Fergusson, P/M William (? – 1949)
Willie Fergusson was one of a group of major composers of pipe music in the early decades of the 20th century. Amongst his best tunes are “Loch Duich”, “Kantara to El Arish”, “The Australian Ladies”, “The Atholl and Breadalbane Gathering” and the competition style strathspey “Dornie Ferry”. A number of his tunes appear in his own Collection “Fergusson’s Bagpipe Melodies” published in 1939. He was also heavily involved in the pipe band movement and was Pipe Major of the City of Glasgow Pipe Band which later became the Clan MacRae Society Pipe Band – one of Scotland’s top outfits of the time. Under Fergusson the Clan MacRae won three straight World Pipe Band Championships at Cowal (1921-22-23), equalling a record set by John MacDougall Gillies with the 5th HLI. Fergusson had also equalled Gillies’s total of 4 wins when he led the newly re-named band to another Cowal Championship in 1925. Clan MacRae (as the City of Glasgow) had been founded in 1913 by Farquhar MacRae, Fergusson’s mentor. MacRae had previously been P/M of the 7th H.L.I. and led them to the 1913 World Championship. Many of the band’s members joined the new City of Glasgow Pipe Band but in 1914 Fergusson and other members enlisted in the 7th H.L.I. on the outbreak of WW1, with Fergusson being appointed P/M. The 7th H.L.I. fought at Gallipoli where the pipers were particularly active, often playing the troops over the top. In 1929 Willie Fergusson emigrated to Canada where he died in 1949.