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North-east D-Day veteran celebrates special birthday

By Kirsty Brown

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There were big celebrations in Huntly's Meadows Care Home this week when resident Jim Duffus celebrated his 100th birthday.

Born on January 26 1921 in Aberdeen, Jim spent most of his life in the city.

His first job was as a motor mechanic at the former Station Garage, and he later became a sought-after specialist in Armstrong Siddeley cars.

He would go on to pursue a career in teaching, and taught technical subjects and engineering science to pupils in Torry and Kincorth, even becoming head of department at the latter.

During the war he served with the Royal Artillery, initially with coastal defence guns on the Forth and in Plymouth Sound.

Eventually he achieved his goal of joining the 51st Highland Division’s field artillery and served with them in North Africa (including the Battle of El Alamein), Sicily, the D Day landings and the campaign in north west Europe.

In the 1960s he commanded the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers supporting Aberdeen’s Territorial Army transport units which were based on Great Southern Road.

In 2015 he received the French Legion D’Honneur at Aberdeen Town House.

In August 1952 he married Jane (nee Brown) and together they had a son and a daughter.

Over the years Jim has also welcomed five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Last year he left the city and moved to Huntly to be nearer to some of his family, but while he has grown up in the city he has always held strong connections with the area with many generations of his family working on the Frendraught Estate and his grandfather being born in Aberchirder before the family moved into Aberdeen.

He toasted the occasion with a nip of his favourite Glendronach whiskey.

Birthday boy Jim Duffus.
Birthday boy Jim Duffus.

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