Pipers needed for the Falklands commemorations

Would you like to join in the Falklands commemorations by piping “The Crags of Mount Tumbledown”?

Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland are looking for musicians to perform in a musical tribute on June 18th, 2022.

Falklands anniversary. Lance Sergeant Mark MacRae and Graham Hopewell

You can even join in from the comfort of your doorstep, street, or if you prefer, hillside.

The iconic “The Crags of Mount Tumbledown” was composed by a Scottish soldier during intense Argentine fire on the remote Falklands hillside.

Pipe Major James Riddell, of the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards, famously noted down the march on the back of a ration packet. And during the final battle of the conflict, June 13th, 1982.

After nine hours of fierce fighting, and hand-to-hand combat, British forces captured the stronghold which guarded the approach to the Falklands capital, Stanley.

This led to the Argentinian surrender but sadly cost the lives of eight Scots Guardsmen, and one Royal Engineer attached to the Battalion.After the battle, Pipe Major Riddell, from Stonehaven, climbed to the top of the mountain. And played the first rendition of his new composition in commemoration of the event.

The following day, British forces retook Stanley and the Argentines surrendered.

Sadly, Pipe Major Riddell died from a brain tumour in 1997.Graham Hopewell, from Ayrshire, was a 19-year-old drummer with the Scots Guards. He remembers serving under Piper Major Riddell. And fighting in bleak, freezing conditions, and losing close friends during the battles.

Another lasting memory is coming under air attack in Bluff Cove on June 8th. Shortly after he landed, Argentinian air forces hit the British ships, Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram, resulting in the loss of more than 50 lives.“We heard a massive explosion. When the planes came over the top, we just started shooting at them. There was no time to think about it and the adrenaline was just going.“Later on, when we heard the ships had been hit, we realised it was real. I knew many of the Welsh Guards who were on the ships, and a close friend was killed in the attack. That was a huge shock, and it made us more determined to go on, so they hadn’t lost their lives for nothing.”Mr Hopewell, 59, who now works as an undertaker, said:

The Falklands has always stayed with me. I was one of the lucky ones, but I think everyone was affected by it in some way. When I came back, I had no one to talk to about it and I found it hard getting my head round it all. I feel honoured to play this year as part of the anniversary commemorations. It’s important that we remember all those who lost their lives.

See more information on Poppyscotland and take part

Falklands 40 | Remembrance | Royal British Legion