Lieutenant John Young Honoured with New Bagpipe Tune

Presentation party and flautist Edward McGuire

In 2011, the City of Glasgow decided to honour the memory and heroism of Lt John Young, by placing a granite pavement plaque outside his former home in the west end of the city.
This story received widespread coverage in the Scottish media, and came to the attention of the nearby College of Piping, a world-renowned institution.

Piper Tripney plays the winning tune

The College Principal, Robert Wallace, was keen to help ensure that this story of heroism not be forgotten. He proposed that a unique pipe tune be composed and named after John Young, following one of bagpiping’s time-honoured traditions to commemorate events of great valour.

Pipe music composers all over the world were invited to submit their compositions. There was a large number of entries and the judges commented on their high standard.

The unanimous winner was a tune composed by Pipe Major Peter MacInnes, formerly of the Scots Guards. The judges felt that the tune captured ‘the courage and sacrifice of this officer who gave his life to save his men and fulfilled his orders to fight to the last man by being the last man.’
It was decided to have the first public performance of the new tune at the site of the plaque, on 15th November 2012.
Despite heavy rain the event was well attended by residents, college and school students, churches and local councillors, with the guest of honour being Dr Felicity Shaw (whose aunt was married to John Young's brother). Dr Shaw and others were presented with framed copies of the music.
The tune was played superbly by a serving piper from John Young's regiment, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. It was repeated on a Japanese bamboo flute, played by well-known flautist Edward McGuire, and he followed this with a piece of music entitled Reconciliation.

All attending were enthralled.

Roy McCallum
Glasgow, November 2012

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