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Webmatters : The Pipers' Monument at Longueval
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Pipers' Monument

Location

Longueval is a village 11 kilometres east of Albert.

The 3 metre high monument is situated in the village square at the corner of the Bazentin Road opposite the village’s own memorial.

There is plenty of parking space and two cafés.

 

Background

On 20th July 2002 a new memorial was unveiled at the village of Longueval. It is dedicated to all pipers who fell during the Great War, regardless of race or unit.

Many pipers continued to play despite wounds and always with a disregard for the storm of shells and bullets falling about them.

Not far from Longueval at ADANAC Cemetery near Courcelette lies the grave of Piper James Richardson VC who played his 16th Battalion Canadian Infantry into action at Mouquet Farm on 8th October 1916. Later that evening after helping to bring in wounded he was killed trying to retrieve his pipes.

Longueval was the scene of very heavy fighting by the 9th (Scottish) Division during the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. Incorporated within the Division was the South African Brigade who had their defining moment in Delville Wood.

 

The Pipers’ Monument

Pipers' Monument Longueval

Sculptured by Andy De Comyn it depicts a piper in full battle dress, kilt and tin helmet climbing up and over the parapet of a trench encouraging the men on with the sound of his pipes.

The plaques around the base of the statue show the regiments which lost a piper.

The event was coordinated by Ian Alexander a founder of the Somme Battlefield Pipe Band together with a group of hard working associates on both sides of the Channel and beyond.

The unveiling was carried out by Lt General Sir Peter Graham, KCB, CBE and Major General Corran Purdon CBE MC CPM in the presence of 105 pipers from the UK, France, Belgium and
The Netherlands.

A crowd of at least a thousand followed the pipes and drums down from Delville Wood into the heart of Longueval for the inaugural service which took place in the heat of the midday sun (my car was telling me it was 33° C).

 

Some photos from the inauguration

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Click on the thumbnail for a larger version

 

The other memorials in Longueval