth to come to Australia from Dundee, Scotland in 1811. Fred’s father, whose family farmed in Dunsborough, married Mary Seymour from Busselton.

Fred talks about the history of these families in the area and about local fauna and flora. He went to Quindalup School, next to the beach, where his family planted Norfolk Island palm trees. Fred milked cows after school and played on the beach.

He left school at 14 and worked the farm – ploughing, spreading superphosphate, milking, mending fences – when family members, including his father, went off to war.

In 1945 Fred’s immediate family (he had three siblings) moved to their own farm in Yallingup. They transferred the cottage there, acquired a milking machine and 40 head of cattle. They cleared the land then Fred joined the regular army in 1948. He saw active service in Korea, became a drill instructor at Swanbourne Barracks, and was discharged in 1954.

On 24 November, 1956 he married Daphne Myrtle Ratcliffe in Fremantle and they lived in Victoria Park until 1960 when they returned to the family farm in Yallingup. They had five children Alan, Elaine, Karen, Heather and Michelle. They sold the farm when Fred started work at the Busselton Water Board in the maintenance section where he remained for over 20 years until he retired in 1984.