Thursday, April 29, 2004

The Mad Piper

SCOTLAND'S "Mad Piper" has been immortalised in a series of stamps issued to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Bill Millin, 81, found fame as the soldier who piped Lord Lovat's 1 Commando Brigade ashore during the landings at Sword Beach in Normandy on 6 June, 1944.

Mr Millin, originally from Sandyhills, Glasgow, went on to play himself in the Hollywood film, The Longest Day, alongside Sean Connery and John Wayne.

Now an image of him stepping on to the Normandy beach-head has been included on a stamp depicting the greatest seaborne invasion ever undertaken.

The article goes on to say that he "marched up and down Sword Beach playing Highland Laddie as German bullets rained down around him." I heard an interview with Millin and Lord Lovat that the BBC did on the 40th annivesary of D Day which the local PBS station rebroadcast. Lovat said Millin marched up and down playing. Millin looked at him in astonishment and said he didn't "march" anywhere; he ran. And when he got behind a sand dune he stayed there. The by-play between two old comrades was a delight to see.

The rest of the article on Millin is here.