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By ATWadmin On November 20th, 2009

D-DAY piper to be honoured by the French.

Bill Millin, now 86, tried to raise the morale of incoming troops with his tunes, as shells exploded overhead and machinegun fire raked Sword Beach.

The picture of the 21-year-old commando became one of the enduring images of the landings which paved the way to Hitler’s defeat in the Second World War.

Now he is to be immortalised in a life-sized statue by the people of Colleville Montgomery, which he helped to liberate in 1944.


Quite right too. It’s the weekend here and my blood pressure can’t take much more politics. So tonight I’ll be raising a few to Piper Bill, the mad bugger. Apparently Millin played “Hieland Laddie” stepping off the landing craft, “Road to the Isles” on Sword Beach, then at the Pegasus Bridge it was “All the Blue Bonnets Are Over the Border” followed by a very brief “Nut Brown Maiden” he played for some French Ladies, cut short by a heavy mortar barrage.

Some time later, German snipers admitted they didn’t target him because they thought he was mad. They may have had a point. Millin was portrayed in the 1962 film The Longest Day, by Pipe Major Leslie de Laspee, the official piper to Her Majesty The Queen Mother –


  1. A heartwarming story and the 21 year old commando is a fine example of everything that is the British in adversity.

    Mine will be a Cinzano!

  2. I love the sound of bagpipes.

  3. Wow, I had never heard of this guy before now.
    To stand there on the beach and to blast out some tunes with his bagpipes, I guess some people would call him insane, but I think he did well. (I also love the sound of bagpipes, Patty. Their sound perfectly captures the mournfullness and deep melancholia within the Scottish ‘psyche’, and it’s a wonderful thing).

  4. great movie, and I love the pipes

  5. Good Morning everyone,
    I hope you’re all enjoying the weekend, wherever you are!
    Nothing gets my blood going like the sound of the pipes, inspiring and defiant.
    Scots, Irish, Welsh and Colonials, the US: all those who played their part -big or small, in overcoming the threat in two world wars
    It’s for that reason I don’t like attacking those who were our friends and came to our aid in our time of need…
    New enemies face us now, more insiduous and less easy to define, but just as dangerous.
    So get those tin hats back on and get "fell in".
    It’s our turn now!

  6. I echo Danny Boy’s sentiments. We all ahve to hang together and go our part.

    At the Memorial Service at Ft Hood they played the pipes, and they never fail to bring a tear to the eye.