The anniversary of the loss of HMS Dasher off the coast of Ardrossan will be marked this weekend with a memorial service and parade.

The Saltcoats, Ardrossan and Stevenston (SAS) branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland organises the annual Dasher service to remember the 379 servicemen lost when the Dasher mysteriously exploded and sank in 1943.

The event also remembers how the Ardrossan community came together to assist survivors and the dead coming ashore.

The memorial events will launch on Friday, March 22, with a social get-together in the Ardrossan Indoor Bowling Club, starting at 7pm. All are welcome.

Saturday morning starts with a trip on the Ardrossan to Brodick ferry courtesy of CalMac. The ferry will pause above the site of HMS Dasher for a short service and allowing relatives to pay their respects, then on to Brodick for a further service allowing respects to be paid on Arran.

After returning to Ardrossan, a service will be held at Ardrossan Cemetery for those members of the Dasher crew who are buried there.

Saturday concludes with the ‘Dasher’ function, hosted in Stevenston Masonic with entertainment by ‘Gypsy’. Tickets are available from the SAS branch committee.

Sunday, March 23, will see a parade and service at the ‘Dasher Memorial’, starting at 11am on the shore pathway on South Crescent Road, Ardrossan.

Legion chairman Paul Coffey said: "A big thank you to Streetscene and the volunteers who ensure our memorial grounds are prepared for the forthcoming service. All are welcome to join us at any time."

Meanwhile, the Legion are progressing with the plans to mark their 100th anniversary in Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston next month.

On April 13, there will be a reception and function in Ardrossan Civic Centre - where the local Legion branch was formed in 1924 - and the whole community are invited to come along.

Starting at 7pm, the entertainment will be provided by West of Scotland Military Wives Choir and DJ JJ Stone. Tickets are available from the branch committee at only £10 each with tables of six if required.

The function will be preceded by a parade, starting at noon in Dockhead Street, Saltcoats, followed by a non-denominational service in St Mary’s then light refreshments in the church hall.