David was born the sixth of at least ten children, and like all his brothers and sisters, was born at Fordoun Station.
By 1903, when he married Eliza Short, at Stormontfield, he was a police constable living at 65 Main Street, Bridgend, Perth.
David and Eliza had three sons: John Andrew David Smith (1904), Andrew David Short Smith (1907), Stanley James (1910) and Sydney Thomas (1912). John was born on 13 November 1904 at 10 High Street, Perth, and died on 18 March 1905 at Innerbuist, Scone.
Between 1910 and 1912, the family lived at Cherrybank in Perth, where third and fourth sons Stanley and Sydney were born.
By 1913, the family had moved to The Academy at Rose Terrace, where David was employed as the janitor.
It would appear from postcards sent from Egypt which have been kept in ADS Smith’s scrapbook, that David served in the Field Police at the Field Punishment compound in Abbassia in Cairo from Easter 1913 to June 1922, although it is unlikely that this was a period of uninterrupted service. By December 1916 at the latest, he had achieved the rank of Lance Corporal and his number was 3275. The timing of this posting clearly coincides with the Great War, although why he should have gone out in 1913, and how he came to go at all, remains somewhat of a mystery. This would mean that he was absent from the family home for significant periods during 9 years of his sons’ childhood, leaving only 8 months after the birth of his youngest son, Sydney.
David appears to have been a policeman in the 1920s, working in and around Perth.
In 1935 and 1936 he was a Corporation Washhouse Superintendent, as described on Stanley and Maisie Smith’s wedding certificate, and the somewhat more oblique description of “Corporation official” on the marriage certificate of ADS and Doris Evelyn Smith.
By 1938 at the latest, David and Eliza had moved to Easter Orchilmore farm near Killiecrankie, where he farmed the land where the Battle of Killiecrankie took place in 1689. The land stretched down to the pass of Killiecrankie, such that the site of the Soldier’s Leap (which is now owned by the National Trust in Scotland) was on their farming land. David got this farming job through a contact that Doris Smith’s father, Alexander Skinner, had in the area. It is possible that he had gained some experience on a croft with his grandfather, Adam, in Glenbervie as a child. Certainly, we know from postcards sent by David to Eliza that he visited Glenbervie with his father John Smith, when he went to visit his father in Laurencekirk.
When David and Eliza retired, they lived in a house called “Fordoun” (named after his birthplace) on Kinloch Street in Ladybank, and it is there that his wife, Eliza, and his son, Andrew, died.
Just over one year after the death of his first wife, David remarried Margaret Taylor at St Paul’s Church, Perth on 22 September 1956, coincidently, his granddaughter Jennifer’s fourteenth birthday. Margaret Taylor was born in 1889 in Kirkaldy, and had been divorced from Robert Logan Colville, a hydro-electric scheme labourer whom she had married in 1911. According to the will of David Smith, written on 20 October 1956, he and his new wife Margaret were living at One Rumdewan Crescent, Kingskettle at that time. Four months after their wedding, David died at 8 Hill Street in Strathmiglo.
The terms of David’s will, which was administered by McCash and Hunter, were that one third of the estate go to his widow, Margaret Smith and the remainder was split between Stanley and Sydney Smith and the children of the then late ADS Smith: Sally, Jennifer and Ian.
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