Family of James & Rebecca Best


Effie married Edwin Owen Smith in 1915 . They first lived in Campsie St North Perth, then in the Hopkins' house, then to Grandma's (129 Loftus-st). They were very poor and paid 10/- per week for a two-roomed house.

There were two children, Alfred and Gwendoline

Alfred, was tragically killed when he was 16. He was riding his bike when a car ran into him. It is believed the car cut the corner. This made a major impact on the family - Alfred played football for West Perth and was dux of his school. After the accident, the table was still set for four places, father started drinking and betting, and mother and father lost interest in the family. thereafter, Gwendoline remembers being looked after more by her grandmother than her parents.

Gwendoline's second name (Mancel) is after her Smith aunt (Smiths from Scotland - possibly Aberdeen). She married Vincent Carroll and two children were born. Gwendoline divorced Vincent and married Marcus Schmidt. Marcus was Australian by birth but had some difficulties with his German name during the War, when he was a Flight Lieutenant with the RAAF. Gwendoline remembers the trenches built in Perth that were to protect the women and children when the Japanese invaded; the defence forces, she believed, were all going to flee to the hills and leave them to it.