Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

RIP Bill Millin, amphibious war piper

August 31st, 2010 by GST

[Lord Lovat] was ordering now, as they waded up Sword Beach, in that drawly voice of his: “Give us a tune, piper.” Mr Millin thought him a mad bastard. The man beside him, on the point of jumping off, had taken a bullet in the face and gone under. But there was Lovat, strolling through fire quite calmly in his aristocratic way, allegedly wearing a monogrammed white pullover under his jacket and carrying an ancient Winchester rifle, so if he was mad Mr Millin thought he might as well be ridiculous too, and struck up “Hielan’ Laddie”. Lovat approved it with a thumbs-up, and asked for “The Road to the Isles”. Mr Millin inquired, half-joking, whether he should walk up and down in the traditional way of pipers. “Oh, yes. That would be lovely.”

Dead at 88.

Comments (2)
Filed under: Birkenhead Drill | Tags: ,
August 31st, 2010 12:49:50

August 31, 2010

My brother told me a story. As an infantyman squatting alongside a dusty road on a brief respite from convoy and combat operations during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he watched with some bemusement as the regimental band dismounted a truck and formed up to play. As the musicians tuned and otherwise readied themselves, the Marine infantryman questioned each other about the value of such an endeavor, trucking around a bunch of musicians in a combat zone. The questions ended when the playing began–every infantryman instantly knew the value of the endeavor.

August 31, 2010


I fought most of my battles to brassy John Williams orchestration. Wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.