Piping in WW2: Personal Stories from the Home Front

We continue with our well received history by Jeannie Campbell. The picture above shows the KOSB regimental Pipes and Drums leading a parade down a bleak Princes Street, Edinburgh, in 1939….. The late Dr Jimmy Campbell has memories of wartime piping. This is his story: ‘My first year as a medical student in 1941 included service in the Senior Training Corps, fire watching and guard duty. Invasion was expected so…

Piping During WW2: The Founding of the College of Piping, Dunkirk and ‘Mad’ Jack Churchill

The College of Piping was founded early in the 1940s as part of a youth organisation named ‘Fianna na h’Alba’, writes Jeannie Campbell. The Fianna activities included the study of Scottish history, the Gaelic language and literature, Scottish crafts, Highland dancing and all outdoor pursuits.  Another important feature of their activities were ceilidhs and piper member Seumas MacNeill (pictured above) would of course play at these. The result was that…

Piping During WW2: Scottish Societies Keep up the Good Work But London Badly Affected

The third excerpt from Jeannie Campbell’s history of piping 1939-1945 ……. The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society in Edinburgh held their AGM in November 1939 and it was decided that meetings of the Society would continue. Officials were appointed for a period of six months to fill the gaps caused by members away on service duty. Eighteen members of the Society were killed during the war. On 30th September 1939 the…

Piping in WW2: Heroes of the Scottish Pipers’ Association

The second excerpt from Jeannie Campbell’s history of piping 1939-1945 which first appeared in Pipe Band magazine in 2007……. During the war years the Scottish Pipers’ Association continued to meet in Glasgow and to run their amateur/juvenile competitions. At the beginning of the War, Malcolm MacLean Currie was the Association Secretary. The full committee is pictured above in 1936. Malcolm Currie had served during the First World War as P/M…

Piping During WW2: Home and Abroad the Music Continued Regardless

The current hiatus in piping activity, more particularly in pipe band activity, has been likened to a similar fallow period during WW2. What was it like then? In this series piping historian Jeannie Campbell investigates and finds that there was much more going on than might be imagined…. Pipers took their traditions with them wherever they were stationed. A Highland Games was held on the North African shores of the…