100 Years on, Moray community pays tribute to VC Hero

Royal Navy pay tribute to one of their own at Rothes (pic: Sandra Ross)
Royal Navy pay tribute to one of their own at Rothes (pic: Sandra Ross)

THE ROTHES COMMUNITY stood in silent tribute to a Victoria Cross winner exactly 100 years after the announcement that he had earned the nation’s highest military tribute.

Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Naismith settled in the Moray town after his highly distinguished military career came to a close and died there at the age of 83 in 1965. He was buried at Elgin cemetery.

On Thursday a large crowd joined a 50-strong Royal Navy contingent at the Rothes war memorial, several of whom were from the submarine branch for whom Sir Martin was a pioneer.

A commemorative paving stone bearing Sir Martin’s name was laid at the memorial as a lasting tribute to Sir Martin, who in May and June 1915 was a young lieutenant commander in charge of a submarine that sank several enemy vessels over a three-week period.

Sir Martin continued his service in the Royal Navy beyond the first war and also served through the Second World War before retiring in 1946. Among those at Rothes yesterday was Sir Martin’s son, Professor Sir James Dunbar-Nasmith, and other members of the family.

Sir James said: “It was very gratifying to see so many people turn out for the service, it was a wonderful occasion for the family. I was surprised by how much some of the naval people knew about my father – it is clear he remains quite a significant figure in the service even today.”

Representing the Royal Navy was the Deputy Rear Admiral Submarines at Faslane, Commodore Mike Walliker, who recalled Sir Martin’s heroic exploits in the Dardanelles.

The Rothes community included representatives from the local primary school alongside the Lord Lieutenant of Moray, Lt Col Grenville Johnston.