Able Seaman Allan Lamont (D/SSX 17853) served in the Royal Navy during World War Two. He was a torpedo man onboard HMS Jaguar.
Born on 18th July 1915, he was the son of Margaret Jane Lamont and her fiancé Allan Mills McCullagh of Carnaboy Cottage, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry. His father and uncle Arthur McCullagh were both veterans of World War One. He was the stepson of John McLean of Bushmills, Co. Antrim.
The army had granted Allan Mills McCullagh leave to return to Ireland, visit his newborn son, and marry Margaret. In one of his last letters home, he requested that if the baby was a son, he should be Allan.
A sniper shot McCullagh as he was nearing the train station to begin his homeward journey. Stretcher bearers rushed him to a nearby field hospital. In a critical condition, he went on to a larger hospital at Le Havre, France. There, he died from his wounds.
Life Between The Wars
Allan Lamont never met his father. Each year, he and his mother Margaret paid tribute to Allan Mills McCullagh at the Bushmills War Memorial, Co. Antrim. They would lay wildflowers by the memorial as they called out his name.
For several years, Allan Lamont was an only child. Margaret would later meet and marry John McLean of Bushmills, Co. Antrim. The couple would have ten children who all looked up to their old brother Allan.
In 1936, work in rural Co. Antrim was scarce. Allan enlisted in the Royal Navy and served on HMS Iron Duke, HMS Drake, HMS Exeter, HMS Defender, and HMS Hood. From 1939-1942, HMS Jaguar was his vessel.
Allan Lamont in World War Two
No matter what ship he served on, Allan Lamont would always bring home gifs from his exotic travels for his mother and siblings.
In 1940, Allan sustained wounds at Dunkirk, France. The Royal Navy granted him 24 hours compassionate leave and he returned to Northern Ireland to visit the family. He said goodbye to them for what would be the last time on 10th June 1940.
Allan Lamont died at sea on 26th March 1942. He was 26 years old. At 0227hrs, the J Class F34 HMS Jaguar took a hit from a spread of four torpedos. The vessel was part of a convoy bound for Tobruk, Egypt. U-652 sunk the Jaguar and the escorted tanker. With a destroyed bow, HMS Jaguar went down in flames. Only 53 of a crew of 246 survived.
Allan Lamont’s name features on Panel 65, Columns 3 of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.