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Pipers Letter

I pass on this message from Bruno Peek, the Queen’s Pageantmaster for VE day. Lady Jane MacRae, a keen piper and active member of Clan Hay,  is  assisting in encouraging as many pipers as possible to take part in the VE Day celebrations 2020.  I hope it will be of interest to many readers and particularly those with Piping connections. The pipe tune is as above.



Dear Piper,




An important celebration takes place in 2020 and we would very much like you take part.


The 8th May 1945 was the day peace emerged after nearly six years of war, so the 75th anniversary on 8th May 2020 represents an important milestone in our history. I am sure you will agree that we cannot let this day pass without reflecting on the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who saw us through this dark period. Our celebration, VE Day 75, will cover the weekend of 8th-10th May 2020, and will be an international celebration of peace – a time to remember, reflect and pay tribute to the millions who played such a vital part in achieving it.


This includes the Armed Forces personnel from many countries who gave their lives, and those who returned home injured in body and mind; the hard-working women and men who kept the factories, mines, shipyards and farms operating throughout the years of turmoil; the ARP wardens, police officers, doctors, nurses, firemen, local defence volunteers and many others who put their lives on hold to safeguard the home front.


The charity for VE Day 75 is SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, which also supports the Merchant Navy.


The planned activities over the weekend are as follows:


  • The Playing of Battle’s O’er & VE 75 Years
  • The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2
  • The Cry for Peace, around the World
  • Churches & cathedrals Ringing out for Peace
  • Street parties and parties in pubs, clubs, Hotels, on town and village greens and in halls etc
  • Services of commemoration and celebration in churches, including the reading of the Tribute to the Millions and the playing of the Last Post


Registration for all participants will be solely through the VE day 75 website – As well as adding your details you will also be able to download important documents, including a commemorative certificate, and view messages of support from individuals and organisations.




3pm – Battle’s O’er & VE 75 Years


As you are aware, pipers from around the world took a ‘leading’ role in Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute on 11th November 2018, organised to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, playing Battle’s O’er at 6am local time. The success of this is still being talked about. With this in mind, we would like to encourage EVERY piper throughout the world to once again play a ‘leading’ role in another historic anniversary – the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May 2020. We would very much appreciate your valuable support.


Please register your involvement at and complete the necessary form. This will enable us to keep in contact with you via email and enable us to provide a list of participants for the national and international media.


Whether at work, home or another location, pause at 3pm on 8th May 2020 and play Battle’s O’er, followed by a new tune entitled VE 75 Years that has been specially written for this occasion by Pipe Major Roger Bayes of the City of Norwich Pipe Band. The music for this can be viewed and downloaded at (We also attach a copy of it).


The reason for choosing 3pm for the playing of Battle’s O’er and VE 75 Years is because it was at this time that Winston Churchill announced the end of WW2 in Europe from the Cabinet Office at 10 Downing Street. It seems only fitting that pipers should once again lead the way in this historic anniversary.


Battle’s O’er will be played by pipers from the top of the four highest Peaks in the UK – Ben Nevis, Scotland; Scafell Pike, England; Mount Snowdon, Wales, and Slieve Donnard, Northern Ireland – and also at the five furthest points in the UK. This has never been undertaken before.


We are encouraging pipers working that day to pause at 3pm to play the tune in their workplace so that they can participate without having to take time off work. We are already aware that a nurse will be playing the pipes on her hospital ward and that others will be playing at a railway company, in a field and outside a bakery.


I hope you will be able to join us in the international celebration of this important anniversary. Remember, you can register your involvement now at –



My warmest regards,




Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR

Pageantmaster VE Day 75

Tel: + 44 (0) 7737 262 913