THE former chairman of the Highlands and Islands Development Board, Rear-Admiral David Dunbar-Nasmith, has died at his home at Glens of Rothes, Moray, aged 76.

He began his lengthy and illustrious naval career at the Royal Naval College, in Dartmouth in the late 1930s, and went to sea in 1939 on the outbreak of war and had five years of outstanding war service in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, for which he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross.

He was appointed in 1970 as Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland, based at Rosyth. In 1972, he was appointed deputy chairman of the Highlands and Islands Development Board.

In 1981, he succeeded Professor Sir Kenneth Alexander as chairman of the Inverness-based Government agency with the remit of enchancing the economy of the North of Scotland. He held this post for one year, and was succeeded by the late Sir Robert Cowan.

During the 1980s, he served on the British Waterways Board, the Countryside Commission for Scotland, and on the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board.

Among his other distinguished positions, he was a Gentleman Usher of the Green Rod to the Order of the Thistle, and also served as Vice Lieutenant of the County of Moray, and for many years was a member of the Queen's Bodyguard of Scotland (Royal Company of Archers).

He is survived by wife Elizabeth, two daughters and two sons.