Remembrance Day

The Lone Piper and Flowers of the Forest

The origins of the lone piper are obscure, although a lone piper has been a feature of Scottish military ceremonies for several hundred years. The bagpipes are the traditional instrument of the people of the Scottish highlands and have been carried into battle with Scottish soldiers from the days of William Wallace to the Falklands War of 1982. Traditionally, in Scottish units a lone piper has taken the place of a bugler to signal the day's end to troops (see Last Post) and as such has also bid the farewell to the dead at funerals and memorial services. Flowers of the Forest is the tune usually played on these occasions. It is a traditional Scottish lament (a song of mourning and remembrance). When pipers first became a feature of Australian memorial services is unclear, but with the significant size of Australia's expatriate Scottish community in the early decades of the 20th century, represented by several "Scottish" battalions in the Militia, the presence of a piper probably became established during the 1920s.

Piper, 1943.