Albert Lamond, 98, is a resident at the Erskine Home in Bishopton. Prior to moving to the home in 2023, he was an active participant at the Erskine Activity Centre.

After joining the navy in 1942, just after his 17th birthday, Albert began his career as a signalman on the frigate HMS Rowley, and quickly saw action in the Atlantic, the Arctic convoys and at D-Day.

On June 6th 1944, Albert watched from the sea as the battle raged on the beaches of Normandy – an event which marked the beginning of the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation. 

The HMS Rowley’s role was to circle the Warspite whilst she was shelling German positions. Albert and his crew were constantly watching for U-Boats looking to torpedo the warship, acting as a first line of defence as the Allies launched their assault on sea, land, and air. As signalman, Albert was on the lookout from the bridge throughout the battle, with no cover to defend him. The horrors that he witnessed have lived with him ever since. 

D-Day is very difficult to talk about. It wasn’t very nice – you could say that. We could see all the men trying to get ashore, not knowing what was waiting for them. All we could do was watch, hoping to defend as many of them as we possibly could. We understood the importance of what we were doing and why we had to do it. But it didn’t make it any better.

A celebrated career in the Royal Navy saw Albert awarded many medals from his years of service, including the Arctic Star, which commemorated the Arctic Convoys that sailed from North Russia, and the Légion d’honneur, awarded by the French government to D-Day veterans, as a way of honouring and thanking those who fought and risked their lives to secure France’s liberation during the Second World War.

When Albert left the Navy in the years following WWII, he took a month off before getting a job on the railway. He worked in the Polmadie engine rooms and thought he would “see how it goes”, however ended up retiring some 40 years later as a railway driver. 

In 1950, he married Margaret, and they were a devoted couple until Margaret passed away in 2012. Albert had nursed her single handed after two significant strokes.  

He initially attended the Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre before moving into The Erskine Home, set within Erskine’s Veterans’ Village earlier this year. 

The work that Erskine does for so many Veterans is amazing. Without Erskine, many Veterans would struggle either post-service or in later life. I cannot speak highly enough of what they have done for me. They have provided me with a level of care that is second to none and given me the opportunity to make friends and met people who have shared similar experiences. They truly support our Veterans, regardless of age and background, and I would encourage anyone to support them if they can.