Scotland politics

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond's father Robert dies aged 95

Alex Salmond and father Robert
Image caption Alex Salmond paid tribute to hospital staff who cared for his father Robert

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond's father Robert has died at the age of 95.

The father-of-four passed away at the Erskine Home for ex-servicemen on Monday. His funeral is expected to be held in West Lothian next week.

Former first minister Mr Salmond said it was a "very sad week" for all the family.

Mr Salmond also paid tribute to staff at Erskine Hospital for their care in his father's final years.

He said: "Dad passed away peacefully on Monday night at Erskine and now will be taken home to Linlithgow where he spent all of his days, apart from his wartime service in the Royal Navy.

"Dad, a passionate SNP supporter for more than half a century, always took a keen interest in elections. However, he was really proud of all of his children's achievements.

"All four of us, Margaret, myself, Gail and Bob, are enormously grateful to the Erskine staff whose kindness to our father over these last few years has been beyond measure.

"It is a very sad week for all of the family and Gail and I have taken some time out from our campaigns to help with the arrangements.

"However, we both know exactly what Dad would be saying to us right now - for goodness sake dust yourself down and get on with it.

"That is what we all intend to do."

Torpedoed in action

Robert Salmond was in the Royal Navy during the war.

As a petty officer he served on two aircraft carriers, and was responsible for repairing radios on the planes.

He was on the Fleet Carrier, HMS Indomitable, when she was torpedoed supporting the invasion of Sicily in 1943.

When the Indomitable sailed for Norfolk, Virginia, for repairs, Mr Salmond senior and his team were transferred to the newly commissioned escort carrier HMS Hunter and he saw further action in the Salerno landings, before being diagnosed with TB and confined to hospital for the remainder of the war.

On his 90th birthday in 2011 Mr Salmond senior climbed the gantry to the controls of the big crane at Rosyth dockyard in Fife as work began on the new 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier.

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