NSW SCOTTISH REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION

The Pipes and Drums of the NSW Scottish Regiment and the NSW Scottish Regimental Association


History

The Pipes and Drums are one of the elements  of  which any Scottish Regiment is  the most proud and the Pipes and Drums of the NSW Scottish Regiment are no exception. (in a Scottish regiment, the Pipes and Drums are never referred to as a Pipe Band, because the very nature of a  band is to play in concert, whereas individual Pipers and Drummers can and do inspire and lead Sub-Units of the Regiment.  In the early days and indeed the not so early days, Pipers and Drummers have led Companies and Platoons into battle).

Pipes and Drums 1899 The earliest record of Pipers and Drummers of the Scottish Regiment goes back to 1886, when a photograph of a Scottish Rifles Piper was published.  There are numerous records of Pipers and Drummers being attached to the Scottish Rifles, who also boasted a Brass Band.  The concept of having both Pipers and Drummers persisted until the 1950's when 30 Inf Bn NSW Scottish also had both.

As the Scottish Rifles developed , so did its Pipes and Drums, who like their successors, performed in many non-military events of the day as well as providing support to the Battalion as a Military Unit.

However with the demise of the Scottish Rifles and the loss of Scottish identity in 1912, the Pipes and Drums also were disbanded.

It was not until 1935, that they were reinstated.  In that year the Commanding Officer of the Regiment visited the Sydney Thistle Band with a view to inviting the members as a whole to join the then newly raised kilted Unit.  His invitation was successful, with a number of Pipers and Drummers, including Pipe-Major Potter, enlisting.  Under the coaching and encouragement of Pipe-Major Potter, the Pipes and Drums began to grow and gain strength.  30th Infantry Battalion retained Pipes and Drums instead of a brass band on the outbreak of WWII, although, like many of the other members of the pre-war Battalion, a number of Pipers and Drummers chose to enlist in the Units of the AIF.

Pipes and Drums 1940

When 30 Inf Bn NSW Scottish Regiment was reformed after WWII, Pipers and Drummers were among the first recruits of the reformed Battalion and soon the Pipes and Drums were able to support the Battalion as required and also took part in many non-miltary events such as the Highland Gatherings at Balmoral Beach and on New Year's Day.

Pipes & Drums 1949 Pipes & Drums 1949
Pipes & Drums - Greta 1949 Pipes & Drums lead the Bn - Greta 1949
Pipes & Drums 1950 Pipes & Drums 1950
Pipes & Drums - Singleton 1950 Pipes & Drums - Singleton 1950

Photos Courtesy Arthur Christopher

In the period between re-formation in 1948 and disbandment in 1960,  the Pipes and Drums continued to gain in strength and participated with distinction in the major events of the history of the 30 Inf Bn such as the Guard of Honour for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1958, whilst continuing to act in their operational  role as an element of an Infantry Battalion.

When the 30 Inf Bn was disbanded in 1960, the Pipes and Drums became part of the new units, eventually becoming part of 2/17 Battalion where they continued to serve in the full uniform of the Black Watch, now with Pipers wearing Royal Stewart tartan .

In 2005 the 2/17 Pipes and Drums became "non-effective as the result of changes in Army culture and were disbanded

Pipers of 17 Bn 1985 Pipers of 17 Bn RNSWR 1985
Drummers of 17 Bn RNSWR 1985 Drummers of 17 Bn 1985

On the formation of the New South Wales Scottish regimental Association in 1997, Pipe-Major Bill Campbell was asked by MAJ Frank Woodhams whether it would be possible to recruit former members of the 30 Bn and RNSWR Pipes and Drums to support the Association activities.

Bill Campbell speedily responded as did a number of Pipers and Drummers and as a result, at the inaugural Reserve Forces day Parade in 1998, the 250 members of the Association were able to march behind their own Pipes and Drums, although at that time the Pipers and Drummers paraded in "mufti".

Later the NSW Association Pipes and Drums were fully fitted out with the uniforms worn by the 2/17 Pipes and Drums, i.e the Pipers wearing the Royal Stewart kilt

NSW Scottish Regimental Association Pipes and Drums
 NSW Association Pipes and Drums
The NSW Scottish Regimental Association Pipes and Drums

The very Sad Demise of the NSW Scottish Association Pipes and Drums

Following the 2010 ANZAC Day Parade, Pipe-Major Bill Campbell had the very sad task of telling the members of the Association that 2010 was the last occasion on which the Association Pipes and Drums would lead the Association on ANZAC Day. This decision had been very reluctantly taken as members of the Pipes and Drums are reaching a stage where they are finding it difficult to maintain the very high standard to which we have become accustomed.

ANZAC Day 2010
Bill Campbell announcing the sad news

Following this announcement, Frank Woodhams presented a Certificate of Appreciation to each of the members of the Pipes and Drums. A presentation that was warmly supported by those if us who were there to witness the historic but sad occasion as after 125 years, there are now no New South Scottish Pipes and Drums in New South Wales

ANZAC Day 2010 ANZAC Day 2010 ANZAC Day 2010
Pipe-Major Gordon Irving Pipe-Major Roger Springer Piper Sean Park
ANZAC Day 2010 ANZAC Day 2010 ANZAC Day 2010
Piper Jim Braid Piper Tony Ransom Drummer Arthur Robinson
ANZAC Day 2010 ANZAC Day 2010 ANZAC Day 2010
Drummer Greg Hazlett Drummer Les Robertson Drummer Mark Melville
ANZAC Day 2010 ANZAC Day 2010 ANZAC Day 2010
Drummer Paul Winter Drummer Sandy Brownlie Drum-Major Geoff Leigh
ANZAC Day 2010
Pipe-Major Bill Campbell

The final parade of the Association Pipes and Drums was the 30 Battalions' Church Parade in Hyde Park, Macquarie St and St. Stephens Church

The record of this event is more fully covered in the Recent Events page of the web site

NSW Scottish Regimental Association Pipes and Drums on their last Parade
 NSW Association Pipes and Drums
The NSW Scottish Regimental Association Pipes and Drums

It was announced at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Association held on 27 February 2011, that although the winding up of the Association Pipes and Drums described above had proceeded, a number of the Pipers and Drummers had come together to form a new group that will play at future Association functions but would not, for a number of reasons including the age of some of the members, march with the Association on ANZAC Day or Reserve Forces Day. The new Pipes and Drums would not be fully uniformed as previously but would adopt a lesser style of uniform. Initially the basic uniform items would be provided by funds supplied by some members of the Association and later from Association funds that, hopefully, will benefit from a grant for which we have applied from the Department of Veteran Affairs.


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