D-Day stamps depict ‘Piper Bill’


06 June 2014
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imports_CESC_0-4tqb45dg-100000_12082.png D-Day stamps depict ‘Piper Bill’
A recent set of Jersey stamps issued to mark the seventieth anniversary of the D-Day Landings in World War Two, includes a design showing William Millin, commonly known as Piper Bill. ...
D-Day stamps depict ‘Piper Bill’ Images
A recent set of Jersey stamps issued to mark the seventieth anniversary of the D-Day Landings in World War Two, includes a design showing William Millin, commonly known as Piper Bill.

The stamps shows Piper Bill playing his bagpipes as the Allies take the crucial Pegasus Bridge in Northern France.

After much careful planning, involving the building up of thousands of troops, strategic bombing campaigns and many decoys, Operation Overlord took place on 6 June, 1944. By the end of the dramatic day, which saw raids up and down the Normandy coast, 150,000 soldiers of the Allied Forces of Britain, America, Canada, and France had landed in France and started a campaign to push the Germans back, a military manoeuvre that changed the course of the war.

The soldier’s operations on that historic day are depicted on the six Jersey stamps, with paintings by military and aviation artist David Pentland. We see the tanks roll on to Sword Beach on the 46p value, parachutists bravely descending into the battle at Ste-Mere-Eglise (56p), and on the 62p value soldiers are seen combing the sands of Gold Beach.

A major objective of the D-Day Landings was the crossing of Pegasus Bridge, across the Caen Canal. The 70p value shows soldiers crossing the bridge under the cover of night, while the accompanying miniature sheet depicts a daytime scene at the site, with William Millin, known as Piper Bill playing his bagpipes.

Bill was born in Canada but was brought up in Glasgow.

Millin is said to have played his pipes throughout the D-Day landings and was the only soldier involved in the campaign to have worn a kilt. Millin survived the war and died in 2012, his bagpipes are now on display at the Pegasus Bridge Museum in Normandy. The soldier’s progress through Normandy is shown on the 82p and 91p values, with armed soldiers seen approaching the rural town of Carentan and off Gold Beach, respectively.

Read more D-Day Anniversary news…

D-Day Landings chart on display at Trinity House in Edinburgh

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