The Royal Scots Cap Badge

Pipe Major Evan MacRae

by George Higgins
(Dover, UK)

I, my name is George Higgins, I was a Piper with the 1st Bn Queens Own Cameron Highlanders 1956-1959.


The Pipe Major was of course Evan MacRae who I believe was the youngest WO1 (being Pipe Major at 171/2 years).

I served with the 1st Bn in 1956/58 in Aden. On our return to the UK we were staioned in Dover Castle and in the autumn of that year the Pipes & Drums played at the Edinburgh Tattoo. I am not sure but I thought the Royal Scots were at that Tattoo as wellI will keep in touch and oh! your web site is excellent. I don't play the GHB these days (too old) but I do have a set of Scottish Smallpipes which I play most days of the week.
Kind Regards to you all in NZ and Scotland.

Comments for Pipe Major Evan MacRae

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Sep 05, 2017
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Thanks NEW
by: Bill Sneddon

Thank you , Robina,
I last saw your Dad in Vancouver , summer 1991, when he was a judge at our Highland Games.
I'll be thinking of him as I travel through Fort William. Skye and the Black Isle in the next few weeks. sincerely , Bill Sneddon.

Sep 05, 2017
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Evan Macrae
by: Robina

My father was born in Urray on the Black Isle and as far as we know moved to Skye when he was about 3 years old. He lived there until he joined the army. Of course he was already playing the pipes .

My sister Lorraine still lives in Caol.

Sep 04, 2017
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Alexander Peters
by: Anonymous

Alexander Peters was born on a farm north of Dundee.

Aug 10, 2017
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Remembering PM Evan MacRae
by: Bill Sneddon

I piped with the Vancouver Police pipe band until 2015 & first met Evan at Couer d'Alane piping school in the mid 80s. He was a real inspiration to me & I visited him at his home in Glenkingie Street in 1988. I have a photo of him in his armchair playing my small pipes.My great great grandparents(Ross) lived on the Black Isle & I've visited their grave from early 1800s near Culbockie. My gradparents Sneddon/Laurence were married on Isle Ornsay lighthouse , Skye in 1901.
I'll be in Scotland in September 2017 & will travel through Caol & Corpach (my Dad's cousin Nettie MacDonald lived there & Evan knew her) If Robina sees this, I'd be very interested to know the details of Evan's time on the Black Isle & Skye. I think of Evan every time I play my pipes , especially when playing his lovely slow air.

Aug 05, 2017
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Drummers
by: Anonymous

Does anyone remember my father Bill Burnett who played bass and sometimes tenor drum . We were based in Aden , Dover and Edinburgh. I remember seeing Pipe Major MacCrae and Drum Major Burns when I was a small child.

Jul 23, 2017
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Pipe Major Evan MacRae
by: Aad BoodeAnonymous

Do you know the place of birth of P/M Alexander Peters?

Jul 23, 2017
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RIP Alex Peters
by: Bill Robertson

Hello Alex,
Sorry to learn of Alistair's passing - condolences,

Bill

Jul 23, 2017
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RIP Alex Peters
by: Anonymous

I regret to inform you that Alexander Peters bagpiper and tutor passed away on the 21st of June 2017 at his home in Luton Bedfordshire.

Feb 19, 2017
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Pipe Major Evan MacRae
by: Bill Robertson

Good to see your comment Alistair. My good mentor/P-M Hugh Fraser was a close and good friend of Evan's while both in the Q OCH as you might see elsewhere on this subject.
Trusting you have settled well in Dunoon, and keeping in good health. All fine here.
All the best,

Bill

Feb 19, 2017
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Evan Macrae
by: Alistair Smith

My father(Arthur Smith) was RSM in 1st Battalion QOH, stationed in Aden, Dover, Edinburgh (where I was born 1960), Singapore, then Liverpool. When I was born, my two older brothers, Chris and Stuart, stayed with Evan and Molly. Molly was a close friend of my mother (Barbara Mary Smith). She died two years ago, and since then I have been taking a closer interest in family matters. I only discovered 6 months ago why we briefly lived in Liverpool. Fascinating history. I moved back to Scotland (Dunoon) a few months ago, I always regarded it as 'home'.

May 13, 2016
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The Volunteer ( Pub ) Waterloo
by: Ronnie Baybut

Remember them all ( Macrae Family ) Molly Evan Duncan Robina. I was in Queens Own Highlanders. Evan and Big Bill Drummy were my dads ( Liverpool Scottish and Coldstream Guards) mates. We all had our sup in the Volly(Volunteer in East Street,Waterloo)
Great parties in each others house in the 60sand 70s.
3 of my 4 sisters were at Manor Road School.
So many memories.

Oct 17, 2015
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Aden
by: David Thomson

Just talking to my father David snr today we were looking at pic's and he mentioned Evan serverd in Aden with Evan.he was in B company.

Aug 31, 2015
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Remembering Evan
by: Dave McEldery

Evan MacRae was one of my instructors at the Coeur d'Alene School of Piping over the course of several summers. He liked to get away from the school on weekends, so my wife and I hosted him at our home in Montana. He was accompanied by the late Prof. John Ross. We took him to Glacier Park and back home set up a Salish style sweat lodge on Lynch Creek on our property. He loved hearing about the old west and American Indians. When he was here for visits we didn't talk piping or do any piping. He taught me a number of piobaireachds at the school, but what I'll always remember fondly were the jokes he used to open our class sessions with (we were all male, all adults) like the one about the Cubans with big beards and big cigars playing football in Scotland, going to a pub afterwards, being given free drinks. Maybe some of you remember that one. He also helped me quit drinking, which was quite an achievement. I miss Evan a lot.

Cheers,
Dave McEldery from Montana

Jun 11, 2015
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Pipe Major Evan MacRae
by: Bill Robertson

Hell all,
It might be of interest to know that in my Army time it was the custon in Scotish infantry regiments for permisson to grow a beard was given only to the Pioneer Sgt., and the Pipe Major. It appears it might have applied to pipers also.
Regards,

Bill R

Jun 11, 2015
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You are a cousin of mine
by: Brian Forsyth

You were named after your aunt robina Fraser in United States and Duncan was named after my father

Jun 11, 2015
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Pipe Major Evan Macrae
by: Robina

Not related to the younger Pipe Major Evan Macrae.

No my father was born on the Black Isle and brought up in Skye. He spent his latter years in Fort William.

Jun 11, 2015
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Sorry wrong email address
by: brian Forsyth

Sorry robina it is brianfalls4 @yahoo. ca

Jun 11, 2015
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Evan MacRae
by: Alexander MacRae

Thank you Robina.

I will try at some point to make a still from the clip.

But like you I am pretty sure it would be him. I was surprised to see a beard, and he was the one that came to mind.

Was he from Ft William originally?

Alexander

Jun 11, 2015
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hi robina
by: Brian forsyth

It has been many years since I have had contact with you or Duncan if you wish to contact me personally my email is brianfalls@yahoo.ca

Jun 11, 2015
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Pipe Major Evan MacRae, R.A.
by: Anonymous

Robina, there is also Evan MacRae who was Pipe Major of the 19th Regiment Royal Artillery from 1993 to 2002. Just curious, are you related to him?
Aad

Jun 11, 2015
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Evan Macrae
by: Robina

Unfortunately I am unable to pick out the faces of the pipers on the YouTube clip, but my father would have been 23 and I know that for many years he was the only piper if indeed maybe soldier to have a beard, so it is likely to be him.

Jun 11, 2015
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Evan macRae
by: Alexander Macrae

Thank you Bill.

Here is the clip,

https://youtu.be/QcA4ffFNiAk

the bearded piper is very near the end.

Alexander

Jun 10, 2015
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Pipe Major Evan MacRae
by: Bill Robertson

Hello Alex,
I think it is most likely Evan MacRae, later Pipe Major, as I think he was of of age to be there then.
Regards,

Bill

Jun 10, 2015
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Bearded piper
by: Alexander MacRae

On Youtube there is a clip of the 51st's Victory parade in Bremen in 1945. One of the pipers is bearded and the name Evander or Evan MacRae came to mind. Would you know if your dad was in Bremen in 1945?

Mar 07, 2015
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Hi Robina
by: Alistair Crichton

Hi Robina, My dad was Bill Crichton, my sisters are Jean and Shirley, both went to Manor Road school and I went to Coronation Road school for boys. My Grandparents moved down to Liverpool during the second world war. My Uncle Hughie had a newsagents near Crosby baths and he had three sons, Phillip, Alan and John who are all still in Crosby.

My dad learnt to play the pipes from the age of 7 whilst he was in the 16th Crosby Cubs and Scouts.

Best regards, Alistair

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/65/a4086065.shtml

Mar 07, 2015
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Pipe Major Evan Macrae
by: Robina

Dear Alistair

What was your father's name? My sister remembers the name Crighton from our days in Liverpool.

Mar 07, 2015
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Thanks Robina
by: Alistair Crichton

Hi Robina, many thanks for your message. I was pretty sure it was your dad but it's good to have it confirmed especially by you. My dad had huge respect for your dad and always spoke highly of him. I still have dad's tutor books including the Kilberry Book of Ceol Mor. A classic.

Many thanks again,

Best regards

Alistair

Mar 07, 2015
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Pipe Major Evan Macrae
by: Robina James

Dear Alastair

Yes it would have been. We lived in Liverpool for many years, having moved there for Dad's last year of service with the Liverpool Scottish following the amalgamation of the QOCH.

So they were there from 1960 to 1973 when they moved back to Scotland.

Mar 07, 2015
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QOCH
by: George Higgins

Hi Iain MacDonald
I vaguely remember you at Dhala in the Radfan. B company was on duty when the patrol was attacked at which we had fatalities as well as injured comrades. The piper you refer to was Jimmy McCourt who was wounded and I relieved him as B coy piper. The other "piper" was indeed a drummer, Bill Chalmers because as you know the drummer also plays the bugle calls. The drummer was number 2 on the Bren and the piper number 1.
J. Dixon was B coy medic and was later awarded the BEM.
The last time I saw any of my old comrades was at the Reunion Dinner at Redford Barracks, Edinburgh in about 2015.
Best wishes to all ex QOCH's and their families.
George

Mar 07, 2015
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Hello Robina
by: Alistair Crichton

Hi Robina, I'm sure your father taught my dad piobaireachd in the early 1970's in Crosby Liverpool. I recall speaking with your father whenever he telephoned to speak with my dad. It would be good to know whether the Evan MaCrae in Crosby was your father? I still have my dad's pipes although sadly I never learnt to play. I also still have a postcard I bought whilst on holiday in Scotland in 1981 of your dad dressed in full Highland dress playing his pipes. A great picture

Best regards, Alistair

Mar 07, 2015
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Pipe Major Evan Macrae
by: Robina (nee Macrae) James

Pipe Major Evan Macrae was my father. I was in Aden with my brother Duncan and my sister Lorraine was born in Dover in 1959 while the Cameron Highlanders were based at the castle.

My parents spent the last 30 years of their lives in Lochaber where dad was a piping tutor. My sister Lorraine is still in Fort William with her family

Feb 12, 2015
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Sgt Alex (Eke) Peters QOCH
by: George Higgins

Hi Ian,
I was a piper/dancer with the 1st Bn QOCH 1956/59 and in Aden. I've got a photo with your Father when we were playing at the Kennelworth Hotel, Midlands after we returned to the UK.
I'm sure he'll remember me, I was from Liverpool and I was given the nickname "Haggai".
If you let me have an address where I can send the photo to you or an e-mail address. My e-mail address is george.h@ntlworld.com
Give my best wishes to your dad and keep in touch.
Haggai

Feb 09, 2015
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Ist Bn Queens own Cameron Hldrs Pipers
by: Ian Peters

Come across this page while looking for articles/pics of my dad who was a Piper with The Camerons before leaving the Bn on Amalgamation - Alex Peters. He's still alive and well living nr Luton aged nearly 86.My sister was born in Aden and a brother in Dover castle. My mother still recalls stories of my dad and Evan Mcrae and her time spent in Aden etc. I served in the 1st Bn Queens Own Highlanders which pleased my dad :)

Thought I'd post this if anyone knows him, I believe he's still using facebook if anyone wants to look him up

Thanks

Nov 28, 2014
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In Aden
by: Iain macdonald

I too was in Aden 56/58 and was billeted in a tent along with two pipers, I was on 3 inch mortars. One of the pipers was Jimmy? Dickson who was wounded in the same ambush that Major Grant was wounded in. I never saw him again. I think the name of the other piper was ??? Chisholm . I sailed home with the Regiment on the rock n roll Devonshire ,leaving soon after arriving in Dover being de mobbed

Aug 01, 2014
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Tony Burrell
by: Denise Burton nee Burrell

I was at the school in Aden too. My father was posted to Aden and then on to Dover and then to Edinburgh. We went to Kenya in 1963. We went by ship from Aden to Liverpool. He was in the Camerons long before Aden. Does anyone remember him? He wasn't in the band though.

Jun 24, 2014
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Doug Grant, Canada
by: George Higgins

Hi Doug Grant,
I don't think I knew you when th 1st Bn QOCH was in Aden but I might have known your father, who, if my mind serves me correctly, was an Officer in Aden. I believe that he was wounded whilst on patrol in the Aden Protectreate?
Let me know if this thus far is correct and if so I may be able to find out more.
Kind regards
George Higgins

Jun 24, 2014
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Piper 1st Bn QOCH
by: Norman Glennon

Hi Heather,
I was a piper at the same time as your Father Reggie Macdonald, while serving time in Aden.
I have recently met with George Higgins who also was a piper at the same time. George has a terrific memory of all the band members, you could not have a better person assisting you in your enquiry. He is like a encyclopedia, when it comes to the time your Father served with 1st Bn. QOCH
I have searched through all my photo's but unfortunately none of your Father.

Good luck with your research.

BFN
Norman

Jun 22, 2014
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Piper 1st Bn QOCH
by: George Higgins

Hi Heather,
Yes, I certainly knew your Faher Reggie. I remember also that he was from Nairn. I will search through my old photos etc to see If I have one of him.
Should you need to contact me my e-mail address is george.h@ntlworld.com.
Kind regards
George
Piper 1St Bn QOCH

Jun 21, 2014
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Aden
by: Heather Macdonald

my father Reggie Macdonald was in Aden - a piper from Inverness - originally from Nairn - i was wondering if anyone served with him? or remembers him ?

Mar 02, 2014
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Pipe major Evan MacRae
by: Bill Robertson

Hello Aad,
About P/M RA question.
I know well an ex P/M of the RA who lives in Edinburgh. He was one of my good NS pipers in my time with The Royal Scots.
If you wish to find out more about P/M Evan MacRae of the RA I could give you my frinde's telephone number if you ask by e mail at: bagpiper1@slingshot.co.nz
Regards,

Bill

Mar 02, 2014
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Aden QOCH
by: Douglas Grant

I went to school in Aden with Evan Macrea's two children Duncan and Roberta, also my father was with the Aden Protectorate Levies at Singapore lines and he was also from the Nairn area and knew most of the SNCO's in the Cemerons.

Evan gave me my first chanter lessons in Aden. I had the pleasure of seeing him again many years later up at Fort William where he was teaching the GHBP to the local school children.A wonderful person with a great sense of humour, it was so nice to see him win the gold medal in his later years.

Regards

Doug Grant ( West Kelowna B.C CANADA

Mar 02, 2014
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Attention of Norman Glennon
by: George Higgins

Hello Norman,
As I posted earlier on this site I tried to e-mail you via the address that you left on your comments page - but apparently it didn't turn up!
Anyway, I aplogise for the vast delay in getting on to Bills Forum but bothe my wife and I have had a few bad (medfical) years so we've not been available.
Try this address which will get to me and if (when) it does, I will answer it immediately. It was nice reading your comments, especially about our first meeting at Wigan Railway Station, 10th May 1956.
Yours
Aye
George

Mar 02, 2014
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Jimmy, I do remember you
by: George Higgins

Hello Jimmy,
Of course I remember you - sorry for not answering sooner but you will notice that I have put my reasons on my comments that I done earlier today.
Sadly, Brian Hilton passed away 4 years ago and I wasn't fit enough to attend the funeral in Liverpool. His brother, Jimmy who was the eldest of the two died two years ago as well. Jimmy was disabled at birth and wasn't called up for National Service.
You will remember George Burns, Drum Major at our time in service, died a couple of years ago as well. The last time I saw George Burns was at a Queens Own Highlanders Association Dinner in Edinburgh.
Anyway Jimmy it was nice having a chat to you via Bills web site - if you want to contact me my e-mail address is george.h@ntlworld.com
Yours Aye
George

Mar 02, 2014
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To all Cameron's. Been missing for a while
by: George HiggIns

Hi all, Especially piping friend Norman Glennon and John Dickson Medic.
First, I apologise for my absence from this forum as the past 3 years have been medically terrible for both my wife and I.
I have not been able to do anything socially (even play bmy Small Pipes).
To those who want to contact me I have put an alternative e-mail address which I promise to reply virtually on receipt of any mail. The address is:- george.h@ntlworld.com
Best wishes to you all.
George

Feb 27, 2014
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Pipe Major Evan MacRae, Royal Artillery
by: Aad Boode

There was also a Pipe Major Evan MacRae in the Royal Artillery: from 1993 to 2002 P/M of the 19th Regiment R.A.; does anyone know his year/place of birth? And is he related to P/M Evan MacRae (1925-1991)?
Aad

Dec 15, 2013
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Cameron hrs - Jimmy McIntosh
by: Bill Robertson

Thank you Jimmy, for recollection of these famous pipers, especially Hugh who influenced me greatly - gosh could he play jig after jig too.Of corse you join these famous fellow as on yourself. Some years ago when I received the Voice magazine, i found your articles on Piobaireadh very interesting - a worthwhile contribution. Major David Murray was on bench when representing the Army on the last day of class ofthe PM Course.
If wishing to keep in touch or discuss certain points you may contact me by e mail at: bagpiper1@slingshot.co.nz
Best wishes for the Festive Season and Happy New year,

Bill (or Robbie as in 1st RS)

Dec 15, 2013
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Cameron hrs
by: Jimmy McIntosh

I came across your site by accident and feel now I am back in the Cameron's , I served with Hugh Fraser who actually took me under his wing as I was the youngest boy in the Army,in Oct 39 I was 14 and 4-10 ins , Jimmy McIntosh ,Evan was there with me,he also came to the. 5th Cameron's In Germany in 46 . David Murray was my band President in Malaya in 47 and Tommy Pentland was my Pal he joined 6 months after me. I am 88 now and live in the USA. Thanks for the memories. Jimmy McIntosh. MBE

Dec 07, 2013
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pipe major evan mcrae
by: brian forsyth

evan was an uncle of mine and attended many of outings with him throughout Scotland and canada

Oct 19, 2013
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wee error
by: Jimmy Richardson

Sorry Bill, signed off as N in previous comment by mistake. Should have been J. Still a rookie at this typing lark.
Hope anyone who may remember me will post a comment. J

Oct 18, 2013
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Pipe Major Evan MacRae
by: Bill Robertson

That is OK, and hope you have some replies to help.
You might recall that my former P/M Hugh Fraser was a close friend of Evan's when in the Camerons together.
All the best,

Bill

Oct 18, 2013
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wee error
by: Jimmy Richardson

Sorry Bill, signed off as N in previous comment by mistake. Should have been J. Still a rookie at this typing lark.
Hope anyone who may remember me will post a comment. J

Oct 15, 2013
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depot plper
by: Jimmy Richardson

Sorry BIll, after further lnvestigation now realise we have not met. Best regards anyway. Still hoplng some ex-cameron plpers or drummers may respond. I appreciate this page is in memory of Evan, just thought there may be a chance of renewing some old acquaintances.

Oct 14, 2013
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Last depot piper Camrons Brk.
by: Bill Robertson

Sorry N (Norman?), I was always with The Royal Scots and never near Dover.
All the best in you quest.
Bill

Oct 14, 2013
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Last Depot PIper Cameron Bks.
by: Jimmy Richardson

HI BIll, I feel l should know you. Were you ln Dover.? If so please let me know. Maybe you could jog my memory. Look forward to reply. N

Oct 13, 2013
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Last depot piper Cameron Bks
by: Bill Robertson

I hope, Jimmy, that George sees your submission and manages to reply.

Regards,

Bill

Oct 13, 2013
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Last Depot PIper Cameron Bks.
by: Jimmy Richardson

Norman, George, just stumbled across this page. Pure novice at this game. Hope you may remember me. Joined band 1958 ln Dover from boy service. Great to know you are both around. Played two tatoos Portugal and American tours. Any info on Brian Hilton? I still have contact with some of the lads residing ln the Inverness area.

Jun 22, 2013
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Memories of Evan
by: John Burgess Jnr

Evan was my dad's PM in the Cameron's too.
He even lived with us for a while, while he was on the Customs gate at Invergordon Distillery.
And I can remember, as a wee boy, visiting him in Fort William.... he was always a good laugh :)

May 13, 2012
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Re Aad Boode
by: Niece

Pipe Major Evan MacRae died 10/04/1991 in Fort William

May 01, 2012
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P/M Evan MacRae
by: Aad Boode

Can anyone tell me the year and place of death of P/M Evan MacRae?

Dec 29, 2011
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George Higgins
by: Norman Glennon

High George

Still awaiting with bated breath your reply to my previous email

Regards

Norman

Nov 17, 2011
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Pipe major Evan MacRae
by: Bill Robertston

Sorry Emma that I canot help, although I hope George Higgins may help you.
Regards,
Bill

Nov 14, 2011
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Aden 1956
by: Emma

Hi, I'm looking for anyone who may of known my Grandad, Owen Garrity. Service Number, 21032714. We are trying to piece together a history of his service. I have recently found that he served in Aden 1956 with the Cameron Highlanders. I believe he was a Sgt but not necessarily whilst in Aden!

Any info that anybody has would be much appreciated! Thank You

Jul 21, 2011
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1956-1959 1st Bn Queens Own Cameron Highlanders
by: Norman Glennon

I have just been reading the history of the regiment when I came across your email George Higgins and what a great surprise.
I can remember our first meeting on Wigan station both on our way to Inverness to join the regiment. We both were accepted into the Pipe Band and like would have been inspired by Pipe Major Evan MacRae
George I would love to be able to communicate with you again my email address: normanglennon@optusnet.com.au
I now reside in Sydney Australia

Regards
Norman

Jun 13, 2011
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Edinburgh Tattoo
by: Linda Mitchell

My Dad Bill Woodward was in the Liverpool Scottish QOCH based in Fraser Street Liverpool. He was a drum sergeant (I think). the drum major was Bill Williams & I remember as a child, being around Bill, Evan, Tom (I remember the big bass drum & the leopardskin he wore),Joe Massey, and many more who were all my 'adopted uncles'. I am trying to find out what year my Dad played at the Edinburgh Tattoo if anyone can help me.

Regards

Linda Mitchell
linda.mitchell@coch.nhs.uk

Feb 04, 2011
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ooops!
by: Alistair McGregor Crichton

Sorry I didn't mean to be annonymous in my posting about Evan MacRae tutoring my dad in piobaireachd in the 1970's in Liverpool!

Feb 03, 2011
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Pipe Major Evan MacRae
by: Anonymous

Could this be the same Evan MacRae who was teaching my dad to play piobaireachd in Liverpool in the 1970's? He was a Pipe Major and I recall a classic postcard from Scotland with Evan on the front. Great memories of hearing the pipes being played.

Jan 19, 2011
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Pipe Major Evan MacRae - John Dickson
by: Bill Robertson

Good, John, that you were able to contact George through the comment.
Happy New year,

Bill

Jan 19, 2011
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ggeorge higgins and i trained at camern barrcks
by: john dickson

Hi George,
Glad to see your still on the go
john Dickson Edinburgh

Jun 29, 2010
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Pipe Major Evan MacRae
by: Bill Robertson

Good to hear from you, George, and being an ex Cameron Highlander. Evan MacRae was a close friend of my Pipe Major Hugh Fraser who came from the Camerons and was a great influence on me in my piping. I succeeded Hugh 1956. I do not recall being in the Tattoo at the same time as you were their. I think we were there in 1957 with both 1st and 2nd Scot Guards, the HLI, and a group of Gurka pipers (on a course) who were in my care; being stationed Home in Elgin then.

I am please you like our website. If not already aware, it is worth searching through links on the left of our main page in the site.

All the best, and keep in touch if you wish,
Bill/Robbie

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