Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    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)