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Memorial for Nairn war hero

By Iain Ramage

James Grant
James Grant

A NAIRN baker who was among the town’s brave casualties of WWI was remembered at a memorial service 100 years to the day since his death.

James Grant was a Royal Navy trimmer (coal handler) who served on several vessels including HMS Nairn.

He had been an apprentice at Asher’s Bakery in the town before enlisting in January 1916 in the Royal Naval Reserve.

He died at Nairn Hospital at the age of 24 of enteric fever and intestinal haemorrhaging.

Mr Grant also served aboard several other vessels. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

His funeral was conducted with full military honours and his name features on Nairn’s war memorial.

Conducting the graveside service organised by the Nairn branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland, its chaplain Rev Tommy Bryson said: "Although an auxiliary, he was one of a number of men who found themselves almost full-time in the RN reserves, attached to the mine-sweeping force.

"It played a vital part in WWI, keeping shipping lanes clear. The force in the North Sea comprised over 100 mine-sweeping trawlers. It had an important task of clearing enemy mines from sea routes and attacking enemy mine-laying submarines. It was an extremely dangerous programme."

Bakery boss, and recently appointed Lord Lieutenant for Nairnshire, George Asher, said: "We’re very pleased that Trimmer Grant’s service to his country has been recognised by the legion."

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