The Bagpipe. Its music has echoed down through the halls of history. It is one of the oldest instrumentsa in the world and from its creation it was adopted by men going to war. Its sound has been the battle cry for generations of armies. Where it faded from many cultures, disappearing into the shadows of antiquity, it flourished in the highlands of Scotland.
The history of the bagpipe as a martial instrument, indeed considered by many to be a weapon of war, is inseparable from that of highland troops. Though its sound and its name have become synonymous with Scotland where it was carried into battle by ancient highland clans, it has found its way through a bloody history to the modern battlefield in the hands of the Highland Regiments. The strains of the pipes inspired men on the fields at Waterloo, evoked courage from the soldiers in the Crimea, and mourned the fallen throughout history where they laid.
In that Victorian era of warfare, when shooting was erratic at a hundred yards and sharpened steel was more common than explosives, the pipers led their troops into battle. This all changed after the First World War.
It was the war to end all wars. Man had found new and cruel ways to destroy one another. It was the worlds introduction to chemical warfare with the advent of the "dreaded” gas attacks. Machine guns made their debut in large numbers, as did the modern hand grenade. Dozens of new high explosive missiles, shells, and bombs burst onto the scene. Unable to march battalions in traditional lines of attack, men invented "trench warfare,” digging in and ducking for cover.