February 18, 2024

Neil Sloan

Neil Sloan, centre, playing with the Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia drum section and Leading-Drummer Tom Brown (left) at the 1985 World Pipe Band Championships.

The accomplished pipe band snare drummer Neil Sloan passed away on February 15, 2024. He was in his mid-fifties.

Remembered foremost in the competing pipe band community as a popular member of Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia organization through the 1970s and ’80s, Sloan was part of the great Grade 1 Boghall drum sections of the 1980s under Leading-Drummer Tom Brown.

Sloan was an original member of Boghall’s first Novice Juvenile band, joining as a seven-year-old in 1977 under Brown’s guidance. Sloan would move to Boghall’s top band, which achieved Grade 1 status in 1980.

The Boghall percussion section with Sloan would win the World Pipe Band Drum Corps title four times along the way, with the likes of Gordon Brown, Bryn Butler, Neil Cranston, Tom Edgerton and Andy Griffiths.

Neil Sloan competed regularly and successfully in the World Solo Drumming Championships until he joined the military around 1989. After seven years with the Queen’s Own Highlanders, he joined the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in 1998, between times playing with the Lothian & Borders Police Pipe Band. He served as a resplendent and talented drum-major throughout that time.

An accomplished musician beyond percussion, Sloan is still the only member of the British Army to win the army’s drumming and bugling titles in the same year.

He was later recruited to teach the Pipes & Drums of the Royal Army of Oman, where he counted dozens of pipe band drummers as pupils.

He was known as one of the pipe band world’s good guys, full of positive energy and congeniality.

We extend our sympathies to Neil Sloan’s family and many friends at this sad time.





Forgotten Password?