Project Description

Leslie Peter SMITH (known as Peter) was born on 19 October, 1923. The Smith family has been associated with the Quindalup area from its early settlement.

His great grandfather was William Henry Smith born in 1813 in the UK who drowned on 27 November 1869 taking brass off a wreck near the Quindalup Jetty. His paternal grandfather was George Smith born 26 January 1851 who married Mariah (nee Hopkins) born 1 September, 1852. He took up land on the beach near the Quindalup School. Peter’s father was Frederick Cecil Smith born 22 November 1884 and his mother was Florence Sarah Scott, born 18 October, 1886.

They married in Busselton at the Anglican Church in 1911 and honeymooned at Caves House, Yallingup. They lived at Meelup Park waiting for their house to be built on the farm which was about one and half miles (around four kilometres) from the beach at Quindalup (block numbers were 432, 1038, 1039 and 3730 comprising 384 acres acquired from 1911).

Peter had two brothers – Frederick Noel Smith, born on 25 December 1911 and George Cecil Smith, born on 26 July, 1917, and three sisters, Florence Beryl, born on 18 January, 1915, Jean Mary, born 23 September, 1919 and Dulcie Ray, born 22 April, 1927.

He went to Quindalup School and spent all of his life in the Quindalup/Dunsborough area except for the WWII years. On enlisting with the Royal Australian Air Force he trained as a Wireless Air Gunner. After learning Morse Code and the Japanese Kharma Code he was sent to the Philippines with the Sixth Wireless Unit to serve in the American Intercept Services.

On his return from the war Peter resumed farming on the family farm with his parents (who retired to Augusta in the 1950s). He continued farming in Quindalup running baby beef. In 1962 he married his first cousin, Elsie Joy (nee Williams) who had 2 sons from her previous marriage.

Peter was a caretaker at Meelup for five years and a guide at the Yallingup Cave for nine years.