Ross & Cromarty War Memorials



The picture shows the extent of Fort George - well known to all Highland Regiments, but particularly Seaforths. Links below enable access to 'more info' on the Regiment. One of many impressive aspects of the Seaforths was the Pipe Band, and in large measure due to its remarkable Pipe Major, Donald Macleod. I was a piper (not Seaforth) and knew Donald and have the abiding memory of him singing the canntaireachd of a tune in my ear - I think it was the piobaireachd the 'Lament for the Old Sword'. Click on highlighted ones for explanation and examples.

For a modern history, via the Queen's Own Association, try: Seaforths
Also included is the 'Freedom of the Highlands' confered in October 2015 on the Seaforth's successor Regiment (Royal Regiment of Scotland).

Seaforths - Early History       Later History       Seaforth Battalions       Battle Honours       '39 - '45 etc

Freedom of the Highlands

Pipe Major Donald MacLeod MBE, to give him his proper tile, was born in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in 1917. Populaly known as 'Wee Donald', he joined the Army in 1937 and was in the 2nd Battalion in France in 1940 when he became a Prisoner of War following the surrender at St Valery-en-Caux. He escaped during a march to Germany and got back to the UK. He returned to France in 1944 as Pipe Major of the 7th Battalion. Keen on piping competitions, he won a number of medals and prizes in some of the best-known events, including the Gold Medal in Highland Society of London's piobeareachd competition in 1947. Retiring from the Army in 1963 he became a partner in the Gasgow-based bagpipe-manufacturing firm R G Hardie. The Lewis & Harris Piping Society established the Donald Macleod Mermorial Competition in his honour in 1994. However, there are many other memorials to Donald such as his mammoth 220 recordings of Ceol Mor. These are tutorials in canntaireachd, spoken word, and demonstrations on the practice chanter. Donald was also a prolific composer and the best known are "Susan MacLeod", "The Hammer on the Anvil" and "The Blackberry Bush". In Piobaireachd he gave us "The Lament for the Iolaire", "The Field of Gold", and also a lot of Ceol Beag.
Click here to hear the above text in gaelic    

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