Lamont William John Piper 2759608

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Personnel Entry

Piper William John LAMONT
Piper William John LAMONT

Name Lamont William John
Army number 2759608
Rank Piper
Decorations M.M - gazetted 30/9/1941 for distinguished service in the field (commonly awarded to successful escaping PoWs), 1939-45 Star, Italy Star, British War Medal.
Date of birth 21-Jan-20 according to Army Records (family information confirms 21/1/1920).
Age 64 at the time of his death.
Unit Enlisted in the Black Watch in Dundee 6/3/1940 as a Regular soldier. Posted immediately to the 1st Tyneside Scottish. Served BEF - disembarked for France 24/4/1940. Reported Missing 21/5/1940. Captured 1/6/1940 at Cambrai (notification as having been captured received on 3/9/1940 but with no indication of location). Escaped from Loekeren 4/8/1940. Recaptured in unoccupied France. Escaped for a second time 15/4/1941. Reached Gibraltar and evacuated to the UK - arriving Greenock 14/6/1941. Posted to No. 8 Infantry Training Centre (Perth) as a returned PoW. Posted 10th Battalion Black Watch 9/10/1941. Joined draft for Overseas Service 11/11/1943. Disembarked 27/4/1943. Served Middle East. Posted 6th Battalion Black Watch. Served Central Mediterranean Force - Italy. Struck off strength Middle East Force on return to the UK 1/4/1946. Disembarked UK 11/6/1946. Released 11/6/1946. Posted to the Class Z Reserve 19/9/46. Joined 4/5 Cameron Highlanders 14/6/1952 and attended Training Camp at Stobs Camp - completing the training by 23/6/1952.
Company/Battery Battalion Headquarters.
Platoon or other sub-unit Pipe Band.
Task or role Piper.
Joined Brigade 6/3/1940. Appears to have undergone Primary Training while with 1st TS, rather than at a Primary Training Centre.
Promotions Promoted Acting Unpaid Lance Corporal 24/9/1944. Returned to rank of Private at own request 27/10/1944.
Wounded Admitted to No. 53 General Hospital 21/8/1945, discharged back to 6th Battalion 27/8/1945. Admitted to No. 53 General Hospital 14/11/1945 and discharged back to Battalion 26/11/1945 (condition details not known).
Prisoner of War PoW Loekeren, Belgium and in unoccupied France before his second escape. No details of PoW or Camp numbers available.
Died/Killed in action Date of death 25/1/1984 in Capalaba, Queensland, Australia.
Home address Mother - Mrs Rose L. Whamond - living at 20, Mansfield Street, Leslie, Fife. Was a member of the Leslie Pipe Band and subsequently the Caledonian Pipe Band, Kirkcaldy. Worked as a painter and decorator. Married Josephine Collette Thomas Q1 1948, Swansea. Lived at 9, Wales Road, Kinlochleven, Argyll. Emigrated to Australia.
Source table 1TS

The Citation for Piper Lamont's Military Medal was researched by the late Major Mike Spurrier and was sent to the researcher in personal correspondence - that unstinting help in dealing with the Brigade's medal awards is acknowledged with considerable gratitude. Sincere thanks are due to Piper Lamont's granddaughter for family and Service Record information and photographs. These images are set out below and are quite typical Army "group" shots.

The citation is summarised as follows:-

The Citation for the award of the Military Medal to 2759608 Piper (Pte) William John LAMONT, 1st Tyneside Scottish appeared in the London Gazette on 30th September 1941, and can be found in The National Archives under the Military Intelligence file reference dealing with Escapers – the relevant document is headed M.I.9.b/E/6 B.M. 615.616, page number 76 and dated 20th August 1941.

The recommendation was made by the Director of Military Intelligence.

The supporting documentation, which was researched by the late Major Mike Spurrier, reads as follows:-

Private LAMONT was taken prisoner near CAMBRAI on 1st June 1940 and escaped from a Prison Camp at LOEKEREN in Belgium on 4th August by cutting a hole in the barbed wire and climbing over four walls. He passed through GHENT, TOURNAI, ARRAS and GEIN and crossed the Demarcation Line at VILLENEUVE. He was arrested in unoccupied France and sent first to MARSEILLES and then to St HIPPOLYTE DU FORT. On 15th April 1941 he escaped from there with Gunner Chandler with whom he travelled to Spain; he was eventually sent to Gibraltar and arrived in this country on 14th June 1941. The report of his interview with Military Intelligence was referenced M.I.9. /8/P.G. (B) 333 and was originally classified Most Secret. The interview summary indicates that he had 15 months Regular Army Service and had been a Painter in civilian life, living at 20, Mansfield Street, Leslie, Fife. He was captured on 1st June 1940 and escaped on 4th August 1940, leaving Gibraltar on 6th June 1941 and arriving at Greenock on 14th June 1941. He was interviewed by Military Intelligence on 15th June 1941. “I was taken prisoner near CAMBRAI on 1st June 1940. First I was put in charge of wounded Prisoners, then transferred to a Prison Hospital at CAMBRAI. From there I was sent to a Prison Camp at LOEKEREN in BELGIUM. There I cut a hole in the barbed wire, climbed over four walls and escaped (4th August 1940). I passed through GHENT, TOURNAI, ARRAS, FONTAINEBLEU and GEIN, crossing the line of demarcation at VILLENEUVE. I was arrested in the unoccupied zone and sent to MARSEILLES and then to St HIPPOLYTE DU FORT. I escaped from there on 15th April 1941 with Gunner Chandler (S/P.G. (F) 334) with whom I travelled to GIBRALTAR”. The interview report was copied to Lt Col A.M. Anstruther of S.O.2 and also to the HQ of Bomber Command, RAF.

Piper Lamont is believed to be the soldier in kilted dress

1st Tyneside Scottish Pipes and Drums. Piper Lamont in rear rank. Photo appears to have been taken on 13/4/1940 along with other Battalion photographs at Burt Terrace, Gateshead. Cpl Drummer Lapsley is also visible in the front rank of the group

Piper Lamont and an unrecognised comrade. Given the tropical dress this is presumably taken in the Middle East

A more relaxed group with pet dog and cat in the shot - location unknown