Can Anyone Help Me Find Out More About My Father?

Reader Alison Willasey-Wilsey has written, ‘I wonder if Piping Press readers can assist me in finding out more information about my father now deceased. 

‘He said that he joined the Aberdeen and Dundee Pipe Band of the Royal Engineers in 1937.

‘He was subsequently called up to the Royal Engineers when war broke out in 1939. I know he was in a pipe band as a young boy in Aberdeen and I wonder if you can shed any light on whether such a band existed or not. He was also in the Boys Brigade, so maybe he joined their pipe band.

‘My father’s name was James Gordon Mackie, and he was born in Aberdeen on 7 October, 1922. The photograph is of him in his pipe band uniform.

‘He lied about his age and joined the Territorial Army on 10 March 1937, stating that he was 16, when in fact he was only 15. His Army Service Record states that he ‘Attained the age of 17 on 7 October 1938’, which he obviously hadn’t.  

‘After the Royal Engineers discovered his true age he was, I think, sent back to the TA until 30 September 1939, when he was then posted as a sapper. So his pipe band career in the Aberdeen band presumably lasted about two and a half years.  

‘I still have his chanter, but sadly never heard him play and indeed am not aware that he ever played the pipes again after he returned to Aberdeen after the war. I would be very grateful if anyone in the piping community had any information.’


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