The 10th HLI Crossing the Rhine

Donald Shaw Ramsay, the composer of this tune, was born in 1919 in Torphichen, Scotland. When he was eight, his first teacher was Sandy Forrest, who was then Pipe-Major of the Torphichen & Bathgate Pipe Band. Ramsay enjoyed early success in solo competition, doing well in the junior categories at, among other events, the Northern Meeting. At 19, he became pipe-major of another local band, and the next year joined the 10th Battalion Highland Light Infantry, recruited by the colonel of the battalion to establish a band who pulled strings to ensure that Ramsay was part of his group. At the time, however, the minimum age for a British Army pipe-major was 21, but corners were cut and Ramsay became the latest "youngest pipe-major ever". It was with the 10th HLI during the Second World War that Ramsay saw action, and wrote one of his first great compositions, the 6/8 march, "The 10th Battalion H.L.I. Crossing the Rhine".