Daniel Laidlaw

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Daniel Logan Laidlaw
Nickname(s) The Piper of Loos
Born 26 July 1875
Swinton, Scottish Borders
Died 2 June 1950 (aged 74)
Norham, Northumberland
Buried at St Cuthbert's Churchyard, Norham
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1896-1912
Rank Sergeant-Piper
Unit The King's Own Scottish Borderers
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Victoria Cross

Daniel Logan Laidlaw VC (26 July 1875 – 2 June 1950) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Early life[edit]

Laidlaw was born at Little Swinton, Berwickshire on 26 July 1875 and joined the Army in 1896. He served with the Durham Light Infantry in India where he received a certificate for his work during a plague outbreak in Bombay in 1898. In the latter year he was claimed out by his elder brother and transferred as a piper to the King's Own Scottish Borderers, in 1912 he transferred to the reserve. In 1915 Laidlaw re-enlisted in The King's Own Scottish Borderers.

First world war[edit]

Laidlaw was 40 years old, and a Piper in the 7th Battalion, The King's Own Scottish Borderers, 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 25 September 1915 during the Battle of Loos at Hill 70, prior to an assault on enemy trenches and during the worst of the bombardment, Piper Laidlaw, seeing that his company was shaken with the effects of gas, with complete disregard for danger, mounted the parapet and, marching up and down, played his company out of the trench. The effect of his splendid example was immediate and the company dashed to the assault. Piper Laidlaw continued playing his pipes even after he was wounded and until the position was won.[1]

Further information[edit]

He later achieved the rank of sergeant-piper. His medals are on display on the 5th floor of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Only one other piper was awarded a Victoria Cross during the First World War, the Scottish-born Canadian soldier James Cleland Richardson.

Laidlaw's medals


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29371. pp. 11449–11450. 16 November 1915. Retrieved 11 May 2015.

External links[edit]