A lieutenant in the Highland Light Infantry in the early 1930s, 'Niv', as his Hollywood pals called him, dumped his film career at the outbreak of war to come home and fight for king and country.
Although he always claimed to be Scottish, and to have been born in Kirriemuir, 'Niv' was actually a Londoner.
In 1942, he was in Glasgow as he headed north for Commando training at Inverailort House in the West Highlands.
Once, in action in Europe, the actor helped fire up his comrades in arms for an attack by telling them: "Look, you chaps only have to do this once. But I'll have to do it all over again in Hollywood with Errol Flynn!"