D-Day Piper Bill overleden

De legandarische Bill Millin overleed op 17 augustus jl op 88-jarige leeftijd. Op D-Day (6-6-1944) was hij aanwezig met zijn doedelzak bij de de landing van de 1st Special Service Brigade op Sword Beach in Normandië.
Ongewapend marcheerde hij spelend over het strand terwijl om hem heen veel van zijn kameraden sneuvelden.

Citaat uit het relaas van Bill dat je hier kunt vinden:

Well, I jumped in pretty smart then. My kilt floated to the surface and the shock of the freezing cold water knocked all feelings of sickness from me and I felt great. I was so relieved of getting off that boat after all night being violently sick. I struck up the Pipes and paddled through the surf playing “Hieland Laddie”, and Lord Lovat turned round and looked at me and [gestured approvingly].

When I finished, Lovat asked for another tune. Well, when I looked round – the noise and people lying about shouting and the smoke, the crump of mortars, I said to myself “Well, you must be joking surely.” He said “What was that?” and he said “Would you mind giving us a tune?” “Well, what tune would you like, Sir?” “How about The Road to the Isles?” “Now, would you want me to walk up and down, Sir?” “Yes. That would be nice. Yes, walk up and down.”

In 2006 droeg folkzangeres Sheelagh Allen een lied aan Piper Bill op, The Highland Piper.

In de film The Longest Day (1962) komt zijn personage voor, maar wordt gespeeld door Pipe-Major Leslie de Laspee, overigens zonder kilt.

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