It never rains but it pours. Just as he had freed himself from work commitments in London and was looking forward to a tune at the Eagles, Douglas Gardiner, felt a twinge. No, not there, but close by. Grumbling appendix and he was rushed in hospital and under the knife in jig time. Ever the optimist Douglas, who has access to his mobile in hospital, texted to announce that, while a bit tender, he is enjoying the drugs and the attention of the nurses. He is hoping the drugs have the appropriate side effect! Best wishes from all D.
The P/M broke the ice with a few small tunes before handing over to Andrew Allison. Maw and Paw were there with maw sporting her new wee Gaelic tattoo. However she put the hex on young Andrew by mentioning that he will soon be getting a hair cut. This clearly upset Andrew as he only played a few tunes before finding solace at the bar.
Next up for her inaugural performance was Faye Henderson. Right out the box and into the big stuff with some 2/4 marches. Her opening tune was Captain Campbell of Drumavoisk, not heard all that much at present but a favorite of Willie McCallums. So who was Captain Campbell and where on earth is Drumavoisk?
Could this be him?
‘When British prisoner of war Robert Campbell asked the Kaiser if he could visit his dying mother, he was astonished to be given permission – on condition that he promised to return.
Historian Richard van Emden, who discovered the incredible incident, said such an act of chivalry was rare even a century ago. ‘Capt Campbell was an officer and he made a promise on his honour to go back,’ he said. ‘Had he not turned up there would not have been any retribution on any other prisoners.
‘What I think is more amazing is that the British Army let him go back to Germany. The British could have said to him, “You’re not going back, you’re going to stay here”.’
Capt Campbell, who joined the Army in 1903, was leading the 1st Bn East Surrey Regiment when his battalion took up a position on the Mons-Condé canal in north-west France just weeks after war broke out in July 1914.
A week later, his troops were attacked by the German forces and Capt Campbell was seriously injured and captured. The 29-year-old was treated in a military hospital in Cologne before being sent to the prisoner-of-war camp in Magdeburg.
In 1916, he received word from home that his mother Louise was dying of cancer. He wrote to Kaiser Wilhelm II, begging to be allowed to see her one last time. The Kaiser gave him two weeks’ compassionate leave, including two days travelling in each direction by boat and train, on the proviso Capt Campbell gave his word as a British Army officer that he would return.
Capt Campbell reached his mother’s bedside in Gravesend, Kent, on November 7 and spent a week with her before keeping his promise and returning to Germany. His mother died three months later in February 1917.
After the war, Capt Campbell was released and returned to Britain where he served in the military until retiring in 1925. However, he rejoined his regiment in 1939 on the outbreak of the Second World War, serving as the Chief Observer of the Royal Observer Corps on the Isle of Wight. He survived that war unscathed and died in Britain in July 1966 aged 81.’
I hope so. He deserved a tune. (Willie Ross Book 3)
Anyway Faye continued with some sparkling Strathspeys and Reels and sat down to a well earned pie.
The post pie piper was Cameron Drummond who was on a full silver set of Lawries. Once they were settled he played a lovely set of hornpipes and jigs starting with the musical Joe McGann’s Fiddle (The Ladies Hornpipe) followed by the tricky Stornoway Hornpipe finishing with the jigs Angus John McNeill of Barra and Dr. Flora MacAulay, Caradale. Excellent stuff.
The final player of the night was this years clasp winner Iain Speirs who is going for a ‘three in a row’ overall winner at the Glenfiddich later this month. A feat only archived once before by the aforementioned Willie McCallum. Iain played the pipe in with some of his competition light music repertoire and once the drones were locked gave us a beautiful Prince’s Salute. On that form he is in with a shout for sure.