There was a lengthy and heartfelt response to the news last week that P/M Tony Crease of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards had passed away. Here are a few: ‘A great man. Loved by all the staff of Cambria Officer’s Mess. We are left with many happy memories,’ Mary McCullough MBE and staff.
‘I had the honour to serve under Pipe Major Tony Crease in our Pipes & Drums from him being a Lance Corporal in the Royal Scots Greys (1969) until he handed over to me as Pipe Major of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in 1978. To say that Tony laid the foundations of what the band went on to achieve would be something of an understatement.
‘Under his direction, some brilliant young pipers and drummers were recruited and, in addition to the success of Amazing Grace, he took the band to a world class level where success not only came from combined music but also on the competition field, gaining respect from both civilian bands and Army bands alike. However he always instilled in us the most important audience we could ever have, was that of his Regiment, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards,’ John Allan.
‘Served with Tony from February 1968 till December 1971 as a piper in the band. Amazing Grace was recorded in the gymnasium of Redford infantry Barracks, Edinburgh, May 1971. I played on the original recording but left the band before it became a hit. Goodnight Tony and I will always remember the times we all had together,’ Alan Paul.
There were many more comments and the story was read by thousands of readers around the world. Piping Press also had contact from P/M Blue MacMurchie. Blue wrote: ‘I read the article on Tony and saw the clip from the BBC2 programme we did at Castle Howard.
‘I actually have a copy of the full show on DVD which Tony sent me as he had it on video from the BBC and had it converted and put onto disc. The full show is really worth seeing and listening to. I can send you a copy if you would wish to show it.
‘Tony was the man responsible or ‘irresponsible’ for recruiting me into the Scots DG in 1976. He was a hard task master. The rest is history.
‘You will be able to recognise me on the video as I am the taller of the two ‘lefties’ in the band. I was told if I joined the Scots Guards I would have to play with the drones on the other side! Tony didn’t care as long as you could actually play!’
Thanks to Blue we are able to make part of the video available to PP readers. Check it out here:
Read the story of Tony’s passing here.