The Royal Scots Cap Badge


Lament For Pipe Major Hugh Fraser

The Lament For Pipe Major Hugh Fraser was composed by Pipe Major William Robertson to honour a leader, teacher and friend.


Pipe Major Hugh Fraser was born in Kingussie. In his younger days he was a competing piper. He joined the Army and served out his time as a career soldier. He was well known for his light music compositions.


Pipe Major Hugh Fraser transferred from the Cameron Highlanders to 1st Battalion, The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment), the oldest serving regiment in the British Army. At the time, Robertson was a member of the pipe and drums. Robertson succeeded him as Pipe Major in 1956 when Fraser retired.


Pipe Major William Robertson was also a piper from his earliest youth. Like Fraser, he became a career soldier and served in many of the world's hot spots. He trained for a time under Pipe Major Willie Ross M.B.E. at the Army School of Piping at Edinburgh Castle and graduated with a Pipe Major's certificate, 1955. He retired relatively early from the Army in 1958 and moved to New Zealand in 1959. He was and remains active in the vigorous New Zealand piping scene. Robertson is Comunn na Piobaireachd New Zealand Gold Medalist.


Hugh Fraser was one of the very few known to have heard a Lament dedicated to himself. Apparently he liked what he heard and even gave some advice, telling Robertson to be careful not to depart too much from acceptable form when finalizing the work for the BBC piobaireachd composing competition of 1965 where it placed third out of 60 entries. The tune is published in the Piobaireachd Society's book of 20th Century Piobaireachd and in The Royal Scots Pipe Music book.


Pipe Major William Robertson makes his home in Auckland, New Zealand.


Exit Lament For Pipe Major Hugh Fraser and return to the Lament Piobaireachd Stories



PM H Fraser
Cyprus 1956.

Pipe Major Hugh Fraser - Cyprus 1956

Obituary to Hugh Fraser – The Piping Times – Vol 17, No 11. August 1965.
It is with regret that we have to record the death of Pipe Major Hugh Fraser, Royal Scots, and formally Sergeant in the 1st Battalion Q.O. Cameron Highlanders, on 3rd May, 1965, at Culduthel Hospital, Inverness, in his 48th year.

“Chug”, as was known by all his army and piping friends was in indifferent health for some years back, and has been sadly missed from piping circles everywhere.

He joined the 1st Camerons as a boy, and served in India, France and Burma. After the cessation of hostilities he left the army, but being a born soldier, he returned as Pipe major of the Royal Scots about 1953. He served in Korea, until eventually ill health truck him, and he had to leave the career he loved.

He won many prizes for piping in the army and at Highland Gatherings in his earlier days, and his love for the pipes spread to the younger pipers under his care, who respected this man for his upright bearing and sincere character.

His ashes where laid to rest in his native Kingussie, where the service included a lament played by Wm. M MacDonald, Inverness, and the Last Post sounded by Sgt. T. Pentland, Q.O. Highlanders.

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