Appealing for your First World War stories

Pipe Major William Robb, who wrote The Battle's O'er.

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Have you got a good local story from the First World War? If so, The Oban Times would like to hear from you.

Next month, on Sunday November 11, will be exactly 100 years since the end of the First World War, a terrible, gruelling, four-year conflict that saw millions killed or wounded.

To mark this historic centenary, The Oban Times is publishing a commemorative 16-page supplement, giving our readers insight to the ‘war to end all wars’ and its impact on Argyll and the Islands.

We would like to hear your stories. How was your family, community or business affected by The Great War? Please email your story to editor@obantimes.co.uk by Wednesday October 24, attaching any photographs you wish to illustrate it, in as high a resolution as you can.

The day’s events itself begins at 6am, when the Armistice of Compiègne was signed between the Allies and Germany, when pipers around the world are being asked to play a particular tune at locations of their choice, whether at a cenotaph or war memorial where you live, or simply outside your front door, in a once-in-a-lifetime, poignant tribute.

More than 1,000 pipers have registered, but organisers are on a ‘final push’ for volunteers, before October 24 to include their names in an official guide.

Stuart Letford, editor of the Piping Times at the National Piping Centre, explained: ‘We have pipers old and young taking part as well as pipe bands. By doing this at 6am, we kickstart the day’s commemorations appropriately.

‘The tune being played – composed by Pipe Major William Robb, 1863-1909 (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) – is a popular retreat march called When the Battle is Over, commonly known to pipers as simply The Battle’s O’er.’

Big Ben will also strike at 11am to mark the centenary. 10,000 people will also march past the cenotaph in London in A Nation’s Thank you – The People’s Procession.

At the same time, people are being encouraged to ring bells around the world, to replicate the spontaneous outpouring of relief that took place in 1918. As news of the armistice spread, church bells, which had fallen silent across the UK during WWI, rang out in celebration.

Then, at 12.30pm, bells will ring out in unison from churches and cathedrals across the country, including those in including Dalavich, Kilchrenan and Taynuilt, where a parade will process from the church service to the village hall for an old-time concert.

Later in the day, communities across the UK will light beacons at 7pm, and, as darkness falls, the Last Post will sound.

Pipers who wish to register for The Battle’s O’er are asked to send an email, giving their name, telephone number, address and where they intend to play their tribute, to battlesoer@collegeofpiping.org.