Tommy Graham, 1926-2019
Tommy Graham of Liverpool, who taught many pipers in the north of England and Scotland, died on December 23, 2019, at the age of 93.
He joined the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in Aberdeen at the age of 16. During his service in World War II, Graham saw action in Egypt, Italy and Palestine, and was shot by a sniper in the head and foot, his leg barely saved from amputation. He served as interim pipe-major of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and was offered job at Edinburgh Castle as a teacher, but elected to return to Liverpool.
A life-long member of the Piobaireachd Society, Graham was a certified instructor with the RSPBA, and had the rare distinction of assembling a competing band – the Graham Highland Pipers – made up entirely of members of his own family.
The band competed all over the UK in the 1960s and ’70s in Grade 4, Grade 3 and Open competitions. According to his son, Andy, pipe-major of the Prestonpans Pipe Band, Tom Graham paid for all of the uniforms, Sinclair chanters and McAllister reeds.
He took his family on a holiday to the RSPBA’s summer school in Glasgow so that his sons and daughters could obtain their own teacher’s certificates. He set up piping teaching in Liverpool area schools and held evening classes with funding from the Liverpool City Education Department.
At age 90, Tom Graham was still competing and even performed at played at the Piobaireachd Society’s annual conference.
Tommy Graham is survived by his seven children, 15 grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
We extend our sympathies to the Tom Graham’s family and friends at this sad time.