T.A.S.C. Member Brian McDermid: “Ship’s Cook to Baronet”

A most interesting presentation from Brian, covering the life of one of our notable Shipowners.

Sir William Reardon Smith (1856 – 1935) was one of the foremost figures in south Wales in the early twentieth century. His was a classic story of ‘rags to riches’ – starting life as a deck-hand and ship’s cook, he made a fortune in the shipping industry at the zenith of the Welsh coal trade and subsequently showed great entrepreneurial initiative during the depression, acquiring motor vessels and establishing new trade routes. He is also remembered as a great philanthropist, particularly through his association with the National Museum of Wales and his establishment of the Reardon Smith Nautical School.