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Erskine Veterans Charity D-Day 2024

Scottish D-Day veteran, 98, hopes future generations never forget the “horrors” that he saw

One of the UK’s last surviving D-Day Veterans has called on the country to never forget the bloodshed on the beaches of Normandy as he hopes its horrors are never experienced by future generations.

Albert Lamond, 98, will mark the 80th anniversary at the Erskine Veterans Charity, at their Veterans Village in Bishopton, Renfrewshire. He will do so remembering those that he served alongside during one of the most pivotal moments in World War II.

D-Day, officially known as Operation Overlord, saw Allied forces launch a massive beach assault against Nazi Germany on the coast of Normandy, France on June 6th, 1944. This operation marked the beginning of the end of the war in Europe.

Over 150,000 troops took part in the operation. A total of 4,414 Allied troops were killed on D-Day itself, while more than 5,000 were wounded.

The scene of devastation has never left Albert and he hopes it is never replicated.

Albert said: "As one of the last few living witnesses of D-Day, I often find myself wondering about those I served alongside. I once had the chance to visit the Normandy beaches where so many brave souls fought, and that experience will live with me forever.

“It’s vital we teach future generations the true cost of freedom and ensure they never forget the horrors we faced during the war. The memory of all of those that served must be preserved, our stories must be shared when we are gone, and as a country we must educate the youth to ensure that the world never sees a repeat of the events of World War II and D-Day. It’s our duty to keep the past alive, so history does not repeat its darkest days."

The British forces played a crucial role not only on the Normandy beaches but in the air and at sea. The Royal Air Force worked tirelessly to gain air superiority, while the Royal Navy provided critical bombardment support, softening up German defences ahead of the landings. It is from the sea where Albert was involved.

Having joined the Royal Navy in 1943, Albert was just 18 years old and serving as a signalman on the HMS Rowley, as part of the 3rd Escort Group, when it was designated to rendezvous with the HMS Warspite as it travelled to Normandy.

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.

He said: “We went up the Normandy coast when I was on the frigate, the HMS Rowley. The battleship Warspite, that’s mission was to soften up all the Normandy coast by shelling the Nazis, but it was our duty to protect it. We were constantly getting fired at, and see when that happened, the noise was like an express train flying right over your head. It was terrifying.

“We were expected to put our lives on the line. Our Captain, he says, ‘If we see a torpedo going to hit the battleship the Warspite, we’ll nip in and take the torpedo.’ That was it, we were simply there to defend others. The importance of the mission wasn’t lost on us – we knew what we were getting ourselves into.

“It was horrible. It lives with you forever. It has never gotten easier. There were hundreds of men going ashore, I can still see them now. They went from the sea onto the beach, and I saw them disembarking from the landing crafts. They were being shelled at from all angles. Some of them never made it.”

Erskine has planned a D-Day 80th anniversary afternoon at the Veterans Village in Bishopton, which Albert will attend, along with his fellow Veterans and their families.

Wing Commander Ian Cumming MBE, Chief Executive at Erskine, insists it is important to follow Albert’s lead and keep the memories of WWII alive for future generations.

He said: “It is truly an honour to have Albert at Erskine. He is a hero, who risked his life for our freedom, and should be seen as an inspiration by everyone. As we mark this significant anniversary, it's crucial that we remember not just the sheer scale of what was achieved during the D-Day landings but also the personal sacrifices made by each individual involved.”

Erskine Veterans Charity provides unrivalled nursing, residential and dementia care throughout Scotland. It also assists younger Veterans who need help to begin the next chapter of their lives, offering social, recreation and training facilities at the Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre and employment opportunities in partnership with Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Co.

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 before retiring 40 years later as a railway driver. He initially attended the Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre before moving into McKellar House, set within Erskine’s Veterans’ Village.

Watch Albert talking about his D-Day Memories.

For more information about the Veterans Charity and their mission to support veterans like Albert, please visit:

To find out more about Erskine Veterans Charity’s work please visit our website at, follow on twitter @ErskineCharity via Facebook or listen to Erskine Veterans Radio at To donate directly to Erskine, please visit

Erskine Veterans Charity | Company No. SC174103 | Registered Charity No. SC006609 | The Erskine Home, Erskine Veterans Village, Bishopton, PA7 5PU

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