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Commemorative Plaques Record Details

G S McLennan (1883 - 1929)

Picture of the Palque

Location : 2 Bath Street

Area : Central Aberdeen

Plaque Type : Yellow

About G S McLennan : George Stewart McLennan was born on 9 February 1883 at 105 St Leonard Street, Edinburgh into a leading piping family in Scotland. He was a child prodigy, playing before Queen Victoria by royal command at the age of ten and winning amateur competitions while barely into his teens. G. S. McLennan was noted for his melodious pipe and outstanding technique and his style as a composer was highly original and inventive.

Alarmed by McLennan's ambition to become a sailor, his father enlisted him as a boy piper in the 1st Gordons in October 1899. By 1905 he was pipe-major, one of the youngest ever in the British army. He served in Cork, in Aldershot, and in Colchester where, on 3 April 1912, he married Nona Lucking. They had two sons, George (1914–1996) and John (1916–1940).

McLennan was stationed at the Gordons' depot at Aberdeen from 1913 until early in 1918, when he joined the 1st battalion in France as a Lewis gunner. Although military service restricted his opportunity to compete, he won all the top awards, including the gold medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in 1904, the gold medal at the Northern Meeting at Inverness in 1905, and the clasp, the highest award for ceòl mór, in 1909, 1920, and 1921.

On retiring from the army in 1921, McLennan set up as a bagpipe maker at 2 Bath Street, Aberdeen. He was the focus of a lively musical circle in the city which included the fiddle virtuoso James Scott Skinner (who dedicated a march tune 'The Gordon Highlanders' to him) and the prominent piping judge Alfred E. Milne.

As a result of war service he developed a serious lung condition and died shortly before midnight on 31 May 1929 at his home at 48B Powis Place, Aberdeen. At McLennan's funeral on 4 June the gun carriage was preceded by forty pipers, and 20,000 people lined the route to Aberdeen station.

Sponsor : Fred D McKay