Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

France

Normandy town mourns D-Day piper’s death

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2010-08-20

Bill Millin landed on the beaches of Normandy playing the bagpipes, an act of heroism immortalised in the 1962 film "The Longest Day". His death, aged 88, has touched hearts in the Normandy town he helped liberate.

 

A town in Normandy is in mourning after the death of bagpiper Bill Millin, who played his comrades ashore during the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944.
Bill Millin
 
The Scotsman, who died in Torbay, Devon, England, aged 88, landed at the head of Lord Lovat’s 1st Commando Brigade wearing a kilt and armed only with the traditional dagger in his sock.
 
His morale-boosting playing of “Highland Laddie” and “Blue Bonnets over the Border” under heavy fire was immortalised in the 1962 film “The Longest Day”.
 
Guy Legrand, Mayor of Colleville-Montgomery, the village next to Sword Beach where the commandos came ashore, paid tribute to the piper whose bravery has touched the hearts of many generations of townsfolk.
 
“We have been raising funds since last year to erect a statue of Bill Millin, and it will be unveiled next year,” Mayor Legrand told FRANCE 24.
 
“We were hoping that he would be there - it is very sad that he will not be there to see it.
 
“He has been coming back to Colleville-Montgomery for many years to pay respects to his fallen comrades. We knew him well and everyone in this town has a sentimental attachment to him.
 
“He was undoubtedly a very brave man. But he was also kind, understanding and a great diplomat.”
 
The statue will be unveiled on June 6, 2011 in Avenue de Bruxelles in Colleville, 200 metres from where the 1st Commando Brigade came ashore in 1944.
 
Millin’s family are understood to be holding a private ceremony, but Mayor Legrand said a ceremony will be held at nearby Pegasus Bridge on Sunday.
 
Pegasus Bridge, a vital tactical target for the invasion, was taken by British airborne troops the night before the D-Day invasion, and was relieved by Lovat’s commandos the following day to the sound of Millin’s pipes.

 

Bill Millin, as portrayed in the 1962 film 'The Longest Day'

 

Date created : 2010-08-20

COMMENT(S)