Walter Cecil Mills 1917


Born: Walter Cecil Mills 19 March 1917, Kanowna, WA, to Percy Cecil Mills b 26 Jan 1892, Seymore, Victoria, and Daisy Bowler Moncrieff m 3 Feb 1915, Christchurch Church of England, Brunswick, Victoria

Married:  09 June 1918, SDA, Perth, Western Australia to Valerie Isabella Lethbridge b 9 June 1918, Perth, Western Australia

Died: 27 August 1888, Victoria Park, Buried Mount Barker Cemetery



Colin Mills b11 October 1915, Kanowna Western Australia, died Kanowna

Walter Cecil Mills b18 May 1917, Kanowna, Western Australia, m 9 June 1918 to Valerie Isabell Lethbridge. 4 children

Beryl Joan Mills b14 December 1919, Leonora, Western Australia m Basil Beeck. Died 16 Feb 1965

Dorothy May Mills b18 April 1923, m 16 Oct 1943, SDA Church Mount Barker, to Neville Anderson Beeck. 3 children

Norman Gordon Mills b15 October 1924, m 1946 to June Ellen Willoughby. 3 children

Percy Leslie Noel Mills b25 December 1929, m 1951 SDA church, to Dorothy Graham. 3 children

John Robert Moncrieff Mills b7 April 1935, m 1958 to Verona Caralie Hook.  4 children



June Lynette Mills b6 April 1940  Mount Barker, Western Australia, m 30 June 1958, Mt Lawley SDA, to Thomas Leslie Barrett b 5 Nov 1933, Busselton, Western Australia.  5 children.

Jeanette Gaye Mills b19 February 1943 West Leederville, Perth, Western Australia, m 5 Feb 1961 Perth SDA, to Robert William Hosken b 29 Dec 1940, Perth Western Australia.  3 children

Merlene Valerie Mills b11 May 1947  Perth, Western Australia, m 4 March 1968 Albany Methodist Church to Kerry Michael Fawlkner, b 1 Jan 1943, Mount Barker, Western Australia. 3 children

Kelvin Harry Mills b21 December 1950 Mount Barker, Western Australia m 1 14 May 1972 Mount Barker SDA to Jeanette May Brechen b 20 Oct 1950 Western Australia. 3 children. M 2 Margo.


Life sketch

Walter Mills was born 19 March 1917 in Kanowna, WA and after spending the fist few years in the Goldfields, the family moved to Albany where Percy was a well known Taxi driver, having a Studebaker car.  During the 1930s, the family moved to Mount Barker, living at Hillside, a small property where they raised dairy cows and grew apples and stone fruit.  Daisy encouraged all the family in music, and the family would stand around the player piano singing.


Percy, Beryl, Daisy & Wal       Wal nursing Noel                      Wal with a new bike


The family became Seventh-day Adventists in Albany during a mission conducted by Pastor Robinson.  Wal loved music, and when he attended Carmel College, he joined the choir and studied bookeeping. Classmates included Cyril Were (SDA cinemetographer) and Lance Butler who later became Treasurer for the Australasian Division of the SDA church.



Wal in Carmel Choir                                   Wal courting Val Lethbridge at Carmel

Wal Mills met Val Lethbridge at Carmel College around 1936.  They were married at the Perth SDA Church in Hay St.,Subiaco, Western Australia, on 20 February 1939 when Val was 20 years old, and Wal was 21 years old,


After their marriage, Walter got a job on the railways, and June and Jeanette were born, the family living in Perth and Lake Biddy.


Wal and Val Marry                                Wal serves in army-NG       Wal & Val Mills family


When World War 2 broke out in 1939, Walter went into the medical corps, and served for a time in New Guinea until the end of the war in 1945.  During the war years there were frequent letters between Wal and Val


When Wal and Val were first married, they rented a flat from Aunt Etty in Carr Street, West Perth.  June was a baby and Jeanette was born while living in this flat.  Val had depression after the birth of June, and her mother helped her.  When Wal went to war,  Val shifted with her two young children, June and Jeanette to Mount Barker, living with Daisy Mills. The rent was 10 shillings per week. Val was frightened of Daisy, and felt she could not live up to her expectations.  She scrubbed the floor to impress Daisy.  Percy Mills, Peter Verazzi and the Mills bothers helped Val by building a small 2 bedroom house on a few acres of land in Mount Barker.  Merlene later lived in the same house.


At the end of WW2 in 1945, Wal returned to Mount Barker, and the family lived in the small 2 bedrrom house that had been constructed for Val and the children.  At first a horse and cart for transport, then an old 1930s Ford Ute


Wal got a developmental loan to develop a farm a few kilometers east of Mt Barker, on Mills Road, which branched off the Porongorups Road.  Wal planted an apple orchard, and also had sheep and cattle.  There were also a small number of apricot, plum and a large cherry tree. The children: June, Jeanette, Merlene and Kelvin grew up on the Mount Barker farm.  The children helped with pruning and packaging of apples.  Wal was very fond of Ford cars, and in the early 1950s bought a Ford Prefect.  Later cars included a Ford Zephyr, a Ford Customline, and around 1963 a Ford Falcon.  The family would often go to the Porongorups for picnics and picking of scented boronia.  Wal and Val both worked jobs as well as the farm, Wal working in the Mt Barker Ford Garage, and Val working as a book keeper for Doug Thompson the carrier, at later at the Elders agency.


Quite a few native flowers grew on the farm, especially spider orchids, donkey orchids, snail orchids and some boronia.


in 1962 Wal built a ply runabout, which he called "Lightning".  It was used for fishing and skiing by family and friends on picnics at Emu point in Albany.


Wal was eligible for a war service pension, so at the age of around 60 years, Wal and Val passed the farm on to Kelvin and Jeanie, however Wal continued to help then for afew years before settling into a new house in Albany.  It was during this time, that Wal began to transport caravans between Albany and Perth for some part time work.  Later, feeling the cold, they sold their house, and Wal and Val travelled to Sydney to visit Robert and Jeanette.  Wal  took on a job in the laundry at the Sydney Sanitarium (Sydney Adventist Hospital) and Val did secretarial work in the Pathology Department.  They made many friends while at the hospital.  In 1975, when they learned that Rebecca had been diagnosed as having leukenia they were devasted, and immediately returned to Mount Barker, Western Australia.

They spent much time helping out with Veronika, Rebecca and Tammy.


Wal and Val then moved to Perth, and they lived in a flat in Victoria Park.  Wal got some part time work in a garage.


Wal died on 27 August 1988, at Victoria Park, Western Australia, and was buried in the Mount Barker Cemetery.


Wal and Val at Mount Barker SDA church                 Mount Barker Cemetery