ww2 pipe cases

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ww2 pipe cases

chad heckle
chad heckle

September 21st, 2005, 3:36 am #1

I was wondering how the individual piper carried his pipes int othe field? Did he carry them in a case or did he leave them out?
thanks,
Chad
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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

September 21st, 2005, 2:43 pm #2

Pipers always carried their pipes in a wooden case that also was where they carried the extra reeds and other spare pieces.

DT.
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Michael Dorosh
Michael Dorosh

September 21st, 2005, 3:16 pm #3

I'd suggest that in the field, the pipes were probably kept in storage with A or B Echelon. The Pipe Major of the Calgary Highlanders had his bagpipes blown up when an ammunition truck was hit during the assault on Hill 67 in July 1944; he was travelling with the RSM at the time, well behind the lines. Four pipers did accompany the rifle companies into action - their first on active service - but it was also the last time the pipers played into action.

The band assembled for the memorial parade in Dieppe on 3 September, and bagpipes are mentioned being used at Christmas and New Years in the Nijmegen Salient. They may also have been used at mess dinners for the officers during this period.

Other than that, they don't seem to be mentioned much in the war diary or official histories of the Regiment.
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Iain Burns
Iain Burns

September 21st, 2005, 4:36 pm #4

Hullo all
Two quick stories from Regimental Histories:
First, the Highland Regiments that were captured at St Valery in 1940 surrendered thier Pipes to the Germans, as the Bagpipe was traditionally considered a weapon of war. They were later sent new Pipes from Scotland, and formed Pipe Bands in the PoW camps.
P/M Roy of 2nd Bn The Black Watch was wounded on Crete and had to be left behind when the Bn evacuated. He was captured and sent to a German PoW camp in Greece, where he managed to make quite a living off his landlords by charging for his Piping in the German Mess. Evidently he was in pretty high demand and got on the good side of several of the officers... which supposedly made it easier for him to escape. He then made his way from Greece to North Africa where he rejoined the Regiment. His Pipes made the entire trip from Crete to Greece to Egypt. He later went on to become RSM.
Aye,
Iain
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dave demorrow
dave demorrow

September 21st, 2005, 7:12 pm #5

I was wondering how the individual piper carried his pipes int othe field? Did he carry them in a case or did he leave them out?
thanks,
Chad
there were at least 2 times durring D-Day landings were led by pipers. one was by Lovats scouts (yes like in the movie). the pipes are now on display at the museum near the bridge. its one of the best displays i have seen.
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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

September 21st, 2005, 11:17 pm #6

I'd suggest that in the field, the pipes were probably kept in storage with A or B Echelon. The Pipe Major of the Calgary Highlanders had his bagpipes blown up when an ammunition truck was hit during the assault on Hill 67 in July 1944; he was travelling with the RSM at the time, well behind the lines. Four pipers did accompany the rifle companies into action - their first on active service - but it was also the last time the pipers played into action.

The band assembled for the memorial parade in Dieppe on 3 September, and bagpipes are mentioned being used at Christmas and New Years in the Nijmegen Salient. They may also have been used at mess dinners for the officers during this period.

Other than that, they don't seem to be mentioned much in the war diary or official histories of the Regiment.
Thanks for the info Mike.
Very little is said of unit pipers as to what they did when not piping so I rather assumed that their kit would be in the QM stores for safe keeping.

It would be interesting to learn more of how units employed their pipers during battle - as stretcher bearers, ammunition bearers, drivers or what.

DT.
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Iain Burns
Iain Burns

September 21st, 2005, 11:32 pm #7

there were at least 2 times durring D-Day landings were led by pipers. one was by Lovats scouts (yes like in the movie). the pipes are now on display at the museum near the bridge. its one of the best displays i have seen.
... and that sounds a bit ruder than it's supposed to.
The Piper seen in "The Longest Day" was Bill Millan, and he was playing himself in the movie.
There is a bit of con-trovosy about Piper Millan's Pipes, and just exactly where the set that he played during the Normandy Invasion. He presented the first set to the museum in France first, and then gave another set the the Scottish United Services Museum a few years back. He couldn't have played them both in Overlord! Last I heard he was threatening to take one set back (I think from the SUSM)
Aye,
Iain
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Iain Burns
Iain Burns

September 21st, 2005, 11:53 pm #8

Thanks for the info Mike.
Very little is said of unit pipers as to what they did when not piping so I rather assumed that their kit would be in the QM stores for safe keeping.

It would be interesting to learn more of how units employed their pipers during battle - as stretcher bearers, ammunition bearers, drivers or what.

DT.
Gentleman...
I don't want you to think you've aroused my wrath, but the information that I have (admittedly on Scottish Highland Regiments, not those of the Commonwealth) shows that Pipers did not act in some non-combat job during battle. If there is anyone who has information (on Scottish Regiments) that shows otherwise, I'd be very interested in getting a copy, as I present myself as a Piper at many of the displays my unit does.
I am sure that there may have been a few that had skills or (possibly) interests that led them to be used as SB's or D/R's, but they are the exception.
The tradition in Scottish Highland Regiments is that Pipers are Soldiers, NOT Muscians, and therefore have a definate place in the Battle Line. Their original job was to Pipe during the attack, and when the realities of modern warfare made this (even more?) risky, they continued as either Riflemen, Grenadiers (although this is more common in the Great War), or in some other martial job in their Companies.
Early on to the middle of the 39-45, Pipers played their Battalions into the fight. El Alamein was just one of the many places that Pipers died while playing away. Towards the end of the war, Piping in battle becomes rarer, as Pipers were not that plentiful that you could afford to have one or two go down at each fight.
However, even in August of 1944, 2nd Black Watch, at the very end of one of the longest Chindit expedition of the war, were Piped into their last battle of the campaign by Cpl/Piper Lark, using a set of Pipes that had been air-dropped behind enemy line for that express purpose.
Pipers were not in the rear with the gear, or if they were it was again the exception.
I am not saying that all Pipers in ALL Commonwealth countries did the same, but I am still very interested in any information about Pipers that is available.
Aye,
Iain
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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

September 22nd, 2005, 2:19 am #9

Yes indeed Pipers were in combat. I know a piper from the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa who was a machine gunner shortly after D-Day. When in action they served as regular members of the unit- or at least he did. Scottish-Highland units had many pipers and piping instructors and schools/classes. Pipes were brought along with them into the field-where they kept them while fighting- I dont know. However this piper is in some well known newsreel footage showing him firing a Vickers which he explained was during an action where a large number of men of the 12 SS were caught advancing across an open field of tall grass.

Ken
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Rob van Meel
Rob van Meel

September 22nd, 2005, 7:04 am #10

... and that sounds a bit ruder than it's supposed to.
The Piper seen in "The Longest Day" was Bill Millan, and he was playing himself in the movie.
There is a bit of con-trovosy about Piper Millan's Pipes, and just exactly where the set that he played during the Normandy Invasion. He presented the first set to the museum in France first, and then gave another set the the Scottish United Services Museum a few years back. He couldn't have played them both in Overlord! Last I heard he was threatening to take one set back (I think from the SUSM)
Aye,
Iain
supposedly the two tunes played in 'The longest day' got mixed up, and when it is said that the Black Bear is being played it is the other tune, and vica versa.

Rob
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