David Smith Eaton was born in Marykirk, Kincardineshire, Scotland on 1 November 1876. He was the son of David Eaton, a general merchant, and Elizabeth Arkison.
Eaton went to sea at a young age, becoming a shipwright. In 1899 he married Jane Robertson (b. 1875) of Govan and their daughter Margaret was born in Partick in 1904. By 1911 the family had moved to England and were living in Seaforth, Lancashire.
In April 1912 he was serving as ship’s carpenter aboard the eastward-bound voyage of the Carpathia when that ship rescued the survivors of the Titanic.
David Eaton continued his career at sea and served during WWI with the merchant fleet. He died in Glasgow in 1945 aged 68.