Piper Bill Millin and “The Road to the Isles

Piper Bill Millin

Bill Millin’s Statue at Colleville-Montgomery overlooks SWORD Beach where he landed on D-Day

 

At the age of 21 yrs Piper Bill Millin was the personal piper of Lord Lovatt Fraser whose Commando Brigade landed on SWORD Beach on D-Day. Millin was the only British soldier to wear the Kilt on D-Day and although officially not allowed to play the pipes by the high command Fraser asked Millin to play while the landings took place. With bullets and shells whizzing around him Millin duly obliged and marched up and down the beach playing ‘The road to the isles.’
Lovatt’s Brigade then moved inland to join forces with 6th Airborne Division on the eastern bank of the River Orne, crossing Pegasus Bridge in a scene famously recreated in the film ‘The Longest Day.’
A regular visitor to the D-day Beaches for many years after the war,  Bill Millin died in August 2010.

D Day Tours Bill Millin

Bill Millin in 1944

Bill Millin 2010

Piper Bill Millin in 2010

Bill Millin disembarking D Day

Millin in the foreground disembarks from his landing ship. Ahead of him to the right of his men Lord Lovatt wades ashore.

Bill Millin memorial

The statue with SWORD beach beyond.

Bill Millin The Road to the Isles

Millin famously playing ‘The road to the Isles’ while the landings took place around him.