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The Day the Piper Fell ©

On the 1st July 1916 The Battle of the Somme began. By the end of the Somme offensive in the winter of the same year, over 1 million casualties were sustained by all armies. British 420,000. French 200,000. Germany approx 500,000. This day became known as the worst day in the history of the British Army.

In memory of all Scottish soldiers lost on that day.

Josephine Duthie
Aberdeen, Scotland

Fa, belangs the mucky tweeds
Lyin' in the ditch?
Fa' belangs the Piper's bag
Choked wi' mud an' pitch?

Far's the soon that haunts the soul,
The echo o' the drones?
Far's the beat that swings the pleats
Across the pitted zones?

Aboon the mist the chill o' death
Hangs silent in the air,
Afore the dawn a pibroch wails
Tae die an' play nae mair.

Unner'neath a jaggy fence,
A tammy ripped an' torn,
Hangin' roon a broken bush
A tassel auld an' worn.

Bedded in the soggy mire
Blasted by a shell,
Faint impressions mark the spot
Far the laddie fell.

He mustered a' his fightin' men
He played their last farewell,
He lead them a' tae bravery
An' didnae live tae tell.

Noo fa' will play the last lament
Fan a' the Pipers' fall,
An' fa' will gie the battle cry
Fan no one's left tae call?

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