John Richard Jago Smith (1877 - 1912) MP

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Birthplace: Lanarth, nr St. Keverne, Cornwall, England
Death: Died in At Sea - Titanic Casualty
Occupation: Postal Clerk - 1912
Managed by: June Barnes
Last Updated:

About John Richard Jago Smith

  • Name: Mr John Richard Jago Smith
  • Born: 1877
  • Age: 35 years
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Occupation: Postal Clerk
  • Victualling crew
  • First Embarked: Southampton
  • Died in the sinking.
  • Body Not Recovered

John Richard Jago Smith (k/a Jago), 35, was born in the village of Lanarth near St Keverne, Cornwall in 1877, the son of John Smith (farmer of Trevithian, later Trebarveth, St Keverne, Cornwall) and his wife Mary. He was brother to Susan, Elena and James.

Jago became an employee of the Post Office and by the early 1900's was working at the Southampton branch as a postal clerk. He went on to work for the sea post department which placed clerks on White Star and American vessels.

In 1912 he lived at Trebarveth, St Keverne, Cornwall, England. Whilst in Southampton he resided at 45 Atherley Road.

In April 1912 Jago was assigned to the Titanic along with colleague James B. Williamson. They were joined by 3 American clerks, William L. Gwinn, John S. March and Oscar S. Woody. Their accomodation on the ship was close to the third class accomodation on F deck. The post sorting room on Titanic was located in the fourth compartment, forward on G deck. Almost directly below, on the Orlop deck, was where the mail was initially stacked along with the first-class baggage. The two levels were connected by a wide companionway. After the collision the Orlop deck was one of the first to be flooded and it was from here that Jago and the 4 other clerks laboured to bring 200 sacks of registered mail, weighing upwards of 100lb each, up to the higher level of G deck. Their labours were in vain as barely 5 minutes passed before the water level had reached the top of the steps on G deck. At about this time Jago left the others and ran upstairs and told Fourth Officer Boxhall that the sorting room was rapidly filling with water. Boxhall ordered him to report to the Captain while Boxhall went below to check. Afterward, Jago returned below to his colleagues but by now, barely 20 minutes after striking the iceberg the sorting office was already two feet deep in water and before long it was completely flooded. Jago and the others then attempted to take what mail they could up to the D deck level in the hope that the bags could be off-loaded through the first class entrance, but this turned out to be a forlorn hope.

Jago was lost in the sinking along with his 4 colleagues. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

On 5 May 1912 all ranks of the Southampton postal staff attended a service at St Peters Church in Southampton in memory of their colleagues who had worked unfailingly in their duty right up to the time of the ship sinking. The Postal and Telegraph Services later placed a memorial plaque in the church at St Keverne in memory of John Richard Jago Smith.

References and Sources

  • British Census 1881
  • John Eaton & Charles Haas (1992) Titanic: Destination Disaster, Patrick Stevens Ltd. ISBN 1 85260 534 0
  • Donald Hyslop, Alastair Forsyth and Sheila Jemima (1997) Titanic Voices: Memories from the Fateful Voyage, Sutton Publishing, Southampton City Council. ISBN 0 7509 1436 X
  • Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)


  • Steve Coombes, UK
  • Chris Dohany, USA
  • Hermann Söldner, Germany
  • Brian Ticehurst, UK
  • Bill Wormstedt, USA

John Richard Jago Smith's Timeline

December 31, 1877
Cornwall, England
Cornwall, England
April 15, 1912
Age 35
At Sea - Titanic Casualty