conditions gave to the Piobaireachd Society of Scotland an
unanticipated opportunity to widen its sphere of work and to
render some direct service to pipers in the Dominions, and
especially to the pipers of Canada.
after the outbreak of war in 1939 it became apparent that
the society could not continue its peace-time programme,
under which, at Edinburgh Castle, an annual course of six
months' duration for pipers of the Regular Army was held
each winter, and, in the summer, shorter classes throughout
the Highlands and Islands of Scotland for the instruction
and inspiration of civilian pipers.
society, therefore, looked round to find how best it could
still continue its work for piping under war conditions.
the active sympathy and cooperation of the Army Command in
Scotland, it was soon decided that the objective in view
could best be attained by the substitution, under Army
direction, of short war courses open to pipers from all
society gladly made available the services of its famed
instructor, Pipe-Major William Ross, upon whom the King has
recently conferred the M. B. E.
date no fewer than 713 pipers from every piping regiment of
the British Army, from each of the Dominion Forces, even
including some musicians from the Polish Army, have passed
through Pipe Major Ross's skilful hands.
enthusiasm shown by enlisted pipers to attend these classes
has never waned; nor has the keenness evinced by commanding
officers to send their men to the class- and that enthusiasm
still continues, nowhere keener than among the Canadian
regiments. Ninety-three Canadian pipers have received
tuition and encouragement at Edinburgh Castle.
manifestly impossible to mention by name all the pipers of
Canada who have benefited and appreciated the opportunity to
participate with their brother pipers of both Highland and
Lowland Regiments of the British Army in the instruction
given to them. That they did feel that they benefited is
borne out by the fact that several have attended more than
Pipe-Major Esson (Vancouver), Seaforth Highlanders of
Canada, was present at no fewer than three courses. Along
with Sgt. Armstrong, of the same regiment, he made a special
study of piobaireachd.
others who attended more than once were Pipe Majors Neil
Sutherland and Malcolm MacHinnon, (Calgary), of the Seaforth
Highlanders of Canada; Pipe-Major D. Sutherland, of the
Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada; Pipe-Majors
Duncan and Scott, of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa; and
Pipe-Major Noble, of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
members of the Piobaireachd Society hope that the help and
encouragement-perhaps even inspiration-which, through the
incidence of war, they, in cooperation with the Army
authorities, have been able to extend to the pipers of the
Dominion of Canada, will, in the days of peace to come, have
a lasting and beneficial effect in bringing more closely
together in understanding, appreciation and brotherhood all
lovers of the traditional and ancient art of piping on both
sides of the Atlantic.