Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Colonel) Herbert Morgan Smail
Designation: Architect
Born: 4 June 1890
Died: 7 February 1960
Bio Notes: Herbert Morgan Smail, in later years better known as Colonel Smail, was born on 4 June 1890, the son of Adam Smail, taylor and clothier, and his wife Isabella Mitchell. He studied at the Dundee School of Architecture and Technical College from October 1908 to October 1912 whilst serving an apprenticeship with Maclaren Sons & Soutar. On completion of his apprenticeship he moved to Glasgow for further office experience, first with James Miller and then with Peter Macgregor Chalmers, enabling him to study at the Glasgow School of Architecture from 1912 to 1914. He spent the summers of those years travelling in England, France, Belgium and Italy.

Smail's war service lasted from 1914 to February 1919.

At the beginning of 1919 he joined an office in St Andrews but in April the same year returned to Dundee as senior draughtsman to Mills & Shepherd, where he was made a partner only two months later, although the practice title remained the same.

From about 1933 the practice's domestic manner changed somewhat, Crittall metal-framed windows of distinctive proportions becoming a feature. Godfrey Daniel Bower Shepherd died on 21 December 1937, and William M Guild was taken into partnership after several years of practice on his own account. John Donald Mills kept the practice going through the Second World War, operating mainly from St Andrews, while Smail and Guild were on war service. Smail was elected LRIBA in 1947, proposed by Donald Mills, William Salmond and Charles Soutar. He worked with Mills on some projects in the office, including 'many works in St Andrews and Dundee University' but Smail's Fellowship Nomination Paper indicates that they mainly worked with separate responsibility for different jobs.

Smail was admitted FRIBA in 1952, proposed by John Donald Mills, William Salmond and John Needham. Mills died in retirement at his home, 99 North Street, on 26 January 1958, and Smail died on 7 February 1960, survived by his wife Esma Jane Buttar, whom he had married at St Enoch's Church Dundee in 1923, and his daughter.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 29, South Tay Street, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1919After 1952 
Item 2 of 228, Farington Street, Dundee, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1950 *1960 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 5Mills & ShepherdOctober 1908(?)October 1912(?)Apprentice(?)Thought to have been apprenticed to this firm, but this is uncertain
Item 2 of 5James Miller19121913Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Peter Macgregor Chalmers19131914Assistant 
Item 4 of 5Mills & ShepherdApril 1919June 1919Chief Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 5Mills & ShepherdJune 1919After 1952Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6John Donald MillsLate 1952For Fellowship
Item 2 of 6John Donald Mills14 October 1947For Licentiateship
Item 3 of 6John NeedhamLate 1952For Fellowship
Item 4 of 6William SalmondLate 1952For Fellowship
Item 5 of 6William Salmond14 October 1947For Licentiateship
Item 6 of 6Charles Geddes Soutar14 October 1947For Licentiateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1James Watson Ritchie10 April 1956For Fellowship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 651908East Haugh  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 2 of 651920Blair CastleBlair Atholl PerthshireScotlandGarden work
Item 3 of 65c. 1920Kidds Rooms  DundeeScotlandAlterations: conversion from church
Item 4 of 651922Balmoral CastleBalmoral AberdeenshireScotlandGates
Item 5 of 651923Ashcliff and gatelodge  DundeeScotlandAlterations
Item 6 of 651923Baile-na-CoilleBalmoral AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 7 of 651923Little HayesSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 8 of 651923RebreckBalmoral AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 9 of 651923The GleanSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 10 of 651923University College Dundee, Men's Hostel  DundeeScotland 
Item 11 of 651923University of St Andrews, Chemical and Physical LaboratoriesSt Andrews FifeScotlandAdditions
Item 12 of 65March 1923House for General B C FellowsSt Andrews FifeScotlandPlans - possibly unexecuted
Item 13 of 65c. 1923Abergeldie MainsAbergeldie AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 14 of 6519241 Donaldson GardensSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 15 of 651924Binrock and Lodge  DundeeScotlandAlterations
Item 16 of 651924CryanreuchSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 17 of 651924Gerrards CrossSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 18 of 651924GlenmuickBalmoral AberdeenshireScotlandLodge and gates
Item 19 of 651924House at Duntrune for Claude BiltonDuntrune AngusScotland 
Item 20 of 651924RhebreckEaster Balmoral AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 21 of 651924RuffletsSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 22 of 651925Fingask CastleKilspindie PerthshireScotlandRestoration
Item 23 of 651926University of St Andrews, St Mary's CollegeSt Andrews FifeScotlandAdditions
Item 24 of 65192710 Middleshade RoadSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 25 of 651927LanglandsSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 26 of 651927MiddletonFriockheim AngusScotlandAlterations
Item 27 of 651927Pitalpin House  DundeeScotlandAlterations at NW corner of the house and creation of outbuildings to include laundry room and washhouse.
Item 28 of 651928Ardvreck  DundeeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 29 of 651928Kincaple House  FifeScotlandReconstruction with wings
Item 30 of 651928Megginch Castle  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 31 of 651928University of St Andrews Old Parliament HallSt Andrews FifeScotlandPanelling
Item 32 of 651929Riechip  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 33 of 651929Smith and Valentine Premises  DundeeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 34 of 651931Lochton House  PerthshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 35 of 651931University of St Andrews, St Mary's CollegeSt Andrews FifeScotlandRepairs and alterations; panelling of College Hall
Item 36 of 651933DinmontSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 37 of 651933GreenacresMurrayfield EdinburghScotland 
Item 38 of 651934Trinity College GlenalmondGlenalmond PerthshireScotlandVarious schemes for additions, partially executed
Item 39 of 651935Balgavies  AngusScotlandAdditions (Plans in NMRS)
Item 40 of 651935Beech HillForfar AngusScotlandAlterations
Item 41 of 651935CromaltSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 42 of 651935Greyfriars CottageSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 43 of 651935University of St Andrews, St Salvator's HallSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 44 of 65Before 1937Banff House  BanffshireScotlandMinor alterations--possibly involved--check date
Item 45 of 651939Lude HouseBlair Atholl (near) PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 46 of 651939Observatory  DundeeScotland 
Item 47 of 651939University of St Andrews ObservatorySt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 48 of 651940sBank of Scotland  DundeeScotland 
Item 49 of 651940sClydesdale Bank  DundeeScotland 
Item 50 of 651940sHouseCrieff PerthshireScotland 
Item 51 of 651940sHouses  DundeeScotland 
Item 52 of 651940sHousing scheme  DundeeScotland 
Item 53 of 651940sHousing schemeCrieff PerthshireScotland 
Item 54 of 651940sPrinting works with offices, canteen, 24 dark rooms and photo processing  DundeeScotland 
Item 55 of 65194141 North Castle StreetSt Andrews FifeScotlandRenovation and alterations
Item 56 of 651942BalmyleWest Ferry DundeeScotlandGates - survey for alterations?
Item 57 of 651947Seaside House  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 58 of 651948Blairgowrie CreameryBlairgowrie PerthshireScotland 
Item 59 of 651950sCentres for Territorial Army (TA) Association  DundeeScotland 
Item 60 of 651950sHead office and warehouse for Singer Sewing Machines Ltd  GlasgowScotland 
Item 61 of 65c. 1950Bonar Long Factory  DundeeScotland 
Item 62 of 65c. 1950New Ferry Station  DundeeScotland 
Item 63 of 651952St Mary Magdalene's Episcopal Church  DundeeScotlandUnexecuted scheme for conversion to a Territorial Army centre
Item 64 of 651955Ardblair Castle  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 65 of 651958Bungalow, MillbankCupar FifeScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 2RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional research (from GSA rolls) by Iain Paterson
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no 6160 (Combined Box 122); F no4943 (combined box 46)