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John D Macdonald

Willie’s brother John, known as J.D, also served with the Scot’s Guards during the First World War in the 1st Battalion.

The 1st Battalion took part in the Battle of Mons in August 1914, the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914 and the Battle of the Aisne also in September 1914 before joining the 2nd Battalion at the Battle of Ypres in November 1914.

Like his brother John survived the war and eventually became Pipe Major of the 1st Battalion in 1921. In 1929 John won the Gold Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban and in 1930 he was awarded the Victorian Medal by George V. However, shortly afterwards he was diagnosed as suffering from tuberculous of the lungs and was discharged as unfit in 1931.

Thanks to the skills of the local blacksmith, who created an apparatus involving a foot pump and five gallon drum, John continued to play. John would call in local school boys and persuade them to work the pump while he enjoyed playing his pipes.

John never recovered from his long illness and died at home on 8th January 1946.

Read more about John and his fellow pipers in our 32-page booklet

Buy it now on Our Publications page