Alfred Gladwell

Alfred Edward John GLADWELL

Name: Alfred Edward John Gladwell

Date of Birth: 23 May 1928

Birth Location: Subiaco – King Edward Memorial Hospital

Also Known As: Jack

Age at Burial: 78 years

Date of Death: 14 January 2007

Death Location: Capel, Western Australia

Date of Burial: 18 January 2007

Denomination: Congregational

Row/Grave: Niche Wall – Row 2 Number 6

Grave Transcription:



23. 5. 1928 – 14.1.2007


Father: Edward James Gladwell ( 17.12.1889 – 8.6.1955)

Mother: Winifred May Gladwell (nee Sims) (15.6.1902 – 14.7.1998)

Grandparents (father): 

John James Gladwell – died 1934

Elizabeth Ann Gladwell (nee Clarke) – died 1931

Grandparents (mother):

 Alfred Sims – died 1958

Agnes Maria Sims (nee Mcwha) – died 1961


Elsie Winifred Gladwell – born 1923

Evelyn Margaret Gladwell – born 1926

Spouse: Patricia June McKay


Shirley May Gladwell.  Born 8.9.1954.  Married Piacentini

Barbara Lillian Gladwell.  Born 12.9.1956.  Married Allsop

Occupation: Truck Driver/Mechanic/Heavy Duty Plant Mechanic/ Laboratory Technician

Military Service: No

Their Story

I was born on 23 rd May 1928 at King Edward Hospital, Subiaco to Winifred May and Edward John Gladwell of Walebing about 45 kilometers East of Moora where my parents owned a small farm called Shepherd Springs.  I commenced school at Bindi Bindi on the Toodyay Miling rail line.  Bindi consisted of community hall, shop, school and wheat storage bins.  To attend school my two sisters (Elsie and Margaret) and I would walk a couple of kilometers to the farm adjoining us and together with their children were driven to school by car.  We were about fifteen kilometeres from Bindi and if they were too busy on the farm to pick us up after school came out, we had to walk home. As we were aged between seven and twelve we found it a long hot walk in the summer.

When we lived at Sheperd Springs Dad grew wheat, I can’t remember if we had any sheep but we had a team of horses and two milking cows. There was a dam on the property and one cow would run into the water and lay down when it was time to be milked.  The house was built of a timber frame and covered with corrugated iron, I remember Dad built a stone fireplace and chimney for the dining room. There was also a couple of massive pepper corn trees in the yard and as kids we used to spend a lot of time climbing up into the branches.  The old house has gone but the trees are still there, I don’t know how old they are but must be at least one hundred and fifty years

Twelve months after I started school at Bindi our farm passed into the hands of the Lefroy Family. As I was too young to understand anything about it, and nobody could ever tell me I still don’t know how they got control, as I do know there was no debt on the property.  Anyhow, Lefroy must have made a deal of some kind with my father and we moved to the Lefroy station (Cranmore Park) where Dad worked as teamster and stockman, and we started school at a place called Round Hill.  It was a small one roomed school with only one teacher and all classes sat together.  There was also a hall not far from the school where dances and all social events were held, church services were also held in the hall.

In 1938 we moved from Cranmore to a farm at Round Hill which was also owned by Lefroy.  The name of the farm was Carsdale (after Harry Carr who sold it to Lefroy), Dad managed the place for a couple of years, but just after world war two started we moved back to Cranmore as some of the single workers left to join one of the services and manpower was hard to get.  I left home in 1942 and worked for my uncle (Arthur Nicholas) as a milkman in Northam.  Elsie left in 1943 to train as a nursing sister at Royal Perth Hospital, and the same year Margaret joined the W.A.A.F and was posted to the eastern states and stayed there until the war finished.  In 1945 my parents left Lefroy and bought a small property in the hills east of Darlington. My Mother stayed on that property after Dad passed away in 1965.  In fact Mother passed away in the house in 1998 just one month after she turned ninety-six years of age.

Before my parents moved from the farm, on some week-ends I rode my bike from Northam to Toodyay (about twenty-five kilometers) and took the bike on the train with me to Lyons Camp, (the nearest siding to the farm).  I would then ride out to the farm and spend the week-end and on Monday morning I would reverse the operation and arrive back in Northam late Monday afternoon.  After my parents bought the Darlington house I came home and got a job in a service station in West Midland where I worked for some time.

However after a disagreement with the woman who owned it I left and went to work for Bill Laurance in a service station at Bellevue.  I stayed there until it changed hands in 1946.

I then took a job with Bill Crawford who was a carrier in Darlington.  This was a pretty heavy job as there were no forklifts around in those days and everything was manhandled, we also worked long hours because we carted produce into the West Perth Markets three days a week.  All produce had to be stacked on the floor by 5.30am or it was not sold and was dumped or taken to the piggery, on other days we carted general freight.  We also used to cart bricks from Clackline to Perth or wherever.  At about 6.00pm we would start to pick up for market next morning, usual time of finishing was about midnight, then on the job again at 4.30am.

I must have been about eighteen at this time because I had a car license but was too young to hold a truck license, I drove a truck around Perth for two years and one day while coming back from the market I called into the Midland Police Station and took my truck test and became the holder of a brand new truck license.  Things were certainly different in those days.  One day a truck I was driving got out of control when the clutch gave out on a pretty steep and winding gravel road, I was thrown out when the truck overturned on a corner.  I landed on my back and did damage to my spine, which gave me a lot of trouble later on.

After about three years I had enough of early starts and long hours and got a job with Lynas Motors the Ford Dealers in Hay Street Perth.  The job was to pick up and inspect new cards from Ford Motor Co in Fremantle and deliver them to either Hay Street showrooms or to the service department in Wellington Street.  I also did a little work in the dispatch and drove the delivery van for a while.  I had been driving around the city for five or six years and did not like the city very much.  I wanted to get back to the country again so got a job with Dorset Motors of Bunbury and started with them in a service station and garage in Brunswick.  After a short time there they sent me to Capel to look after the service station for a couple of weeks until they got another manager.  It ended up with me staying eighteen months but I did not mind as I liked Capel and made a lot of friends.  When I was asked to move to a branch in Boyup Brook I left Dorsets and began working for The Capel Dairy Co.  which was owned by Watsons Foods.  I went there as a truck driver but I started off in the factory emptying cans of cream into the vats to produce butter.  I was not too happy about that and was about to leave and go back to Perth when they gave me a truck, so I stayed there for the next 12-14 years, six years of that was looking after the fleet of trucks and doing repairs on the factory machinery.

It was while I was working at the factory I married Patricia June Mckay, we had two daughters, Shirley May was born on September 8 TH, 1954 and Barbara Lillian was born on September 12 TH, 1956.

When I was driving for the Dairy Co, I was adopted by a Border Collie/Blue Heeler dog, he was a wonderful dog and came every-where with me.  He used to love the truck and came with me every day, he would sit up in the passenger’s seat and you could tell he was enjoying it all.  I named him Buster and he would answer to it as if he understood when you spoke to him, he came to Perth a number of times and just didn’t care were he went as long as he was with me, he also spent a fair amount of time at the Hotel, I don’t know why.

Buster also liked the two girls and would go shopping with them, much to their disgust, as he would want to fight the other dogs they met, also he would follow them into the shops and the shop owners used to tell the girls to get the dog out of the shop.  I think everybody knew Buster and I reckon he was the best mate you could have, I had him about eighteen years and it was with great sorrow and sadness when I had to have him put down.

In 1961 the Dairy Co asked me to move to Spearwood to work in their workshop at the Bacon Factory, but we were happy in Capel, the girls were at the Capel school and we had just got a new house.  I left the Diary Co and went to work for Colin Williams in Capel. I spent seven very pleasant years working for Col and Roy, we were good friends and I was sorry to have to leave but I had the two girls at high school and had to get a job that paid more money so I went to work for AJ and PJ Ryan, a contractor for Western Mineral Sands Ltd.  It’s now taken over by Iluka.  They were a very good firm to work for and I stayed with them for seven or eight years but my back problem got so bad I left to get operated on and was not able to manage heavy work after that.  I was unable to find a job that I could handle and didn’t work for nearly twelve months, the insurance co wouldn’t pay out so I had no income.  I lived on what I had saved but that ran out in the end and I was stony broke in 1974.

In August 1974 I was given a job at Associated Minerals Consolidated (this later became Renson Gold Corp). Laboratory at Capel.  It wasn’t a very well paying job but I was glad to just get back to work and have some money coming in.  As it happened I enjoyed working there, made some very good friends and even today nearly twenty years later they are some of my best friends.  It was not only the great friendship but also they were a very good firm as well.  I enjoyed about fifteen most pleasant years there and retired in 1989.  In June 1986 I did the first of many coach trips in Australia when I took my Mother across the Nullarbor Plains and North from Ceduna to Alice Springs, from Alice we drove across the Gibson Desert to Warburton and on to Kalgoorlie to Perth.

Pat left me in November 1986 and went to live in Perth; the girls were married by now so I was on my own again.  In 1987 Mother and I traveled to Broome onto Halls Creek, Wolfe Creek Crater and down the Tanami Track to Alice Springs and back to Perth through the desert.  In 1988 with a friend and his wife we coached to Queensland, we spent a month on the track and had a wonderful time.  Syd and Dor were very good to travel with and we had a bundle of fun and the best thing was everybody was happy to do the same things, as it turned out we did quite a few trips together and they were happy and sometimes funny with plenty of laughs along the way.

In 1990 and 92 I did trips to the Northern Territory, once to Katherine and once to Darwin both times coming back through Alice and the desert to Perth.  I have been to Alice and Warburton nine times but haven’t always planned it like that it’s just the way the trips went.  In 1992 Elsie, her friend Mary and I flew to Tasmania for a ten day coach tour, it was my first time to Tassie and I enjoyed it so much I said I would come back and spend more time in that beautiful Island, on that trip we spent a few days looking around Melbourne before flying back to Perth.  In 1994 Elsie and I spent a month touring both the North and South Islands of New Zealand, it was a wonderful tour, we traveled from the Bay of Islands in the North Island to Milford Sound and Dunedin in the South Island.  We had friends in Christchurch so we spent a week with them, and they were very good to us and showed us a lot of the sights of that city.

In 1994 Elsie, Margaret, Ernie and I went to Malaysia and Penang, we spent about ten days there and it was lovely, also it was the first time I had been to Asia so I found it much different to what I was used to.  The next year I took a seven-day trip to Bali on my own, it was O.K. but I would have liked some better company.  I found Elsie very good to travel with as we both like and do the same things.  In 1996 I had a coach trip with Casey Australia Tours along the Murray River to Albury, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Kangaroo Island.  This took twenty-eight days; we had a wonderful time and saw a lot of towns and quite a large area of S.A, N.S.W, and VIC.  as well as Kangaroo Island.

In 1997 my friend Phillip Harden offered me the use of his unit and car that was standing idle in Tassie.  I jumped at the idea and flew to Hobart; the unit was in Claremont about sixteen kilometers north of Hobart.  I was completely lost when I arrived but got the little car going and eventually found my way around.  The next few months I spent touring Tassie from one end to the other.  I flew home for the winter months but I liked the place and flew back in January and continued to travel to as many places as possible.  In the end I had just about been right around the island from the West Coast to East as well as North and South.  It’s a beautiful place and I never got tired of it, even when you visited the same place a few times.  I made some great friends and was sorry to leave but mother was showing her age, so I came back to WA in April 98.

Mother passed away in July the same year, one month to the day after her ninety sixth birth.  In August the same year I went to Queensland to visit a very old and true friend Lally Gregory (Higgins).  I spent a month with her and we spent time looking around Brisbane and along the coast as far North as Nambour and Noosa.  I enjoyed it as Lally was good company and also Queensland is a lovely place.  Because of bad health I have not been away since but as I get well again I am thinking I’ll have to do something like another trip to Tassie.

Written by Jack Gladwell.

Trove Articles (click on link to read)

Western Mail – Thurs 14 Jan 1923 – Marriage Gladwell – Sims

Midland Advocate – Thur 12 November 1931 – Death of Mrs James Gladwell

Midlands Advocate – Fri 26 Jan 1934 – An Old Identity Passes – James Gladwell

SWT – Thurs 21 Feb 1952 – Car and Wagon Collison

The West Australian – Mon 18 Feb 1952 – Two Men Hurt in Collison

The Blackwood Times – Frid 28 March 1952 – Negligent Driving Admitted

Information compiled by researcher GT (member of the CDCP team)

Links to other websites with additional information included in story.

If you are visiting this page and have further information that pertains to Alfred Edward John Gladwell that you would like to add, can you please contact the Capel District Cemeteries Project via the CONTACT US section at the bottom of the main page.

© Capel District Cemeteries Project 28/03/2022

Alfred Gladwell Niche Wall
Alfred Gladwell
Alfred Gladwell
Alfred Gladwell