Written by Pipe Sergeant Tim Stewart CD, Curator, TSR Museum.
The Pipes and Drums have been a most important part of the Regiment from the early 1920s when they were formed under Pipe Major David Bell. One of the better known Pipe Majors was WO 2, Pipe Major Adam MacDonald EM, who took charge of the band from 1934 to 1955. Pipe Major MacDonald was well respected in piping circles and a fine teacher to the young recruits. When the Regiment went to war in 1939, the entire pipe band volunteered. The band played at many functions in England during those early war years, but each member of the band in addition to being a piper/drummer, was a trained soldier. In the Regiment's fight to liberate Holland, Pipe Major MacDonald was awarded the Dutch Meritorious Cross for gallant service. Forty years later, in 1985, Grigor Murdoch EM CD, a wartime piper and 1950s Pipe Major of the Scottish, accompanied the band on its return to Holland for the 40th anniversary of the liberation. Other wartime pipers who made the trip in 1985 were: Garfield Foster, Alex Howie and James Revie.
During the 1960s, the 1970s and into the 1980s the pipe band was under the very capable direction of CWO, Pipe Major John Wakefield, MMM CD. Pipe Major Wakefield, an exceptional player, directed the band through its first two recordings, in 1968 and 1978, and numerous tattoos, shows and competitions (Grade 2). For his unparalleled service to the Regiment and to the band in particular, Pipe Major Wakefield was appointed a Member to the Order of Military Merit in January 1976. MWO, Drum Major Norman MacKenzie, CD, held the Drum Major position for 22 years, from 1970 to 1992. In Drum Major competitions on two continents, Drum Major MacKenzie has won 8 North American championships, 6 Canadian championships and 3 Commonwealth championships, 1974-75-76 with a perfect score of 100 achieved in 1974. He was senior Drum Major at the Nova Scotia Tattoo for many years.
The Pipes and Drums have participated in various Highland Games and competitions across North America and many individuals have won at solo piping and drumming. In addition the band has performed at tattoos and shows including: the Scottish World Festival Tattoo, Toronto; Edinburgh Tattoo; Queen's Silver Jubilee Tattoo; Royal Tournament, London; Wembley Military Musical Pageant, London; Nova Scotia Tattoo; Metropolitan Toronto Police Games; Stone Mountain Tattoo, Georgia; and the 40th anniversary of the Liberation of Holland. While in London in 1990, the Band along with other Commonwealth contingents participated in the Scottish Division, Beating Retreat. Weeks later, three pipers and two drummers took part in the festivities celebrating The Queen Mother's 90th birthday; both events were held on Horse Guards Parade.
The year 2000 was very significant in the history of the Regiment and the Band. Under the operational word "Triumph", a regimental contingent, band and family members left for London, England and the 100th birthday celebrations of the Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Forming the left flank of the massed pipes and drums, The Toronto Scottish had the largest band on parade for what turned out to be a spectacular occasion. Afterwards it was off to the continent and the unveiling of a plaque in Dieppe, France to pay tribute to the members of the Regiment who provided machine-gun support during the ill-fated raid of August 1942. The next stop was further down the coast and inland from Caen at a place called Point 67. It was here that the newly constructed Regimental monument was dedicated to the officers and men of The Toronto Scottish who paid the supreme sacrifice during the fighting in Normandy, July and August 1944. Scotland was next and the Band once again formed the left flank of the massed pipes and drums from Scotland and the Commonwealth on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle in a special tribute to Her Majesty's 100th birthday and all of this under the leadership of Pipe Major Rick Dade and Drum Major MWO John Millar CD.