The streets of a Moray town were lined with retired soldiers yesterday to pay tribute to a 100-year-old veteran of the Second World War.
Donald Smith, who lived in Forres, spent five years as a prisoner after being captured at St Valery in France.
Yesterday, the veteran from the 51st Highland Seaforth Division took his final journey following his death earlier this month.
Veterans saluted and regimental standards were lowered as the cortege, which was headed by friend Albert Duffus – who served as a sergeant major in the Queen’s Own Highlanders – and members of Forres Pipe Band.
Friends, who were spread out for social distancing, stood to attention for Mr Smith while the procession also passed the town’s war memorial.
Mr Smith, who was better known as Don, was just 19-years-old when he was captured at St Valery, which has become known as the “forgotten Dunkirk”.
The teenager, who trained at Fort George, was part of the 51st Highland Division left behind in France to fight on against overwhelming odds to give 340,000 troops time to escape.
That day, two of Mr Smith’s friends died to either side of him in a blast and he carried scars from the battle for the rest of his life.
After the war, the veteran settled in Somerset, where he met his wife Helen, and the couple moved to the north-east about 40 years ago, initially to Lossiemouth, and then settling in Forres.
It is with sadness that we write this post – Donald Smith, Seaforth Highlander has sadly passed away. He was 100 years…
In his later years Mr Smith continued to pay tribute to the friends and comrades who never returned from St Valery and the Second World War.
In 2018, he returned to St Valery for television documentary Dunkirk: The Forgotten Heroes, which told the story of the evacuation.
Mr Smith was praised by the filmmakers for his commitment to telling the story in a way to honour his friends who never returned home again.
The veteran is survived by his wife Helen, who he married in July 1957, three children, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.