A SECOND World War veteran from Garelochhead has died weeks after celebrating his 100th birthday and marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Dennis 'Spike' Jones died peacefully at the Vale of Leven Hospital in the early hours of Wednesday, July 10 after a short illness.

The centenarian was recently honoured with a series of 100th birthday parties, and was president of the Helensburgh and District branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland until Monday night.

He had tried to retire from that post three times, though the Legion refused. They only accepted on the fourth attempt, only for Dennis to change his mind so he would still be president when he turned 100.

It was emblematic of a lifetime of service, first in the Second World War, and then to the Royal Navy and veterans in the years since.

(Image: Ann Stewart) Dennis 'Spike' Jones has died aged 100.

Born in Bristol in June 1924, Dennis joined the Navy when he was 16 and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. 

He retired from active service in 1972, by which time he'd reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander - though he maintained his links with the 'senior service' by working as a quality assurance manager at Faslane, having studied for, and graduated with, a Bachelor of Arts degree after leaving the Navy.

Last year, at the annual Festival of Remembrance on BBC One, Dennis was an honoured guest as a veteran of the Battle of the Atlantic.

He also served in the Pacific and the Korean War.

By his own admission, he gave a lifetime of service to the country.

“It was something we got on with,” Atlantic Star medal holder Dennis told the Advertiser last year.

“We didn’t consider that we were in the middle of a rather nasty occasion for the best two, three or more years.

“You were in trouble on two fronts: there was the cold in the winter and nasty things below you.

“I joined as a boy - I thought it would be a bit of an exciting caper. But it’s a lot different."

He was active in many Helensburgh and Lomond community groups over the years, including the Legion, Probus, the War Memorial Trust and the local model boat club.

Dennis 'Spike' Jones pictured with military personnel at one of three parties organised in June of this year to mark his 100th birthday.Dennis 'Spike' Jones pictured with military personnel at one of three parties organised in June of this year to mark his 100th birthday. (Image: Gordon Russell)

Dennis said: “In the background you knew you’ve got to keep at it and do what you’re out there to do. Practically all of my life has been involved in the Navy.

"While you’re out there, you do think you’re out to whack these other guys - you are the shield.

“In your mind you always are aware you are fighting on behalf of your country and your friends and your family. You have that constant pride in what you’re doing.

“You have that knowledge behind you that you are the shield for your friends, your family and your country.”