RIP Bill Millin, the D-Day Bagpiper

William “Piper Bill” Millin, the Scottish private in the British Army who played his bagpipes  during the D-Day invasion of Normandy died on August 17th at the age of 82. Traditionally, bagpipes had been used in battle by Scottish soldiers, but the British Army had curtailed their use during World War II. However, on D-Day, Millin’s commanding officer Simon Fraser, the 15th Lord Lovat ordered him to play the pipes saying “Ah, but that’s the English War Office. You and I are both Scottish, and that doesn’t apply.” Millin would later speak to German gunners who claimed they didn’t try to shoot him as they thought he was crazy.

Millin was portrayed by Pipe Major Leslie de Lapsee in the 1962 film The Longest Day. Millin’s pipes are on display in Memorial Museum of Pegasus Bridge in Ranville, France.

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About Michael Darling
Collector of the interesting and absurd.

One Response to RIP Bill Millin, the D-Day Bagpiper

  1. Phil says:

    this is a brave man … his family can be proud. Rest in peace. A frenchman.

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