A veteran who spent five years as a prisoner in the Second World War has died at 100 years old.
Donald Smith, who lived in Forres, was captured at St Valery in France in June 1940 in a battle where he saw two friends die either side of him in a blast.
However, his sacrifice that day, along with others from the 51st Highland Seaforth Division, kept enemy troops busy to help complete the evacuation of nearly 340,000 soldiers from Dunkirk.
Mr Smith, who was better known to his friends as Don, grew up in Yorkshire but travelled north to Fort George near Inverness to enlist.
Within six months he had been captured alongside 11,000 others and he spent the rest of the war as a prisoner clearing train tracks and working as a farmer, eventually being released during a “death march” as his German captors fled advancing American soldiers.
On his 100th birthday, Mr Smith described the conditions in the camp as “filthy”, but said he was fortunate not be sent down dangerous mines to work.
He said: “All we got was soup and bread. We used to call it ‘shadow soup’.
“They carried it into the barracks in these huge dustbins and when the light shone in you could see the shadow of a turnip or something floating at the top.
“It was just like water really, but if you signed up for the work then you got fed better, so I always did.”
The centenarian continued to tell stories about the war until his final days and he was a popular figure among other Moray veterans and the Forres community.
In 2020, he featured in a Channel 4 documentary telling the story of the “forgotten heroes” of Dunkirk – winning praise from the filmmakers about his commitment to tell the story of his friends who never made it home.
The broadcast was seen by people in Australia who were the family of one of Mr Smith’s friends, who he called personally after the broadcast to tell them stories about the father and grandfather they never knew.
After the war he settled in Somerset and joined an engineering firm, where he would meet his wife Helen.
The family relocated to Lossiemouth about 40 years ago and the proud great-grandfather briefly worked part-time as a handyman for Macrae and Dick before retiring.
Mr Smith is survived by his wife Helen, three children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A funeral cortege will leave Andrew Smith’s Funeral Home on Tytler Street in Forres on Thursday at 11.45am with those attending being asked to observe social distancing.