Donald Iain Mackenzie was born in 1892 and moved to Tongue from Tain in 1908. In 1912 Donald won the Gold Medal at the Inverness Northern Meeting and is pictured above with his pipes and medal. That same year he emigrated to Canada but on the outbreak of the First world War in 1914 he returned to the UK joining the Scots Guards as a piper.
During the first few months of the war the Scots Guards suffered heavy casualties amongst the pipers and as a result the bands of the 1st and 2nd Battalions soon ceased to exist. Although reconstituted the pipers were not again used in the front line.
The 1st and 2nd Battalion Scots Guards served on the Western Front from the outbreak of the War until the Armistice in 1918. They were involved in the Battle of Mons, First Battle of the Marne, Battle of the Aisne, First Battle of Ypes, Battle of Aubers Ridge, Battle of Loos, Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Passchendaele.
Donald survived the war and in 1936 he won the Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban.
Donald’s friend William Macdonald also served as a piper with the Scots Guards.
Read more about Donald Iain and his fellow pipers in our 32-page booklet
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