Skip to comments.‘Mad’ D-Day piper Bill Millin remembered with memorial in France
Posted on 06/08/2013 10:40:09 AM PDT by the scotsman
'Bill Millins actions on D-Day have made him worthy of remembrance in Hollywood and in a country far from home.
On June 6, 1944, with Europe in the control of Hitler, thousands of Allied troops from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Lanarkshire and all other corners of Scotland stormed the beaches of Normandy armed with their rifles.
Meanwhile, 21-year-old Bill Millin walked on to those same beaches with gunshots and explosions all around him. Dressed in his kilt and playing his bagpipes, a sgian-dubh tucked into his sock was Bill's only weapon against the oncoming German fire.
As personal piper to Lord Lovat and his 1st Commando Brigade, Bill marched around Sword Beach after orders from his charismatic leader, who had defied a War Office ban on pipers.
He played Highland Laddie and the Road to the Isles as fellow soldiers fell all around him. Some injured troops are said to have cheered as Millin walked by, while others called him a mad b******.
After the battle, it is said German troops decided not to shoot at him on the beach, thinking he was insane.
His actions were portrayed in the 1962 movie The Longest Day, starring John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum and Sean Connery.
On Saturday, Millins bravery will be remembered once again in the Normandy town of Colleville-Montgomery - near Sword Beach - with the unveiling of a £80,000 memorial statue, a short distance away from the Field Marshal Montgomery memorial.
Around 500 pipers and drummers, including players from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, are scheduled to perform at a commemoration parade before the statue is unveiled to Bills son, John Millin, and hundreds of others. A special party in Millins honour will be held in the evening.'
(Excerpt) Read more at local.stv.tv ...
The Road to the Isles--Performed by Gaberlunzie, with lyrics
The Longest Day:
Well known since Roman times when they built the worlds largest insane asylum. AKA Hadrian's Wall. :^)
Thanks for the clip. Very interesting.
I would think the Germans said “If this Cat has this much courage we are in trouble big time!”
I think I know what you may be thinking right now -- thinking, "We were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day.'' Well, everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.
Lord Lovat was with him -- Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, "Sorry I'm a few minutes late,'' as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.
Note Lord Lovat is described as accompanying Millin, not the other way around.
Thanks for the post!
Okay, Scotsman, I need help with pronunciation. Please.
“Black knife”, or “final friend”...
I saw this guy’s obituary a while back and it reminded me of Psalm 34, by King David after he was saved from certain death at the hands of Avimelech, who was so disgusted by the supposedly crazy man in front of him that instead of killing him he just had King David thrown out of his court.