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Updated 05/10/2013


The Bells of Dunblane
Pipe Major Robert Mathieson

The Dunblane massacre was a multiple murder-suicide which occurred at Dunblane Primary School in the Scottish town of Dunblane On Wednesday, 13 March 1996, unemployed former shopkeeper and former Scout leader Thomas Hamilton walked into the school armed with two revolvers and 743 cartridges.  After gaining entry to the school, Hamilton made his way to the gymnasium and opened fire on a class of five- and six-year-olds, killing or wounding all but one person. Fifteen children and a teacher, Gwen Mayor, died at the scene. Hamilton then left the gymnasium through the emergency exit. In the playground outside he fired a number of shots into a mobile classroom. A teacher in the mobile classroom had previously realized that something was wrong and told the children to hide under the tables. A number of bullet holes were found in the children's chairs. He also fired at a group of children walking in a corridor, injuring one teacher. Hamilton went back into the gym and fired one shot with one of his two revolvers pointing upwards into his mouth, killing himself instantly. A further eleven children and three adults were rushed to the hospital as soon as the emergency services arrived; one of these children was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Pipe Major Robert Mathieson of Shotts and Dykehead composed the slow air for the Highland Bagpipes in memoriam of the event, entitled "The Bells of Dunblane".