Lay preacher John Murdoch who was still giving sermons when he turned 100, has died aged 103.
He took services at Mid Deeside Church, Torphins, and at homes for the elderly, and played piano and organ at evening services.
When he reached his century, the then Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Derek Browning, travelled to Deeside to present John with a long-service award.
John spent his career with Post Office Telephones. His working life lasted 43 years and his retirement 43 years.
He served in the Second World War, rose to become a major, was mentioned in dispatches and landed in Normandy eight weeks after D-Day.
John and his late wife Margaret moved to Torphins from Blairgowrie in 1994 to be closer to family.
He was born in Glasgow on August 19, 1917. The family moved to Uddingston in 1923 where John was educated at Uddingston Grammar School.
Sunday school teacher
He attended Sunday school at Trinity Church from the age of six and by the time he was 16 he had become a Sunday school teacher and organ player.
In 1935 he joined Post Office Telephones in Glasgow as a clerical officer and over his career, rose to become depute personnel controller in north-east England.
Starting in his youth, and for many years after that, John played league cricket for several teams, scoring several centuries and being presented with the match ball when taking all 10 wickets in a match. He also played cricket for the British Army against Holland.
At the age of 22 he was called up for war service and served in signals and air defence units in the UK before landing in Normandy.
John began his army career as a signalman and rose through the ranks to become company sergeant major. He was commissioned and left the service as a major. He served with the 3rd Edinburgh Anti-Aircraft Division, the 3rd AA Corps NW Europe and 74 AA Brigade.
Mentioned in dispatches
Although he was mentioned in dispatches, John declined to speak about his wartime experiences and did not use his title in civilian life. During his military career, he served with the late Herrick Bunney, who was organist at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, from 1946 to 1996.
Straight after the war, he married his childhood sweetheart, Margaret, and a few years later they moved to Edinburgh after their first son Jim was born, and they had a second son, Bill. They then spent 27 years in England, ending up in Harrogate for 23 years.
In 1980, two years after he retired, the couple moved to Blairgowrie, where Mr Murdoch became a Church of Scotland lay preacher. He was secretary of Blairgowrie Community Council and organist at Abbey Church, Coupar Angus.
They couple relocated to Torphins in 1994 to be nearer family members. Margaret died in 1998 and John lived on his own until the end of 2019 when he went live in a care home in Peebles to be closer to his son Jim.
The family’s announcement can be read here.