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Herbert Warington Smyth CMG (1867 - 1943)

Herbert Warington (Warington) Smyth CMG
Born in Westminster, Middlesex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 21 Jul 1900 in Chelsea, London, Englandmap
Died in Redruth, Cornwall, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Jun 2018
This page has been accessed 208 times.

Herbert Warington Smyth (1867-1943) CMG MA LLB FGS FRGS MIMM, was an English lawyer, mining engineer, writer and naval officer, who served the government of Siam (now Thailand) and later held scientific, administrative, political and judicial posts in South Africa.

Known as Warington, he was the elder son of Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth FRS, Professor of Mining at the Royal School of Mines, and his wife Anna Maria Antonia Story Maskelyne. His younger brother, Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth won the Victoria Cross at the Battle of Omdurman.

After education at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, followed by a spell as unpaid assistant to the Mineral Adviser to the Office of Woods from 1890 to 1891, he went to Siam.

There he was Secretary of the Government Department of Mines from 1891 to 1895 and Director General from 1895 to 1897. He became a Commander of the Order of the White Elephant of Siam and received the Murchison Award of the RGS for journeys in Siam in 1898. Called to the English bar in 1899, in 1900 was delegate for Siam to the Paris Exhibition. Also in 1900 he was Honorary Secretary for London of the National Committee for the Organization of a Volunteer Naval Reserve.

In 1901 he went to South Africa, where he was Secretary for Mines in the Transvaal from 1901 to 1910. He was also a Member of the Legislative and Executive Councils of the Transvaal in 1906 and 1907, a JP, and an Advocate of the Supreme Court of the Transvaal. He was also President of the Transvaal Cornish Association from 1907 to 1910, in which year he was awarded the Queen's South Africa medal. From 1910, he was Secretary for Mines and Industries in South Africa and Commissioner of Mines for Natal as well as Chief Inspector of Factories.

He took an active part in World War I as an Acting Sub-Lieutenant RNR in 1914, serving as Assistant Naval Transport Officer in the South-West Africa Campaign 1914 to 1915, when he was mentioned in dispatches. He became Lieutenant RNVR and Acting Naval Senior Officer at the Cape from 1915 to 1916, and Controller of Imports and Exports for the Union of South Africa in 1917. In 1919 he was awarded the CMG. Following the war, he was South African government delegate to the International Labour Conferences at Washington in 1919 and Geneva in 1922.

He retired in 1927 and returned to England, living at Falmouth in Cornwall where he enjoyed yachting. In World War II, he was again active in the RNVR, serving in 1940 as a Lieutenant-Commander. He died in 1943 at Redruth, with probate being granted at Llandudno on 5 Jun 1944 to his two younger sons.[1]

In 1900 he married Amabel Mary Sutton (1879-1965), third daughter of the barrister Sir Henry John Sutton KC and his wife Caroline Elizabeth Nanson. Her eldest sister Dorothy was married to the barrister and civil servant Sir Alfred Dennis and her other sister Marjorie was married to the MP Julius Bertram.

They had four children:

  • Amabel Elizabeth Warington Smyth (1902-1982), who married Dr Norman Rupert Barrett (1903-1979).
  • Bevil Herbert Oudenarde Warington Smyth (1903-1951), who married Barbara Menzies (1916-2005).
  • Nigel Clive Warington Smyth (1906-1992), who married Barbara Cooper (1909-2006).
  • Rodney Nevill Warington Smyth OBE (1911-2000), who was married first to Elizabeth Thorold formerly Patch and secondly to Charlotte Bullock.


  1. England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations

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