IT is one of the most famous images of D-Day – piper Bill Millin walking down a landing ramp as the Commandos of the 1st Special Service Brigade prepare to take Sword beach. He was the personal piper of Lord Lovat, the officer in charge.“Give us a tune, piper,” Lovat told him, and Bill obliged.

"He was a very brave chap, a good leader who led from the front," Millin said in March 1995, on Lovat's death.

Ten years after D-Day, Millin, of Glasgow, wrote about his memories of that day in the Evening Times: “I blew up my pipes and played [the Commandos] ashore to Highland Laddie’ amid bursting mortar shells. Lord Lovat then ordered me to march up and down the beach playing The Road to the Isles while the rest of the brigade assembled in bombed-out houses just off the beach. I don’t think anyone was paying particular attention to my efforts!”

He had “fully expected to be killed or wounded” as, later, he ran behind a tank through a village, his pipes a signal for the rest of the Commandos to follow. “It is still a mystery to me how I escaped unscathed,” he wrote. “Around me, the men were falling, and I could see Lord Lovat calmly directing operations.”

Millin lost his beloved pipes – they had been in his family since the Great War – when a mortar bomb blew them to pieces in a ditch.

He died in August 2010, aged 88.