THE SON of Dawlish D-Day piper Bill Millin has paid a visit to the town ahead of the 80th anniversary of his father’s historic bagpipe rendition. 

John Millin, 69, travelled to Dawlish Museum which has the original set of his father’s bagpipes and has a newly named ‘Piper Bill’ room in his honour. 

Bill, who was the personal piper to Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, landed on Sword Beach in Normandy where he was the only bagpiper to play while the troops landed.

After the war, Bill made Dawlish his home where he worked as a nurse and his bagpipes and uniform are still in the possession of Dawlish Museum. 

His son John, a retired mental health nurse, made the trip to Dawlish with his wife Dorrie.

He was being filmed for the anniversary by a French TV crew. 

John brought another set of Bill’s pipe which he still plays today. 

He said: ‘My Dad played his D-Day pipes many a time on the Lawn at Dawlish at fairs and fundraising events. 

‘Latterly he attended events by getting around in his motorised chair after his stroke in 2002.’

John and his grandson Jacob have paid their own tribute to Bill’s Second World War efforts by playing bagpipes daily in the run up to the anniversary. 

On D-Day June 6 1944, kilted Bill landed at Sword Beach and played his pipes to encourage his comrades. 

John explained: ‘Lord Lovat’s speech to his commandos a few hours before boarding the landing craft taking them to Normandy ended with him telling them that ‘100 years from now’ their children’s children will look back and say they must have been giants.’

Bill was the only bagpiper in the Allied armada known as Operation Overlord. Lord Lovat, who led the Special Service Brigade at Sword Beach, later captured the key target of Pegasus Bridge, accompanied by Bill who died in 2010 in Dawlish aged 87.

His actions were portrayed in the 1962 film The Longest Day.

A bronze life-size statue of Bill was unveiled in his memory in 2013 at Colleville-Montgomery, near Sword beach.