Poignant trip for war veteran

A BEARSDEN pensioner is to make an emotional trip to the battlefields he fought in during the Second World War - thanks to cash from the Big Lottery Fund.

James Lemond (84) joined the Highland Light Infantry when he was 18-years-old in 1943.

He was posted to the Netherlands and then on to Germany as the war was drawing nearer to its end.

He said: “We were taking part in small battles and skirmishes in various towns and villages throughout Germany.

“The Germans had all but lost the war, but there was still a lot fighting going on and we were tasked with helping to finish off the job and eventually to meet up with the Russian army.”

James will be travelling to Amsterdam, Nijmegen and then to the Reeshof Forest in southern Germany to pay his respects to fallen comrades.

He said: “I am very happy to be able to go to the places which hold so many special memories for me. I will now be able to look back and say to myself that I have done it.

“I will have seen all the things that I wanted to see and have paid my respects to my colleagues who didn’t come back.”

Alison Magee, Big Lottery Fund Scotland chairwoman, said: “Lottery funding is there to help support Scottish service men and women of different generations and, as these grants illustrate, for different but equally important reasons.

“For many veterans visiting the places in which they served will be an important way to commemorate a significant period of their lives and to remember the comrades they lost.

“Through Heroes Return 2 we want to recognise these sacrifices and are proud to have been able to play a small part in their story.”