Jane Whyte

Other names: 
Her maiden surname was Thain
1844- 3 August 1918

Jane Thain was born in King Edward, Aberdeenshire, around 1844. She was the daughter of William Thain, shoemaker and Margaret Findlater.

She married James Whyte, a farm servant, in 1866 and they had a large family of five sons and four daughters. Her eighth child, son Robert, was 15 months old when she single handedly saved the crew of the "William Hope."

Jane Whyte spotted the steamer "William Hope" which had run aground in Aberdour Bay during a storm. Fifteen men clung to the wreckage. She entered the sea to catch a rope, and pulled the rope, wrapped round her waist, to shore. This enabled the men to use the rope to come ashore and all fifteen lives were saved. Once ashore she took them into her small house and gave them hot food.

She was awarded a silver medal and £10 by the RNLI in recognition of her bravery.

Jane Whyte died at New Byth, on 3 August 1918, survived by her husband.

Tales of Bravery from Aberdour, John A Meldrum
Leopard magazine, October 2015, pp26-28.
Death certificate
210/A2 0009
1881 census
Aberdour; ED: 4; Page: 5; Line: 13; Roll: cssct1881_55
1891 census
Aberdour; ED: 4; Page: 2; Line: 2; Roll: CSSCT1891_57
1871 census
Tyrie; ED: 2; Page: 3; Line: 6; Roll: CSSCT1871_44
The Woman who saved 15 sailors from drowning.

BBC News Website