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15-25 August 1917
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Hill 70 Pipes and Drums

Hill 70 Pipes and Drums

Historically, the action at Hill 70 connects the action at Vimy Ridge and the later bloody battle of Passchendaele (3rd Ypres). The confidence of the Canadian Corps, after the victory at Vimy on 9 April 1917, was described by one of its soldiers who said at the time: "We knew we could do anything". Following this feeling of determination, the first part of the pipe tune reflects that confidence and the sense of purpose of the Canadian Corps, after Vimy and perhaps in anticipation of later challenges.

The 1st measure of part 2 becomes a little darker, expressing determination & readiness to take the fight to the enemy. The 2nd measure of part 2 returns to the theme of confidence expressed in part 1 but now directed to Hill 70.

Part 3 reflects the battle. The music sends out a much darker feeling, with the pipers staying mainly on the bottom hand as it does. It expresses resolution, with a sense of forceful and practised determination throughout the Corps. That said, there is no bravado in it, nor is it cocky. Rather it portrays the Corps in expressing its high and determined professionalism as it deals with this dreadful battle.

Part 4 reflects back on the victory at Hill 70 and forward to Passchendaele, which would extend until November. Men of the Canadian Corps must have known that after Hill 70, their efforts and skills would be called upon for this last big battle of 1917. So, the 1st measure of part 4 presents high confidence & pride in what was done at Hill 70 while the 2nd measure returns to the dark theme of determined courage in conflict that appears in part 3. This time, however, it is directed toward the dreadful fight at Passchendaele, without illusions, with pride & with a unbeatable determination to win.

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