‘To illustrate the recording, I enclose a picture taken the same day where you can see Andrew adjudicating with Jakez Pincet on the left of the picture, and myself (with hair !) on the right .
‘Andrew was a great player and Bob Brown spoke very highly of him both as a player of Ceol Mor and Ceol Beag. Bob Brown also spoke of Bob Hardie with a lot of respect, and he told me that he thought he was a great Ceol Mor player, although he was not of the same school.
From 1976 he served as Director of Army Bagpipe Music retiring in 1981. His Senior Pipe Major at that time was P/M Angus MacDonald, Scots Guards. Angus wrote a fine 9/8 march for Andrew and it can be found in Angus’s collection Book 1.
Andrew Pitkeathly was not fond of competition and though at the height of his powers in the late 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, rarely ventured away from his Army or Royal duties to play at the major gatherings. He did however compete at Oban in 1949 when he won the Gold Medal playing MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart, and at London in 1950 where he won the Gillies Cup for Open Piobaireachd.
His expertise in ceol mor can be heard on the Piobaireachd Society’s website (member’s area) where he gives an expert rendition of the ground and early variation of the difficult Daughter’s Lament.
On retiring from the Army, Captain Pitkeathly was in much demand as a judge and tutor with top pipers Gordon Walker and the late Alasdair Gillies among his star performers.
Andrew Pitkeathly, pipe-smoking, genial, helpful and encouraging at all times, was well liked by everyone who met him. He died in 1994.