A local dignitary who accidentally drove off with his military medals, parade hat and badge of office on the bonnet of his car has appealed for their safe return.
Aberdeenshire Deputy Lieutenant Mike Taitt forgot the decorations in a fluster after accidentally shutting his dog’s tail in the door.
The former Army major, who had been at the Ellon Remembrance parade on Sunday before the incident, said he had “lost a link to the past.”
Following the parade he attended the British Legion at Ellon’s Victoria Hall for a light lunch where he removed his medals.
But they got left behind after he momentarily lost concentration due to the “howling” dog.
“I put them down quickly, on the passenger side of the bonnet, to rescue the dog,” Major Taitt said.
“He had his tail trapped in the door and was howling. I had just given him a treat but I closed the door too quickly on his tail. I just got distracted.
“It wasn’t until I got home to Huntly, that I realised that I didn’t have the medals.”
A phone round of friends in Ellon sparked a search of the car park area and an online appeal was also launched.
Of the four missing medals, the first is a General Service Medal which he received in 1965 after serving in Borneo and also bears a second award for service in Northern Ireland.
The second is the UN medal for Cyprus which he received in 1972 after serving with the UN peacekeeping operation.
The third was received in 1983 and is the Territorial Decoration.
The fourth was a further award from the Malaysian Government for service in Borneo.
Police are aware of the missing medals and are assisting with inquiries. They have encouraged people to get in touch if they have information about their whereabouts or to hand them in to their nearest police office if they find them.
Major Taitt said: “The Deputy Lieutenant Badge is a quite large, enamel badge which hangs around the neck on a white and purple ribbon. It was with my parade hat, a Balmoral bonnet with a silver Gordon Highlander badge on it.
“It’s all so sad, I’ve had them for over fifty years and they trace my time and career with the regiment. They are probably all replaceable, but it won’t be the same, I’ve lost a link to the past.”