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Updated 02/22/2018


Millbank Cottage
Pipe Major William Millar Nicholson Duncan Dumbreck

William Millar Nicholson Duncan Dumbreck was born 28th December 1866 in Linlithgow. Dumbreck, according to his obituary, was pipe-major of the 1st Black Watch, to which, when he was appointed, was the youngest pipe-major in the British Army.

William wrote numerous times for the pipes including Carriber Glen, Pipers Farewell to Gibraltar, West Lothian Volunteers, Major H.F. Elliot's Welcome to Wolflee, Captain Macdonalds Strathspey, 42nd Welcome to Mauritius, Lt. J.B. Pollock's Welcome to Craig, Lt. A.D. Murray's Farewell to the Black Watch and Millbank Cottage. He wrote the latter piece for his sister Lillias Dumbreck when she lived at Millbank Cottage, Uphall. The tune was composed in 1887 for his sisterís house built in that year. A descendant of the Pipe Major still lives in the same house at Station Road, Uphall, Midlothian.


William died in 1935 at the age of 68; he received a military funeral to Linlithgow Cemetery. A party of eighteen members of A Company, Linlithgow 4-5th Battalion Royal Scots (T.), formed a Guard of Honour and firing party. Ten pipers drawn from Torphichen, Philpstoun and Linlithgow, and three drummers played "The Flowers of the Forest" from the deceased's home to the cemetery. At the graveside the Rev. Dr. R. Coupar, St. Michael's Church, Linlithgow, officiated. A piper from headquarters, 4-5th Royal Scots, Edinburgh, played "Lochaber No More" whilst the last volley was being fired. Then Pipe-Major Alexander Forrest, Torphichen, played "Millbank Cottage" the pipe composition by the deceased, one of his most famous compositions. Bugler John Walker, headquarters, 4-5th Royal Scots, sounded the "Last Post" and "Reveille."