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Numbers 293/84: International Bagpipes Day?

June 6 1944 a Canadian, Bill Millin, became known as the "Mad Piper" as he serenaded the Allies' D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France. England's War Office had officially banned bagpipers from the front lines, saying they would attract enemy fire. But Millin got a pass because of his Scottish heritage, his commander Brigadier Lord Lovat telling him "Ah, but that's the English War Office!" Yes, it's the same lineage of Lovats who supported the Jacobites in 1745/ 1746 with Simon Fraser Lord Lovat then executed for his efforts in 1747 ….

How international can you get? From Canada and USA to the Edinburgh Tattoo, Iran and Nigeria, young and older ….

Hundreds of pipe variations around the world … although the Great Highlanders seem to dominate! For our delectation however, here are the almost extinct Cornish Pipes which will surely see a revival alongside the new language dictionary … and of course Cornwall's has Unitary Home Rule since 2013! Why not declare 'devolution and a First Minister'? And to accompany them, Welsh pipes …..

It was eye injection day for Avril … Whilst it's convincing that AMD is mitigated by this routine it's often painful. The most difficult element is not the iodine but the eye clamp to hold steady for the injection to be given. The result is very considerable soreness which is hardly alleviated when I volunteer to cook supper - which I did as foretold with Pork Ribs from M&S. This afternoon I had the Scottish Battlefields Trust's AGM and Trustees' Meeting to ZOOM if back in time from NGH, which we were, so Avril was settled down with a cuppa whilst I headed for the Dovecote till 5.30.
Scottish Battlefields Trust has done well with virtually no resources. Income is membership Fees and Grants from HES and EventScotland. At present Arran is finalising work at Dunbar 1650 and Notes & Advices for Battlefield Communities. If we get this right it could be the basis for both a further request for support to HES and for gathering together the 40 National Inventory Battlefields at the upcoming 7th Biennial National Battlefields Symposium. Here's hoping and there's potential new talent coming on board for Walking Tours/ Wreath Laying and an ambition in the future to develop what we've done with the APP at Prestonpans Battlefield and which Pinkie Cleugh has lately made a start with. Herbert Coutts has also put in a sterling effort to lobby the main political parties at Holyrood before the coming election and has been getting responses not least from original supporter Mike Russell MSP who back in 2007 was Cabinet Secretary for Culture and came to see us in The Pans.

Published Date: March 10th 2021

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