Gareth Rudolph reports: Just to let you know it is the George Ackroyd Challenge Solo Piping Contest this Saturday 11 October 2014 and is being held at the Transvaal Scottish HQ in Parktown, Johannesburg. This year sees the introduction of the first Amateur Piping contest to be held prior to the Open contest. Hopefully this will be the start of something really worthwhile for solo piping in SA.
Re George Ackroyd I found this on the Black Watch Forum so I’m not sure how accurate it is: ‘History states he was a prisoner of war captured at Tobruk and held in Germany untill released by the Americans and was then flown by them back to England. He was repatriated back to South Africa 1945.
‘The first mention of a G Ackroyd was as a Lance Corporal in 1921 and Corporal from 3/10/1922. In 1925 he is referred to as Senior Piper in the Muster Roll and as Pipe Major in the ‘Red Hackle Notes’. The use of Senior Piper in the Muster Roll and Pipe Major in the Red Hackle Notes continued until the Muster Roll of January 1929 when he is referred to as Pipe Major. He left the Battalion in 1930 to go to the Regiment Depot at Queens Barracks, Perth. He remained there until 1938. P/M Ackroyd was with the Transvaal Scottish pipe band from 1938 until he left the band in 1963.’
‘George [junior] was the son of P/M George Ackroyd, Depot /3rd Bn 1910 – 1919. George Jnr was born in 1902 Edinburgh into the 1st Bn which his father was with at that point. He enlisted as a boy piper in 1916 and was posted with his father to Nigg in the 3rd Bn and became P/M 2nd Bn 1925 till 1930 then Depot 1930 – 1938. He emigrated to South Africa was 1st P/M of 2nd Transvaal Scottish 1939. He was 3rd in the Gold medal Inverness 1931. He died at Brakpan, South Africa in 1973’
* Gareth Rudolph is a top prizewinning piper and, whilst resident in Scotland, taught at the National Piping Centre. he also competed with St Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band winning the World Championship with them in 2010. Gareth currently runs his own Highland supplies company in South Africa www.rudolphbagpipeservices.co.za; Cell: +27 (0)81 856 3252