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Bagpipes play at Long Tan Cross for first time since 1969

Posted by Vietnam Swans on January 14, 2012

Iain Townsley (left) and Roy Gilmore play the bagpipes at the Long Tan Cross last weekend. This is believed to be the first time the pipes have been played at the Cross since 1969.

Last Saturday, 7 January 2012, there was a soft opening of the Worldwide Arms Museum in Vung Tau. The Museum, as reported in the on 9 January, covers 1,500 square meters and displays over 1,000 military uniforms and ancient weapons from the U.K, France, Turkey, Mongolia and China, and especially a 19th century sword collection from Vietnam’s Muong ethnic minority people.”

To mark the occasion, owner, Robert Taylor, flew out two pipers from Melbourne. The pipers, Iain Townsley (ex British SAS with 23 years experience) and Roy Gilmore played from the turrets of the castle-like museum.

2nd Warrant Officer and Vietnam Swan, Dan Kindness was in the party to cut the ribbon to officially open the Worldwide Arms Museum.

The pipers play at the opening of the Worldwide Arms Museum in Vung Tau last Saturday.

Officials from the Ministry of Culture in Hanoi were so impressed with the dignity of the event that they agreed to a request made on behalf of Iain and Roy to play at the Long Tan Cross the following day. stands on the site of an horrific firefight in a rubber plantation between Australian and Viet Cong forces on 18 August 1966.

The Vietnamese Government has only allowed two foreign governments to erect memorials on its soil: the French (Dien Bien Phu) and the Australians (Long Tan). Permission to build the memorials was granted subject to visitors not wearing uniforms, medals, playing music or displaying national flags.

In a very significant gesture, on this occasion, not only did the Government officials generously allow the pipers to play several pieces of music, they also gave permission for them to wear their uniforms and medals.

It is believed to be the first time the bagpipes have been played at Long Tan since the Cross was raised on 18 August 1969; the third anniversary of the Battle. Photo: Australian War Memorial EKN/69/0081/VN.

From the roadway, the pipers played as they marched 100 metres towards the Cross. They continued playing at the Cross.

Swannie, Glenn Nolan who was in attendance, believes that this is the first time that pipes have been heard at Long Tan since the Cross was raised on the third anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in 1969.

“There wasn’t a dry eye”, said Glenn. “The hairs stood up on the back of everyone’s neck. It was moving to say the least.”

Related items

  • New song written by Darren McRae, . This song was forwarded to the Vietnam Swans on 16 January 2012 by Rod Campbell. Rod travelled through Vietnam in August 2008 and helped the Swannies with our coaching.
  • The Vietnam Swans will play our 3rd Annual ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau on 21 April 2012. We shall play the China Reds. There will be a battlefields tour, including the Long Tan Cross, for all interested people on 22 April. Click here for details.
  • The ANZAC Dawn Service will be held at the Long Tan Cross on 25 April. This will be followed by a live telecast of the AFL’s ANZAC match between Collingwood and Essendon at , Vung Tau.
  • Click the link to read Worldwide Arms Museum to propel ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau.
  • For photos of the Worldwide Arms Museum and its collection, click onto the .
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4 Responses to “Bagpipes play at Long Tan Cross for first time since 1969”

  1. said

    Is there no live footage of this event to be seen ? Sgt C Cruickshank (rtd) 7th Para RHA /10th Batt (v) Parachute Regiment ?

    • Hi Colin
      I understand that there is some video footage of the opening of the Museum and I would presume of the Long Tan Cross as well.
      I did put in a request that it be put on You Tube. If that happens, we will post the link on this website.
      Phil Johns
      Vietnam Swans

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  3. said

    [...] ANZAC Day… on The Swans Weekly Wrap“On ANZAC Day… on Bagpipes play at Long Tan Cros…Vietnam Swans on Bagpipes play at Long Tan Cros…Colin Cruickshank on Bagpipes play at Long [...]

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