Blue MacMurchie.

Pipe maker, Blue MacMurchie of West Calder, Scotland and his father have composed a lovely march in honour of a soldier who was killed after piping his way to a German trench on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Blue was asked to refurbish the soldier’s pipes after they were purchased by an anonymous officer in Australia’s armed forces at an online auction in the spring. The story was published here on Tuesday

Blue has kindly forwarded the score of the tune, a 9/8 retreat march in memory of the young soldier, called Piper Willie Scott (Tyneside Scottish), as well as footage of the tune being played by Pipe Major Stuart Samson at Blues workshop last week.

Private Willie Scott was a soldier in the 2nd Tyneside Scottish (21st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers). His pipes were made by the firm of Daniel McCullough of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Here is a video of Pipe Major Stuart Samson playing When the Battle’s Over on the refurbished pipes (with the original pipe chanter) then Private Willie Scott and Pipe Major William Lawrie’s Battle of the Somme (with Blue’s ABW pipe chanter):

Blue, who hopes to have his third collection of original pipe music published very soon, wishes to thank Bruce Hitchings for the drone reeds and Andrew Frater for the pipe chanter reed.

Nominations are now open for this year’s annual MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.

The award ceremony was planned to take place in Dundee’s Caird Hall on December 12 but instead will be held online and broadcast on BBC Alba and elsewhere.

The awards give recognition to excellence within Scotland’s thriving traditional musical culture such as playing and composing, Gaelic song, folk and Scottish dance music to pipe bands. This year, for obvious reasons, there will be no pipe band category. Inveraray & District Pipe Band was named the Scottish Pipe Band of the Year last year.

To nominate go to