Thursday, 2 December 2010

The SMRG Advent Calendar - Day 2

After yesterday's rather uninteresting pair of boots, let's see what's behind the little cardboard window marked with a 2, shall we?

Well, it's another picture....

Also on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, these are the medals of Piper Daniel Laidlaw.

Laidlaw was a Piper with the 7th Battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, and on the first day of the Battle of Loos, he carried out an act of bravery which earned him the Victoria Cross.

His citation reads:

"For most conspicuous bravery prior to an assault on German trenches near Loos and Hill 70 on 25 September 1915. During the worst of the bombardment, Piper Laidlaw, seeing that his company was badly shaken from the effects of gas, with absolute coolness and disregard of danger, mounted the parapet, marched up and down and played company out of the trench. The effect of his splendid example was immediate and the company dashed out to the assault. Piper Laidlaw continued playing his pipes until he was wounded."

It's not particularly well-known that you can see Laidlaw playing his pipes on film. The film "Forgotten Men", released in 1930 features an appearance from Laidlaw playing the tune he had piped the 7th KOSB over the top in 1915. If you ever get a chance to see the film, it''s worth watching.

Laidlaw died in 1950, and despite this page stating his medals are not publicly held, you can see them in the National Museum.

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