Dr Hugh Hepburn, a keen support of piping and was a popular and well known face in the piping scene of the northwest of Scotland, died, aged 80, on May 8. The Aberdeen-born piper had a short battle with Myeloma, a form of blood cancer. Boxing was another of Hugh’s interests and for years he served as a medical professional at amateur bouts across Scotland.
Raised in humble beginnings, Hugh was the second eldest of eight children born in the north-east of Scotland city. He left school at 15 to take up various jobs to help support his family, and then aged 19, having been playing pipes since before his teenage years, joined the Gordon Highlanders for a short time. However, his love for medicine led him leave the army to study and train to become a doctor. He attended night school and gained a place at Aberdeen University’s medical school, graduating in 1974 before working in a range of settings including in Accident & Emergency departments of hospitals in Aberdeen and in Falkirk, Perth, Gibraltar and Forfar. In 1990 he set up Aberdeen Medical Services with his eldest son, Mark and another partner.
Hugh was also involved with the Lochaber Gathering, particularly his sponsoring of the competition for retired professional pipers, which ran for a few years in the late 1990s. He used to play in it himself along with retired professionals such as John D. Burgess.
Hugh also competed at other events including those organised by the Scottish Pipers’ Association.
We extend our condolences to wife Betty and their three children, Mark, Fiona and Stuart.