Heroine who saved sailors from certain death remembered
Scores of people turned out to mark the centenary of the death of a daring northeast woman.
Jane Whyte risked her own life to save 15 sailors who became stranded off New Aberdour in October 1884.
She was walking along the beach when she spotted the steamer William Hope drifting dangerously towards rocks.
The Dundee steamer had suffered engine failure and Mrs Whyte waded into the icy North Sea to throw a rope to help the men reach dry land.
Mrs Whyte was given the RNLI silver medal and £10 for her bravery.
On Saturday, her relatives, dignitaries from the RNLI and locals turned out to mark the 100th anniversary of her death.
A piper played and floral tributes were laid at the ruins of Mrs Whyte’s cottage at New Aberdour beach.
Fraserburgh’s lifeboat sat in the waters of Aberdour Bay near the rocks that wrecked the William Hope.
Interpretation boards were also unveiled, telling the story of the heroine’s remarkable efforts.
The mother-of-nine’s great-great-grandson Robbie Kelman has been involved with the commemoration of his relative’s actions.
He made an 11th-hour bid to track down the families of the sailors who Mrs Whyte saved, but despite his pleas nobody came forward.
Mr Kelman said: “I was extremely proud.
“I’ve always been fascinated by her feat of daring and bravery.
“I always used to go down to the beach where it happened with my dad.
“There hadn’t been anything to commemorate this apart from a plaque that went up in the 1980s.”
He added: “It is important that we tell her story.”
Mr Kelman is attempting to raise funds for a Jane Whyte exhibition at Fraserburgh Heritage Centre and he is also writing a musical featuring the events of October 28 1884.