Smith was born in Helensburgh on 13th November 1892. He was educated at Dulwich College and the Royal College of Science (Imperial College), London where he took his first degree and did graduate research. He was a naturalist as a boy and he was able to continue this approach as a scientist.
George was born in Glasgow on the 29th May 1925. On graduating from the Glasgow Veterinary College as the gold medallist in 1947, George Urquhart was awarded a scholarship to work with Dr E L Taylor, in the parasitology department at Weybridge. He returned to Glasgow in 1949 as one of the group of men who were given the task of taking the old Glasgow college into a university system. George played a leading role in the development and recognition of the Glasgow school as aveterinary research institution of international standing.