Douglas Elmslie – Funeral Details, Pictures added

Dougie in his 214 days
Dougie in his 214 days

Douglas Elmslie, one of the mainstays of the legendary Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band in the 1960s, has died after a short illness. He was 68. His funeral will be held at Daldowie Crematorium, Glasgow, next Friday, January 23rd, at 9am, repeat 9am, and to which all friends and family are respectfully invited.
Douglas, or Dougie as he was better known, learned his piping in the 214th Glasgow Company of the Boys’ Brigade and studied piobaireachd with P/M Peter Bain and P/M Donald MacLeod MBE.

Dougie in Kilsyth rig-out with his friend James Cameron Stuart and some overseas visitors
Dougie in Kilsyth rig-out with his friend James Cameron Stuart and some overseas visitors

In his solo competing days he won all the top amateur awards available to him in the Glasgow area, and on reaching 18 joined the Muirheads band under P/M RG Hardie. The band was already on its record winning run of World Championship wins, and Dougie rode the crest of that particularly successful wave picking up three titles himself. Also in the band were his elder brother Jim, and latterly his younger brother Ronnie – and his lifelong friend Gordon Ferguson, now in Australia.

Dougie with his friend Hector Russell – both ex-214 BB – with the John MacDougall Gillies Trophy which they both won in their younger days. The trophy is presented for piobaireachd competition each year at the Scottish Pipers’ Association junior competition

On leaving the band Dougie went overseas for many years with the Merchant Navy before returning home and settling down with his wife Josephine and a career in the press rooms of DC Thomson and George Outram newspaper publishers.  Keen to keep playing, Dougie joined the Kilsyth Thistle Pipe Band and then the non-competing Renfrew band. He also did many corporate and social functions in and around his home town of Kirkintilloch.

Dougie pictured at the 214 ex-members reunion in 2013
Dougie pictured at the 214 ex-members reunion in 2013

Dougie Elmslie was one of the most genial, welcoming individuals it was ever my good fortune to meet. Never without a smile, even during his days of painful, discomfiting illness, Dougie was an example to us all in how to deal with adversity. Sincere condolences to Josephine and family. Funeral details to follow. If anyone has any personal memories or messages they would like to add to the above please pass on.

Robert Wallace

The following tributes have been added from the Piping Press Facebook page:

  • Gordon Craig Sad news. Great guy. Condolences to his full family.
    Norman Mcdonald Rab, A big shock about Dougie’s death. As you wrote Dougie was a very good player. I remember taking the Piper’s Badge at the Boys Brigade where we had to play an MSR. As an indication of Dougie’s ability he played the 1st part of the March and the judge indicated to him to stop playing and then awarded the Badge to Dougie. Norrie
    Gordon Craig Dougie played in the Clan MacRae with his brother Jim and Gordon Ferguson prior to them all going to the Muirheads
    Alan McColl Yes sad news a stalwart of the 214 and always tried to get to the annual reunions. Norman you may recognise a few faces on the 214 website if you haven’t seen it already check out


4 thoughts on “Douglas Elmslie – Funeral Details, Pictures added

  1. I have known Dougie since we were boys together in the 214. We made a pact that we would play in the same senior band and in 1965 joined Muirheads, great timing! Despite the fact I live in Australia, we spoke regularly on the phone and I always caught up with Dougie when back home. He was an amazing character, always good for a laugh and did he pour a good dram! I was deeply saddened by his passing and wish to convey our condolences to the entire family. Rest in Peace Old Mate, we will all miss you. Gordon Ferguson

    1. Thanks Gordon, Dawn here, was a lovely service Dad would have been proud I’m sure, and a great turn out, hope to see you guys soon xx

      1. Hi Dawn, So pleased the funeral service went so well. You and Lorna have been a great comfort and help to your mum and wee Frankie has helped too as a distraction! I am sure you will all rally round to provide the support your mum needs in the months ahead.

        Love to you and the family,

        Gordon & Wendy

  2. Very sorry to hear this. I met Dougie at Kilsyth Thistle Pipe Band and he was always very encouraging and supportive which I greatly appreciated. Sincere condolences to his family.

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