Bagpiper to play in Waikino for Armistice Day
A solo bagpiper is joining a worldwide bagpipers’ tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the 1918 Armistice.
Arthur Johnstone will play the tune When the Battle’s Over at 6am at the Waikino Battery on Sunday.
“If people want to come out to the the battery that would be lovely. I am planning on being by the old tanks,” he says.
Two other pipers, Frances Tait and Mark Stockley, are also joining the movement at a different location in Waihi.
Arthur says this commemoration is important to him as his grandfather fought with the Canadian infantry in Ypres in 1915. He was also part of the force that reinforced the French after part of their line collapsed after the first gas attack of the war.
He enlisted when he was 38.
“He survived,” Arthur says, “but the company he was with was virtually wiped out and he suffered injury as a result of that gas attack that affected him throughout the remainder of his life.”
As a child Arthur lived, “cheek by jowl” with the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, having been billeted with them in Plymouth in 1966.
“My father was in the Canadian Black Watch [13th Batt Royal Highlanders of Canada] and was stationed at Plymouth Hoe.
It seemed to me that this was the obvious thing for me to do to remember my grandfather and my father (who died in 2002),” he says.
Arthur, who has been involved with Anzac and the Tunnellers commemorations in Waihi — will also be piping in the parade from the Waihi RSA to the Memorial Hall midmorning on Sunday.
For his service in the war, Arthur’s grandfather won a Tsar Nicholas Russian Medal (2nd Class) that Arthur still has at home.
On Sunday, Arthur will be wearing his grandfather’s Black Watch cap badge on his glengarry [traditional cap], he says.
Bagpiper Arthur Johnstone playing at the opening of the last ART Waikino exhibition on Labour weekend.