Born: 27 November 1859, King Edward, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom
Died: 28 September 1937, Belair, South Australia
William Ramsay Smith, the son of William and Mary (nee McDonald) was a pupil teacher and later became a headmaster of Invergordon Public School before studying medicine in 1884. He graduated with a BSc in 1888 and MB ChM in 1892 both from the University of Edinburgh. In 1904, Smith graduated with a DSc from the University of Adelaide and then returned to the University of Edinburgh, graduating with a MD in 1913.
Smith married Margaret MacKenzie in 1889 and then moved to Adelaide in 1896 where he took up a position as physician at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. In 1901 Smith served in the South African War as surgeon captain, Imperial Bushman's Corps and in 1903 was appointed major in the Australian Army Medical Corps. He commanded the 1st Australian General Hospital Imperial Force in Egypt during 1915.
Smith belonged to the Royal Anthropological Society of Great Britain and Ireland and devoted thirty years to a sympathetic study of the customs and psychology of Australian Aboriginal people.
The South Australian Museum Archives holds papers and photographs which have not yet been processed. The finding aid currently includes an album of drawings by Charlie Flannigan. The image of Smith is courtesy of the State Library of South Australia: B7479