Charles Ernest Lamont was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on the 12th October 1886, the son of Neil and Sarah Lamont. While Charles was still a child, his family re-located to Birkenhead, Cheshire, across the River Mersey from Liverpool.
On leaving school in his early teenage years, Charles found employment as a shipping clerk, but later joined the mercantile marine as a steward on ocean-going liners.
In 1905, Charles married Minnie Jones in Liverpool, and eventually they settled at 31 Ivor Road, Egremont, Wallasey where they raised a family. Also residing with them was Minnie’s sister, Dora Jones, who was a stewardess in the mercantile marine.
On 12th April 1915, at Liverpool, he engaged as a third class waiter in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania, at a monthly rate of pay of £4-5s-0d., (£4.25p.) and reported for duty four days later on the morning of 17th April, before the liner left the River Mersey for the last time, on her way to New York. It was not the first time that he had served on the vessel.
Having completed her voyage to New York, he was on board in the early afternoon of 1st May when she left that city to begin what became her last trans-Atlantic crossing. Six days, however, on the afternoon of 7th May, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-20, within sight of the coast of southern Ireland and only about fourteen hours steaming time away from the safety of her Liverpool base.
Waiter Lamont survived the sinking and having been rescued from the sea he was landed at Queenstown, from where he eventually made it back to Liverpool. There, at the Cunard office in Water Street, he was given the balance of pay owed to him in respect of his service on board ship from 17th April 1915 until 8th May, 24 hours after the
Lusitania had foundered. This amounted to £4-9s-6d., (£4.47½p.).
Charles Lamont continued to serve as a waiter on trans-Atlantic liners following his ordeal, and served on such vessels as the
Carmania and Scythia until at least 1924. He died in Liverpool on the 4th March 1925, aged 38 years. His wife, Minnie, only outlived him by a few years, dying in 1927, aged 41 years.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Cunard Records, PRO BT 350.