Chris Gray / Somme pipe goes for £5,000 / Breton tribute; VJ Day 75

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William Scott's pipes.

Inveraray & District Pipe Band piper, Chris Gray has released his first recording. The self-entitled CD is available now from his website.

Recorded last year, the reocrding was co-produced by Calum MacCrimmon and features a multi-instrumental ensemble.

Read Iain MacInnes’ review.


William Scott’s pipes.

A set of pipes that were reportedly played at the Battle of the Somme have been sold for £4,600. The sale was carried out recently by auctioneers, Lockdales in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. The pipes had a reserve price of only £800 with the auctioneer anticipating they would sell for only £500.

The pipes are said to have belonged to William Alexander Scott who was a soldier in the 21st Battalion Tyneside Scottish, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed on the first day of the offensive – July 1, 1916 – unarmed and still carrying his pipes. Scott’s pipes were recovered and returned to his family. In recent years the pipes were sold to a private collector.


Anne Lore playing her tribute from her balcony in Saint-Nazaire, Brittany.

We are grateful to Anne Lore from Brittany for sending us the following report on how of a handful of pipers in her locality marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day last Friday:

 “I had intended to play my tribute on the roof of The Base Sous-Marine at Saint-Nazaire, because this building was so important to the town during the Second World War. The restrictions placed on us as a result of the coronavirus pandemic meant I could not do this.

“So, four pipers from the Scottish music section of the Bagad Saint-Nazaire agreed to play at their respective homes instead. These were Marie-Christine Pasquier and Hervé Menez, Jean-Claude Guégan and myself, Anne Lore. Jean-Claude, in fact, played in front of his house then crossed the street to play for the retired people who live there.

“Prior to this, I had sent a news release to make the people aware of what we were planning and on Thursday a team of reporters of the France TV (FR3), from Nantes, rang me to arrange a visit in order to capture the tributes made by two of us.

Hervé Menez and Jean-Claude Guégan.
Hervé Menez and Jean-Claude Guégan.

“I played twice When the Battle’s O‘er, followed  by VE75 Years, then I stopped and played the European anthem followed with Le Chant des Partisans (a song of the French Resistance), and played back again the two early tunes.

Marie-Christine Pasquier.

“The report was shown later on the FranceTV website. I never imagined that our local event would have been put on France’s national network. Saint-Nazaire was the last French town to be liberated (on May 11, 1945).”

Further to our post on Tuesday about VJ Day 75, pipers can now register their participation HERE.