Composing Contest Reminder/ St Columba’s School’s Remembrance/ Graeme Johnston Contest

Calling all composers. There is exactly one month left to get your composition entered for the John Cruickshank VC tune competition. First prize is £1,000.

Entries close November 30. There has already been a considerable number of submissions. The contest is for a pipe march, of any time signature, to commemorate Mr Cruickshank’s heroism during WW2.

‘The Victor’ issue 1143

It has been brought to our attention that these heroics featured in the boy’s own ‘comic’ ‘The Victor’. A website, ‘Down the Tubes’, reports…’There was a time not that long ago when British boy’s comics celebrated the heroism of British and Commonwealth servicemen.….

‘The Victoria Cross is the highest British award for military gallantry and is all too often bestowed posthumously. There are currently only ten living recipients of the Victoria Cross….

‘One of the oldest living recipients is John Cruickshank and his courage and determination was featured in both The Victor and Battle/Action.

‘Sullom Voe in the Shetlands is now known for its oil terminal but during World War II it was a flying boat base, used by 210 Squadron of the Royal Air Force Coastal Command in its battle to keep the North Atlantic and Arctic sea lanes open for supply convoys.

‘Flying Officer Cruickshank was twenty-four years old when he piloted a Consolidated Catalina anti-submarine flying boat from Sullom Voe on 17 July 1944 on a patrol north into the Atlantic. There the ‘Cat’ found a German Type VIIC U-boat on the surface.

Flying Officer John Cruickshank during his RAF service

‘At this point in the war the aerial threat to the U-boats meant that they were fitted with anti-aircraft guns and Cruickshank had to fly the Catalina into the hail of flak put up by the U-boat…..’

Read the full story here. Read the full competition details here.

The competition judges are P/M Ian McLellan, P/M Richard Parkes, P/M Stuart Liddell and PP Editor Robert Wallace.

The judging panel

The winner will be announced in January and it is hoped that a framed copy of the tune will be presented to and played for Mr Cruickshank (98) at a special ceremony in Aberdeen, his home town.

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P/M Gordon Bruce: ‘As part of the National Tribute ‘Battle’s Over’, St Columba’s School, Kilmacolm is inviting the local community along with any pipers and drummers to take part in a short service with the School Pipe Band to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War.

The service will begin at 5.45am on Sunday 11th November at the War Memorial (Lochwinnoch Road, Kilmacolm). Anyone who wishes to take part please contact Mr Bruce at or 01505 872238 by 4th Nov. All participants will received a certificate from the organisers of the Tribute.’

The RSPBA Glasgow & West of Scotland Branch hold their annual Graeme Johnston Memorial Juvenile Competition on November 17. Maureen Gilmour has taken over the organising.

Maureen writes: ‘The Branch is delighted to announce the continued support of this event by Kenny MacLeod of McCallum Bagpipes who again has provided a set of McCallum’s bagpipes for the winner of the 14 years and under event, and Craig Munro of Wallace Bagpipes who has provided vouchers for lessons for the winner of the 15 to 18 years event.

‘Anne Marie Greeves died in September, which is a very sad loss to her husband Nigel and family. Anne Marie was a tremendous help to Nigel in support of his role as Contest Secretary and is therefore also a great loss to the Branch.

‘Consequently, any enquiries regarding this competition should be made to the Branch Treasurer, Maureen Gilmour: ‘

Check out the entry form here.

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