Bag­piper to play in Waikino for Ar­mistice Day

Waihi Leader - - Front Page - By ME­LANIE CAMOIN news@wai­hileader.co.nz

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.

PHOTO / ME­LANIE CAMOIN.

Bag­piper Arthur John­stone play­ing at the open­ing of the last ART Waikino ex­hi­bi­tion on Labour week­end.

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