Major Graham Dunnett, a former Lord Lieutenant of Caithness and a business owner in Wick, has died aged 92.
For more than 40 years he was worked in, then owned, the family shoe business which had been started by his great-grandfather in 1838.
As a boy, Graham and his friends narrowly avoided injury or death when a German Dornier bomber machine gunned them as they were playing football in Bignold Park, Wick.
As a soldier in the Seaforth Highlanders, he saw action in Malaya, was promoted to 2nd lieutenant and later became a major and company commander of the Seaforth Highlanders Territorials in Caithness.
Graham was born in South Road, Wick, to Elizabeth and Daniel Dunnett and he had a brother, Iain, who was four years older.
His father, known as Dan, ran the shoe shop his grandfather had opened after moving from Canisbay to Wick.
Graham’s father, and a colleague, had been the first Scout masters in Caithness after they had travelled to Inverness to meet founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell and have their parchments signed by him.
At the age of 10 Graham became a Cub and then a Scout and, from the age of 12, he became a wartime cycle messenger for the aerodrome and also an air-raid precautions messenger.
From 15, he boarded at Archbishop Holdgate’s School, York, where, in his last term, he played for the 1st XV.
On finishing school, he cycled back to Wick where he was called up for National Service with the Seaforth Highlanders.
After six weeks at Fort George, Graham was posted to the 28th Infantry further training centre outside Belfast and, from there, to Redford Barracks, Edinburgh.
Graham was then first posted to Singapore in 1948 to join the 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders as a rifleman
Six weeks later, war started in Malaya, to the north, and he spent many months engaged in jungle warfare.
The following year, while driving the lead vehicle in a convoy of two, he was able to extricate the party from a dangerous road ambush.
Graham’s actions led the battalion commander to recommend he apply to train as an officer. He was successful and, after four months’ training in Chester, he was commissioned and returned to the war in the Far East.
Two years later he was demobilised in the UK joined the family shoe retail firm.
It was in the shoe business that Graham met his future wife, Catherine Elizabeth Sinclair, known as Kay.
They married in Westerdale church in 1963 and set up home in a flat above the shoe shop in Wick before building their own home at Loch Calder.
The couple had three sons Stuart, Gareth and Roy and became very involved in the Caithness social scene.
Graham was appointed a deputy lieutenant for Caithness in 1973, vice lord lieutenant in 1983 and became himself the Lord Lieutenant of Caithness in 1995, a post he held for nine years until 2004.
His son, Stuart said: “This great honour he enjoyed immensely and it allowed him to promote Caithness, as well as meet all the senior royals and help the community to attend garden parties and other events.”
Graham retired from the shoe shop aged 70 and enjoyed a more leisurely pace of life. The couple entertained regularly and spent time on their interests.
They travelled within the UK and spent time with their children, daughters-in-law, Fiona and Barbara and their four grandchildren, Hamish, Sarah, Ryan and Adam.
Graham lost his only brother in 1989 but continued to enjoy visits from his nieces in Canada and keeping up with their family news.
After 52 years of marriage in 2015 Kay succumbed to cancer and died at home.
Graham continued to live independently at Loch Calder until earlier this year when he moved into Riverside Care Home, Wick.