In 1815 a Mackay played an important part in the famous
battle at Waterloo. Piper Kenneth Mackay of the 79th (Cameron)
Battalion courageously stepped outside the safety of the regimental
square playing his pipes and inspired his regiment to repel continuous
charges of French cavalry.
A poem by Lawrence Owen Creviston
In honor of Piper Kenneth MacKay ---- Battle of
My eyes are stinging, my ears are ringing, and my uniform
is bloodied and tattered. The Highlanders were fiercely mauled
today, but their square was never shattered. The orders were
to hold our ground. The order, "Form a square!" was
given. As we watched the French horsemen approach our square,
all our emotion was hidden.
The ground shook, hooves sounded as thunder, and the cavalrymen
hollered and yelled. I at attention blew on my pipes and added
its tune to this hell. I watched as steel-clad horsemen died.
"Front rank- ready...aim...fire!" The horsemen behind
would trample their dead, and our lads fired till they were tired.
So many horsemen met our kneeling lads, at the front rank
of the square. The horses ran upon their bayonets and the red
line began to tear. "Replacements, double-quick! Fill in
the holes!" the men began to falter, so I leapt from the
square and began to march 'round in my best regimental saunter.
The first time 'round. the lads just stared: "Why's e
out there ya think?" The second time 'round they stared
and smiled and some even gave a wink. The third time 'round my
purpose was clear, and I was met with cheer upon cheer. My task
accomplished I marched back to square and continued to play from
I stand in my place from earlier today and look at the lads
remains, and I shouldered my pipes and played a lament to honor
your suffering and pain. So do not believe that your death was
for naught, or will be taken as some small token...because even
in death you form a perfect square, and prove...........
the Highlanders were never broken!
Lawrence Owen Creviston
The Highland Guards
This poem is presented here with Lawrence
Creviston's permission. This poem or any part thereof may not
be copied or reproduced in any form without Lawrence Creviston's
page created 5th July 1999