Bob’s Tune for His Fallen Grandfather

Further to our concluding episode on pipers and pipe music of WW1, leading piper, composer and adjudicator Bob Worrall of Ontario, Canada, has submitted a poignant retreat march in memory of his grandfather who died in the conflict.

Bob writes: ‘My grandfather Albert James Worrall was killed at the Battle of Vimy Ridge on Easter Sunday, 1917. He was 29, leaving behind his wife and five young children. 

‘About 3000 Canadians were killed in this battle. Here’s a 3/4 to commemorate not only the victory, but also the untold sorrow associated with the battle.

‘There are also some pictures that commemorate Remembrance Day and my grandfather’s sacrifice. The drum sticks were his….yep, a drummer in the family!’

Here is Bob performing his new tune:


And here is a copy of the music he has kindly made available to readers of Piping Press:

Download your copy here:

More pictures – Bob’s grandfather, his medals, drumsticks and citation:


Wikipedia: The Battle of Vimy Ridge was part of the Battle of Arras during the First World War. The main combatants were the four divisions of the Canadian Corps against three divisions of the German 6th Army. The battle took place from 9 to 12 April 1917.

The Canadian Corps were to capture the German-held high ground of Vimy Ridge, an escarpment on the northern flank of the Arras front. This would protect the First Army and the Third Army farther south from German enfilade fire. Supported by a creeping barrage, the Canadian Corps captured most of the ridge during the first day of the attack. The village of Thélus fell during the second day, as did the crest of the ridge, once the Canadian Corps overran a salient against considerable German resistance. The final objective, a fortified knoll fell to the Canadians on 12 April.

The Canadian National Memorial at Vimy Ridge

Historians attribute the success of the Canadian Corps to technical and tactical innovation, meticulous planning, powerful artillery support and extensive training, as well as the inability of the 6th Army to properly apply the new German defensive doctrine. The battle was the first occasion when the four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together and it was made a symbol of Canadian national achievement and sacrifice. A 250 acre portion of the former battleground serves as a memorial park and site of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.



3 thoughts on “Bob’s Tune for His Fallen Grandfather

  1. Hello, thanks a lot for this lovely tune. I’m performing every year at Vimy on 9th April to commemorate the Battle of Arras in 1917. I now will learn this tune and add it for the future ceremonies there. I also composed a tune in memory of the Tyneside Scottish fallen during the invasion of 1940 at Ficheux, not far from Arras and the tune will be performed in september 2021 during a ceremony of remembrance where TS association members will attend with our pipeband (Somme Battlefield PB). Let me know please how to share the score of my retreat march “Tyneside Scottish Heroes at Ficheux”. Best regards, Yves Holbecq, PM of SBPB, official Piper of RBL Nord/Pas de Calais Branch, Treasurer of the Pipers Memorial of Longueval, Honorary Member of the Tyneside Scottish Association.

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