Faugh A Ballagh

Clear the Way

Join the RDMA
Contact Us


Pipes & Drums
Fifes & Drums
General Topics




Last Post



Hudson, Leonard Myles "Doc" (1942 - 2010):  Drum Major Emeritus, Newport News Police Pipes & Drums


24 April 2010
Doc was a lifelong resident of Newport News, VA.  After serving in the USMC (Lance Corporal), Doc joined the Newport News Police Department and rose to the position of Detective.  He retired after 30 years of service.  Doc was the Drum Major of the Newport News Police Pipes & Drums.



Leonard, Joseph "Joe" Michael (1929 - 2010):  Drum Major, Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band



March 11, 2010

Joe was Drum Major of the Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band from the 1960s well into the 21st century, where he also played bass drum and tenor drum.   He was a huge supporter of pipe bands in the southwestern United States, especially in how he encouraged kids to learn pipes or drums.   He gave many of us our first kilt or helped us find our first set of bagpipes!   Joe will be sorely missed by all of us. [by Kevin MacHeffner Conquest]



McGlashan, Ron (1947 - 2008):  Drum Major, Irish Pipers of San Francisco



June 19, 2008

The Irish Pipers of San Francisco is mourning the loss of Our Beloved Drum Major, Ron McGlashan. He passed away last night at about 10:44 pm peacefully his friends Alex, Marcia, Norman his brother and John his nephew were there. Father Gould came again to pray. Sacraments were given the night before. All tubes but the small breathing tube were removed.

Ron requested earlier that he wanted a strawberry milkshake and a Coke. We gave him a taste of coke. Alex stopped at Mel's dinner on the way to the hospital got the Deluxe Shake with all the works. Ron just loved it. He had his Amazing Grace playing with the bagpipes in the background.

Funeral arrangements will be made this morning. Please pass the word along. [by Michael LeBouef]




Davidson, Don (1929 - 2005):  Drum Major, Leathernecks Pipes & Drums

Monday, December 19, 2005


Star-Ledger Staff


Even now, more than 40 years later, the photograph by Don Davidson goes right to the gut.  The parents of Andrew Goodman, one of three civil right workers slain in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer of 1964, are entwined in grief as their son's body is removed from an plane at Newark Airport.  Taken in August of that year, two months after Goodman disappeared, the photo was selected by the Associated Press as one of the best of the 20th century.


Dr. Davidson, a former Marine who raised a generation of news photographers as the founder of New Jersey Newsphotos and mentored two Pulitzer Prize winners, died Friday December 16, 2005.  He was 76 (born August 25, 1929).  A former photographer for the Associated Press, Dr. Davidson began New Jersey Newsphotos in the mid-1960s when Mort Pye, the late editor of The Star-Ledger, suggested the idea.  The photographs were supplied directly to The Star-Ledger, and Newsphotos had more than 50 photographers and five editors.


During the Korean War, he was one of the "Frozen Chosin," some 8,000 U.S. fighters, mostly Marines, who marched over 75 hazardous miles around a frozen reservoir to escape from 120,000 Chinese soldiers in November 1950, during the coldest year in 100 years.  And during the Vietnam War, Dr. Davidson also went overseas, but that was to investigate what was happening to missing body bags.  The bags were being used to ship drugs


So proud of his military service was Dr. Davidson that he enjoyed getting into his Marine uniform for military holidays, from Veterans Day to Memorial Day.  He also was a drum major in the Leathernecks Pipe & Drum Band, playing around the world.


While running Newsphotos, Dr. Davidson began a third career. A graduate of New York University, he also graduated from NYU's medical school and practiced forensic medicine.  We is buried is in Denville Cemetery.



Falana, Hustus "Frank," III (1948 - 2006): Drum Major, Manchester Pipes and Drums







A commanding figure known prominently in Hartford's law enforcement, fire fighting and military communities and volunteer organizations died December 22, 2006 in Hartford.  He served in the United States Air Force, the United States Army Airborne Division, the United States Marshal Service, the Manchester Pipe and Drum Corp, the Governor's Horse Guard, the Wethersfield Fire Department, the Hartford Chapter of the Connecticut Board of Approved Umpires, the American Softball Association of Umpires and the Shriners, among many other organizations.


A native son of Isle of Hope, GA, Frank was born on May 27, 1948 in Savannah, GA.  Frank served in Panama, Granada, and Desert Storm and was employed by the United States Federal Government as a U.S. Marshal.  He was honored as the Grand Marshal for the Connecticut Veteran's Day Parade of 2006.  Besides many other honors, he served as a liaison to the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy and was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal.


His spare time was usually spent in the service of others. Frank enjoyed working with young people and will be remembered by many as a football and baseball coach as well as a mentor.  He was buried with full military honors at the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, GA.




McCutcheon, Bill: Drum Major, Toronto Police Pipe Band



The Toronto Star

14 February 2005

For years he was the leader of the parade.  Metro Toronto Police Pipe Band Drum Major Bill McCutcheon was at the head of the Santa Claus parades, Labour Day parades, Warrior Day parades, Grey Cup parades, the march past at the Police Games, the opening of the Royal Winter Fair and Kitchener-Waterloo's Oktoberfests.


At the annual Police Games held on summer nights at the Canadian National Exhibition, he led the march past; during the popular Musical Ride, the force's mounted unit did the charge straight at McCutcheon, standing two or three paces ahead of his band. The crowd always erupted as the horses stopped at what looked like just 10 metres before the man holding his ground with his mace held high.


McCutcheon was a young police officer in neighbouring downtown precincts when he signed up for a newly revived Metro Toronto Pipe and Drum Band in 1964.  Originally started by Thomas Ross in 1912, the marching band was disbanded in 1939, when Canada went to war.  In a nod to its history and its original founder, the new police band chose the red Ross plaid as its official tartan.


Within months of joining, McCutcheon was elected drum major, responsible for not only leading the parade but also for the dress, deportment and discipline of the 40 to 50 members.  McCutcheon retired from the band in 1975, when he retired from the police, but he kept marching at the head of the pack for the Ontario Royal Canadian Legion Pipes, Drums and Colours.  A year earlier, he had been asked to lead the Legion massed bands at Florida's New Year's Eve Rose Bowl parade, a huge honour at a time when the streets were painted white for the televised nighttime parade.  He returned two more times: in 1976 and then in 1991.


In 1978, McCutcheon led the Ontario Royal Canadian Legion Pipes, Drums and Colours along the 10-kilometre route of the Tournament of Roses Parade, lined with 1.5 million cheering spectators in California.  They made repeat appearances in 1981, 1989 (when McCutcheon had just undergone treatment for cancer of the colon six weeks before) and in 1994.


They marched the dusty main street of Tijuana, Mexico, and in the Cavalcade Parade down Princes St. in Edinburgh. They were cheered at the Punch Bowl and Hula Bowl in Hawaii.  The first time they appeared at Braemar, they marched past the Duke of Fife because Queen Elizabeth was mourning the assassination of her uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, but on their third tour of Scotland in 1990, it was the royal couple on the stand.  But McCutcheon's favourite parade was always Toronto's Santa Claus Parade.  No contest.


The son of a streetcar driver, McCutcheon grew up in west Toronto. He always loved uniforms: he belonged to the Boys Brigade and, when he was 17, he lied about his age to enlist in the air force but never saw any overseas action, much to his disgust.  A neighbour suggested he join the police.  The neighbour was Jack Ackroyd who would go on to become Toronto's chief of police.  He loved being a police officer, but it was when he joined the pipe band and later the policemen's chorus that he combined both his passions. Possessed of a spectacular rich bass voice, he had long sung at church minstrel shows and as a soloist in the choir at then Westmoreland United Church.  During his 28 years with the force, he sang the national anthem at the Police Games and was the soloist at the annual police Remembrance Day ceremony at Yorkminster United Church.


At his funeral, members of the Toronto police chief's ceremonial unit were honorary guards and fellow police war veterans the pallbearers.  A piper played behind the hearse and at the gravesite.


The family buried him with the mace he had carried for more than 40 years.


It was their way to ensure that he got to lead his last parade.


Regimental Drum Major Association 2003 - 2010