Info on Black Watch pipers sought

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The Black Watch band
The Pipes and Drums of The Black Watch marching down Edinburgh's High Street for the fifth opening of the Scottish Parliament. July 2016.

The author of a major new book on the pipers of The Black Watch is seeking information from the families and friends of pipers who served in the regiment from 1919 till 1988.

Alistair Duthie, who was himself a piper in the 1st Battalion from 1988-2008, serving latterly as Pipe Major, has spent the last few years conducting research for the book which will span the regiment’s formation in 1725 until 2006. He said: “I have the book as complete as it can be from the raising of the regiment in 1725 up until the First World War. My next task is to get as much information as I can from the regiment’s pipers and those who knew them from 1919 till 1988.

“The period of the Second World War is my most pressing issue as there are virtually no documents in existence that survived either St. Valery, Dunkirk nor when the battalions disbanded whilst overseas. In fact, I am aware of only a handful of pipers who served during the Second World War who are still alive so it is now a matter of urgency to record their stories before they too pass into history.”

Of particular interest to Mr Duthie, pictured left, are Captain Charlie Smith (a Gold medallist), Duncan McIntyre (who was killed at El Alamein), the founders of The Red Hackle Pipe Band, Pipe Majors Charlie Anderson, Alfie Gray, James Steele, James Carnegie, Cpl John Smith (6th Bn), and Pipe Major William Davidson (Fife). “Even if it’s just a name, I would rather record that than nothing at all,” said Mr Duthie.

If anyone can help please contact Alistair Duthie directly at: theduthies@hotmail.com