b. 17/01/1856 Banffshire, Scotland. d. 07/04/1918 Macduff, Scotland.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 01/03/1891 Scarsferry, Scotland.
James was one of eight children, born on 17th January 1856, to William and Jean Smith (nee Wood). He spent his childhood living in Sandend, near Fordyce, Banffshire, James became a fisherman, and on 6th October 1876, he married Jane Mair in Fordyce. They moved to Macduff, where they had six children though tragically two of them died as infants. James remained a fisherman after the incident on the Lady Matheson in 1891, and lived the rest of his life in Macduff. He died on 7th April 1918 in Macduff, aged 62.
The fishing-smack ” Lady Matheson,” manned by three men, SMITH (Master), Morrison and McKay, stranded about midnight on the 1st March,- 1891, in a north-west gale and snowstorm, among rocks in 20 feet of water, and about 100 yards from an.exposed and dangerous part of the coast at Scarf skerry, Scotland; SMITH swam ashore, but finding that the others were unable to follow him, he swam back to the boat for a line, which he fastened round his waist, and again returned ashore. Morrison, while preparing to make use of the line, was washed off the boat by the waves, and was only saved from drowning by SMITH, who, hearing his cries, rushed into the surf, and pulled him out. SMITH then called to McKay, but the latter replying that he had lost hold of the line, SMITH again swam out to the boat with the line round his waist,.and, finding McKay was unable to use it, fastened him on to himself, and both were hauled ashore by Morrison. As the result of his exertions on the occasion, SMITH has since been under medical, treatment, and unable to pursue his calling.
BURIAL LOCATION: DOUNE KIRK CHURCHYARD, MACDUFF, ABERDEENSHIRE.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.