The Pipes of War A Record of Achievements of Pipers of
Scottish and Overseas Regiments during the War of 1914 - 1918. by
Brevet-Col. Sir Bruce Seton, Bart. of Abercorn, C.B. and Pipe Major John
WHEREVER Scottish troops have fought the sound of
the pipes has been heard, speaking to us of our beloved native land,
bringing back to our memories the proud traditions of our race, and
stimulating our spirits to fresh efforts in the cause of freedom. The
cry of "The Lament" over our fallen heroes has reminded us of the
undying spirit of the Scottish race, and of the sacredness of our cause.
The Pipers of Scotland may well be proud of the
part they have played in this war, in the heat of battle, by the lonely
grave, and during the long hours of waiting, they have called to us to
show ourselves worthy of the land to which we belong. Many have fallen
in the fight for liberty, but their memories remain. Their fame will
inspire others to learn the pipes, and keep alive their music in the
Land of the Gael.
This record of the achievements of pipers during
the war of 1914-18 is not intended to be an appeal to emotionalism. It
aims at showing that, in spite of the efforts of a very efficient enemy
to prevent individual gallantry, in spite of the physical conditions of
the modern battlefield, the pipes of war, the oldest instrument in the
world, have played an even greater part in the orchestra of battle in
this than they have in past campaigns.
The piper, be he Highlander, or Lowlander, or Scot
from Overseas, has accomplished the impossiblenot rarely and under
favourable conditions, but almost as a matter of routine; and to him
not Scotland only but the British Empire owes more than they have yet
In doing so he has
sacrificed himself; and Scotlandand the world must face the fact that
a large proportion of the men who played the instrument and kept alive
the old traditions have completed their self- imposed task. With 300
pipers killed and 600 wounded something must be done to raise a new
generation of players; it is a matter of national importance that this
should be taken in hand at once, and that the sons of those who have
gone should follow in the footsteps of their fathers.
This is the best tribute that can be offered to
Society intend to institute a Memorial School of piping for this
purpose, and all profits from the sale of this book will be handed over
to their fund.
compilation of the statistical portions of the work has involved
correspondence with commanding officers, pipe presidents and pipe majors
of many units in the Imperial armies; to them, for their enthusiastic
assistance in obtaining information, is due the credit for the mass of
detail that has been made available.
To the other contributorsauthors, artists and
poetsis due in large measure such success as may follow the publication
of this work. They have helped a cause worthy of their efforts.
It is earnestly to be hoped that Scotland will
rise to the occasion. To the compilers it has been a privilege to record
the achievements of men many of them personal friendswho contributed
so largely to the success of their gallant regiments.
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