Edinburgh Tattoo makes history with first female lone piper

Megan high in the stands at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Picture: submitted
Megan high in the stands at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Picture: submitted
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A Burntisland soldier has become the first regular Army female Lone Piper to perform at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Lance Bombardier Megan Beveridge made piping history when she became the first female to pass the Army Pipe Major’s course.

Megan ,21, is also the youngest person to have attained the Pipe Major’s qualification. She was selected for the honour of being the Lone Piper by the Army’s director of Army bagpipe music and Highland drumming, Major Steven Small, who has carried out the task many times himself as a Piper for The Black Watch – now the 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

She was in the spotlight for the 8800-strong audience at the Tattoo, as she was lit up on the castle ramparts, after the massed pipes and drums and military bands on the Esplanade fell silent and she played the famous lament ‘Sleep Dearie Sleep’ at the end of the finale.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the Edinburgh Tattoo

Almost all professional pipers and drummers in the regular Army are from infantry or royal armoured corps units. Megan is a member of 19th Regiment Royal Artillery, The Scottish Gunners, who are unusual because they are not an infantry or royal armoured corps regiment, but still has a pipes and drums.

Women can serve in artillery regiments in the Army, so Megan chose The Scottish Gunners to improve her prospects as a piper. When not piping, her job is co-ordinating transport for the day-to-day running of the regiment.

Megan has been playing the pipes since she was 9, and her big sister, Kerry-Ann, who played in The Black Watch cadets pipes and drums, was her inspiration.

Megan joined the Army when she left school at 16.

She said: “I hope to get promoted and get my first Pipe Major’s appointment and then work at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming in Edinburgh, and eventually become the Army’s senior Pipe Major,” she said. “After that, I hope to be the Sovereign’s Piper and work out of Buckingham Palace, travelling with them.

“I hope that I’ve inspired other female pipers to join the Army. It’s a great job and I’m really pleased to be able to do it.”

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