Five Years in Siam by H. Warington
From the cover of the
White Lotus edition, 1994
H. Warington Smyth
Herbert Warington SMYTH
was born on June 4, 1867 and died December 19, 1943 at age 76, He was a
Barrister and widely traveled. He was to serve as Director of the
Department of Mines in Siam, Secretary for Mines in the Transvaal,
Commissioner for Mines in Natal and as Secretary of Mines and Industries
in the Union of South Africa. He was the author of several books,
including: Five Years in Siam, Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia, Sea
Wake and Jungle Trail and Chase and Chance in Indochina. The
son of Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth and the grandson of Admiral W. H.
Smyth, he was Baden-Powell’s
first cousin. He was a Fellow of the Geological Society, the Royal
Geographical Society, a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy Voluntary
Reserve (1915-1918) and was honored as a Companion of the
Most Distinguished Order of Saint
Michael and Saint George and as Commander of
the Order of the White Elephant of Siam. He married Amabel Mary Sutton
Badge of Commander
of the Order of the White Elephant of Siam
The Most Exalted Order of the White
Founded by HM King Mongkut
Rama IV in 1861 and remodelled by HM King Chulalongkorn Rama V on 29th
December 1869. Awarded in five classes and two medals to both gentlemen
and ladies. The order was originally
modelled on the French system with classes arranged as Grand Cordon,
Grand Officer, Commander, Officer and Knight. However, the increasing
unpopularity of France led to a change more in keeping with British
practice. The officers of the order
are the Sovereign and Chief of the Order (HM The King), the Grand Master
(usually a high ranking Prince of the blood Royal), the Chancellor,
Secretary and King-at-Arms.
Books by H. Warington
||Five Years in Siam (1898).
Introduction by Professor
Chapter I: The River and Port
Mast and Sail in Europe and Asia (1906). "Illustrated from drawings
by E.W. Cooke, R.A., W.L. Wyllie, A.R.A., W. Robins, Sir W. Warington
Smyth, F.R.S., Major Nevill Smyth, V.C., and the author. A momentous
work of reference for world sail. There is more concentration of eastern
sail types in this book than in any of our other reference volumes on
the subject and each is fully illustrated in a volume that is just
stuffed with illustrations…. There are also line drawings and/or sail
plans of a number of the craft described, including a Norwegian Pilot
Boat, a Northland Boat, a Norwegian Skiff, a Redningskoite, a Scotch
Fifie and a Scotch Zulu. A thorough-going reference indeed!" (Description from D. N.
Goodchild, "The Shellback’s Library").
||Sea Wake and Jungle Trail (1925).
"Mr. Warington Smyth, who is head of the Mines Department in South
Africa, is not only one of those fortunate authors who is equally
skilled with pen and pencil, but also an exceptionally expert, practical
sailor, as his previous book, Mast and Sail, testifies. He is thus
able to depict as well as to describe his various experiences and
adventures during many years’ travel. His devotion to animals and to the
sea is such that he has the power of treating them as personal friends,
and, above all, he has the gift of humour, which enables him—and his
friends—to see the bright side of everything." (From the publishers
advertisement for Sea Wake and Jungle Trail).
||Chase and Chance in Indochina (1934).
fictional account, Chase and Chance in Indo-China, might be read
alongside this publication (Five Years in Siam) for insights into
Smyth’s outlook. Its narrator, "H. W.," works with people who have the
same names and personalities as did Smyth’s actual associates in Siam.
His duties at the Department of Mines, the time period and even the
episodes are familiar. There is, however, an element of fantasy that the
rubric of fiction allows him to
pursue." (From the Introduction to Five Years in Siam
by Tamara Loos of Cornell University).
||Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth,
M.A., F.R.S. was the father of H. Warington Smyth and Sir Nevill
Maskelyne Smyth. He was a brother of Henrietta Grace Smyth Baden-Powell and Uncle to B-P. He
was Professor of Mining and Mineralogy at the Royal School of Mines,
President of the Geological Society of London in 1866-1868 and a Fellow
of the Royal Society. After
university, he spent more than four years in Europe, Asia Minor, Syria
and Egypt, paying great attention to mineralogy and mining. Among his
published works were A Year with the Turks” (1854), and A
Treatise on Coal and Coal-Mining” (1867). He was
knighted in 1887.
Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth,
son of Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth, brother of H. Warington
Smyth and B-P’s
first cousin. He had a distinguished career in the army, rising to the
rank of Major-General. He won the Victoria Cross at the Battle of
Admiral William H. Smyth, grandfather of H.
Warington Smyth, rose through the ranks of the Royal Navy
to retire as an Admiral in 1863. He was a noted hydrographer and
and was Vice President of the Royal Society. According to his
great-grandson, his charts of the Mediterranean were still in use in
1961. His "Cycle of Celestial Objects" remains a classical text
in the history of astronomy and was republished in 1986.
Henrietta Grace Smyth Baden-Powell, 1824-1914. Links to Admiral W. H. Smyth
(B-P’s grandfather) and other members of the Smyth family including:
Charles Piazzi Smyth, Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth, H. Warington Smyth,
General Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth and Nevil Maskelyne. She was the aunt
of both H. Warington Smyth
and General Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth.
Baden-Powell Family History.
A series of links based on
the research of Robin Baden Clay, a grandson of Baden-Powell. They are
focused on the genealogy of the Powell family. The author is extremely
grateful to Mr. Clay for sharing the results of his labors with the
Scouting community. Links are provided to pages for three of B-P’s
brothers: Baden, Warington and Sir George Baden-Powell as well as to the
genealogy of the Smyth and Warington families.
||Baden-Powell Home Page
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Please write to: Lewis P. Orans
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P. Orans, 2012
Last Modified: 5:30 PM on July 13, 2012