Quest to Find Tunes Associated with the Highland Light Infantry (HLI)

By Andrew Reid

I am looking for some help in finding out the regimental tunes of the Highland Light Infantry. 

As those who know me well will know, I’m the piper for the Highland Light Infantry City of Glasgow Veterans Association. 

They’re a good bunch of lads with a keen interest in the history of the regiment and all to do with it.

To this end, I thought it’d be only right to make (or attempt to make) my own contribution to the fold by assembling information regarding the subject of piping and pipe bands in the HLI for the sake of ‘enrichment’.



Of course my first point of call is the regimental repertoire. That is: meal call, reveille, march past tune, etc. as opposed to just tunes associated with or named after someone in the regiment or something the regiment has done. 

I’ve spent the last couple months having a good look about and speaking to some people associated, but have only managed to scrape the odd few ‘I thinks’.

To digress for a moment, of particular note in the group picture above, myself with the HLI Association at the Fete de la Liberation in France this August, is one John Lamont who in 2016 was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by the French for his service in World War 2.

If I recall correctly, he was in either the 5th or 6th Battalion. He not only landed at D-Day, but on his 19th birthday crossed the Rhine in that infamous push forward.

Back to the tunes. There really seems to be very little information online, and if there is, it’s extremely well buried under the endless renditions of the 10th Battalion HLI Crossing the Rhine by P/M Donald Shaw Ramsay kicking about!



As I understand it, the HLI amalgamated with the Royal Scots Fusiliers to become the Royal Highland Fusiliers.

While that’s indeed a good starting point, and there is information available in almost entirety, I feel it impossible to distinguish between what would have been kept in the repertoire at the amalgamation and what was replaced. And if tunes were replaced, what were they?

I get the feeling that this is something that will come down to oral history, which is why I make this humble request to any kind souls who have even a snippet of information.

Any information/pointers would be much appreciated. However, I believe in paying forward when asking for effort in return, so for what it’s worth, I have attached a tune I penned last year.

A 6/8, aptly titled The Highland Light Infantry Association:

The 3rd and 4th bars can either be played with the variations, or as in the first part all the way through; I find both work well. 

Hope you all enjoy and many thanks in advance!

If people are interested in learning more about the Association they can check out the website: http://highlandlightinfantry.org.uk


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3 thoughts on “Quest to Find Tunes Associated with the Highland Light Infantry (HLI)

  1. Hi

    At the risk of asking the obvious question, but had you ever considered writing to the curator of the Royal Highland Fusliers Museum, establishing a close relationship with him or her to see if you could peruse the Regiment archives? I was able to establish such a relationship years ago with the old Queen’s Own Highlanders at Cameron Barracks who were very helpful. You won’t really find anything meaningful online unless you’re able to stumble upon an old extremely rare copy of the non published duty tunes of the 2nd Battalion HLI produced in 1912. The archives of the Regiment would have these things as I found out at Cameron Barracks years ago.

    Good luck.

  2. Piper Reid:
    Greetings!
    Just a thought, and only because you it is not mentioned in the information given, but perhaps your best lead for that information would be P/M Gordon Walker.

    Best of luck,
    jeff

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