A senior officer approached Lord Lovat on the beach and told him the Paras had captured the bridges. Lovat then turned to me and said, "Give us a tune, piper."
The whole situation was ridiculous. It was bad enough the three of us standing on the beach amidst all the shell fire when we should have been lying down somewhere. Now he was asking me to play the pipes.
So I thought, I may as well be ridiculous too and I asked, "What tune would you like, sir?"
"The Road To The Isles," said Lovat.
"I suppose you'd like me to march up and down while I do it, sir?"
"Excellent," he said. "That would be lovely."
So I marched up and down along the shore playing the pipes. I could see the bodies in the water, moving in and out with the tide. At one point, I remember a sergeant running past me and shouting, "Are you fucking mad? Every bloody German in France is shooting at us!" But I ignored him and kept marching because there were other Commandos - French and British - cheering me on as I went.
Years later, I met the German officer who was commanding that area during the landings and I asked him, why didn't anyone shoot me? I was right at the front. Why wasn't I killed? He said, "We thought you were 'dumbkopf' (crazy)." I didn't know it but that's what the Germans had nicknamed me - der Verrückt Dudelsack Pfeiffer, which means, The Mad Piper.
I didn't think I was doing anything great that day. It was my job. I was a piper.
- Piper Bill Millin