A LARGS military stalwart who proudly served the local branch of the Royal British Legion has passed away aged 70.

Miller Paterson passed away earlier this month after a string of health battles - which included being diagnosed with cancer in his early forties.

Miller led a very active life and served as vice chairman of the Largs Legion branch until recently, as well as a past master of the 173 Masonic Club in Largs.

He was born and bred in the town and was educated at Largs Primary and Upper Grade School before a career as an electrician, working notably on the construction of Hunterston B in the 1970s.

His parents ran a bed and breakfast in Charles Street after his father retired from IBM in Greenock. 

Living close to the sea inspired Miller to take up sailing when he was 17.

He became a catamaran expert after joining Largs Sailing Club and used to race with the Loch Longs Association, where he was champion five years running.

He would regularly sail with the late Duncan Currie who was a Lancaster Bomber in the Second World War, and they became good friends, with Miller as skipper.

His love of the water saw Miller sail at Largs, Fairlie and at Royal Gourock.

His love of the sea saw him sign up as a volunteer with the Largs Lifeboat in the 1970s, and Miller memorably used to sound of the church bells to guide the lifeboat back to base during foggy evening exercises on the Clyde.

Miller is survived by wife Jan, 64, and daughters Kirsty and Jennifer.

Kirsty, 42, said: "I have been out on boats since I was two years old through my dad and got into the racing side. Dad and I were both involved in the sea cadets too.

"Unfortunately the original Largs branch of the Royal British Legion legion disbanded when I was 18 so when I read in the Largs News in 2013 that the Legion was reforming, we both immediately joined up. I am now the longest serving standard bearer there after my dad's passing."

Royal British Legion Largs chairman Patrick Murphy paid tribute to his 'great friend and colleague'.

He said: "From day one Miller was completely dedicated to the Royal British Legion cause and attended everything from functions to fundraisers. He was my right hand man.

"Miller is a great loss to the Largs branch of the Royal British Legion and will be much missed by all who knew him."

Miller showed his determined nature when he fought off cancer after being diagnosed at the age of 42. However, he suffered from kidney issues in later life before he sadly passing away last week, just a few days short of his 71st birthday.