The Sands Of Kuwait was composed by LCpl Gordon MacKenzie, to commemorate the involvement of the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth & Camerons), in the Gulf War conflict. The Tune was written whilst LCpl Mackenzie was attending his Pipe Majors Course at the Army School Of Piping in Edinburgh Castle, from September 1990 until April 1991.
Three Scots from the Queen’s Own Highlanders — Privates John Lang, from Nairn; Martin Ferguson, from Inverlochy, Fort William; and Neil Donald, from Forres — died when their battle group was attacked by an A-10 tankbuster aicraft. It mistook Warrier armored vehicles for Iraqi tanks.
Fusiliers Paul Atkinson, Conrad Cole, Richard Gillespie, Kevin Leech, Lee Thompson and Stephen Satchell were also killed.
It was war`s the worst single incident of “friendly fire“ deaths. A total of 47 British Armed Forces lost their lives during the 1990-1991 theatre; 1,143 members of the United States Armed Forces were also killed.
Like many pipe tunes – it’s haunting, yet holds such sad history.
To this day, there is no official memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire for the remembrance of the 47 Service Personnel who lost their lives in theatre. The Gulf War (90-91) Memorial Trust Appeal was established with the aim is to raise funds for a permanent memorial. You can help them fulfill this mission to erect the memorial depicted below.
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