Edna Gardner Smith was born November 4, 1913 in Anfield, Liverpool, England to John Gardner and Mary Caldwell as the eighth child of ten. In 1914, the family migrated to Canada, where Edna's parents lived. After World War I began, the family returned to England later that year. When Edna was six, she began school at the Bootle Secondary School. Her father died in 1926, and afterwards, Edna's mother received the Mormon missionaries into her home for discussions, she having been a member since 1910. Edna later attended a secretarial college, and after finishing it, began office work for President and Sister Widtsoe. Her first real job, however, was as a secretary for the owner of Taverner Rutledge Sweet Company. She later worked at Mersey Totalisator as a mail girl, and then as a letter opener at Littlewoods. In 1932, the family moved to a different home, which was more spacious. Edna switched jobs again to work as a secretary in the Returns department of Littlewood Pools. She later joined the Local Defense Volunteers (LDV) as a volunteer working on defense programs. In the early to mid 20th century, World War II began, which eventually forced Edna and her family to relocate to Everton, where the environment was much calmer. There, Edna worked as a volunteer telephone operator. In 1953, she married Sidney Bailey Smith in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. Edna died October 25, 2005.
This is a thirty-page typescript of part one of Edna Gardner Smith's autobiography. Edna begins with a description of her parents and their backgrounds before writing about her own life. Although her mother never told Edna of any sicknesses, Edna recalls a few circumstances of illness. She writes that as a youth, she was intrigued by the 'buckos,' or the people who lived near the docks. Although Edna was young during World War I, she recalls various details, such as being afraid of the dark and seeing the American soldiers arrive at the docks. She also recounts some of her first memories of school. She was allowed nature walks once a week, wrote poetry, and danced. She writes about some of her childhood friends, though there were eventual separations between them. Although her family was large, they managed on the small income Edna's father had. The night before his death, Edna recalls his situation in the house in vivid detail. Following, she describes the funeral, and later the death of her brother at the age of nineteen. She also details two instances of bad health in her youth: when she was eight, she had a cist behind her ear that would swell up, and when she was seventeen, she experienced rheumatism in her legs. Edna further describes her mixed feelings as to the Church, knowing that her father had never agreed with it. She recounts an experience in 1925 in which she witnessed a star that granted her revelation to the truthfulness of the Gospel. Following, she continues to write about her experiences at school and in the Church. Edna also extensively recounts an experience sometime around 1932 in which she spent the night with some friends and was chastised and taken home by her mother. She continues with various descriptions of events and activities of which she partook as a young adult. She describes a visit from President Heber J. Grant in 1937, when many members gathered to hear him speak. From 1940 to 1941, Edna describes the raids of the war and the numerous fires that blazed up around them. In Everton, the environment was much calmer.