The Oban Times, 28 August, 1937
The Status of Pipe-Major
16 August, 1937
Sir,–Highlanders in general and all admirers of our military pipe bands must deprecate the Secretary of State for War’s action regarding the granting of Warrant Rank to Pipe-Majors in the Army.
His reasoning can be termed illogical as the Pipe-major of a band is undoubtedly a Bandmaster, and military Bandmasters can qualify for Warrant Rank why should the Pipe-Major not enjoy the same privilege? The pipe band is a great inspiration to a Regiment, more so on the battlefield that [sic] the brass band, and its leader, the Pipe-Major, exposes himself to danger far more that [sic] the bandmaster.
The position calls for men of ability, but if military red-tape persists in making the distinction of “flesh of one and fish of the other,” as it happened to be doing regarding Pipe-Majors and Bandmasters, it stands to reason that pipe bands will work under a grievance. And when any person has a well-founded grievance can he give of his best? “The poet is born, not made,” and what applies to him, applies to a large extent to the Pipe-Major. The natural ability must be there, and any action which acts as a deterrent to the furtherance of this ability is wrong.
I am, etc.,