Ballina Pipe Band leading the Anzac Day Parade in Ballina this year.
Ballina Pipe Band leading the Anzac Day Parade in Ballina this year. Contributed

Pipe bands to mark end of WWI

THE Ballina and Lismore pipe bands will be joining a national simultaneous musical event to mark the centenary of the signing of the Armistice to end World War I.

While the guns fell silent at 11am on November 11, 1918, the Armistice which brought peace was signed at 6am, European time.

Organised by Pipe Bands Australia, pipe bands and solo pipers around Australia will play the tune The Battles O'er - it was written at the end of World War I as a tribute to the fallen - at their local time equivalent of 6am, European time.

In NSW, the pipes will be struck up at 5pm on November 11.

"The centenary of the end of World War I is a significant moment in history, and it is a great initiative of the Australian pipe band community to mark the signing of the Armistice with such an appropriate tune," pipe major of the Ballina Pipe Band, Graham Broadhead said.

Pipe major of the Lismore City Pipe Band, Glenn Millard, echoed that sentiment, saying it was a privilege to be part of the national effort to commemorate the signing of the document that put an end to the loss of lives on the battlefield.

Both Mr Broadhead and Mr Millard are former Australian Army pipers, and for a time served together in the same battalion.

The British Army has a long history of pipers serving in the ranks, and there was a time when the pipers led the infantry soldiers into battle.

Nowadays, pipers serve in roles like combat medics and assault pioneers in battle.

The Lismore City Pipe Band will perform at 5pm at the Lismore Memorial Baths, Molesworth St, while the Ballina Pipe Band will perform at 5pm at the Ballina cenotaph, Grant St.

Both bands will play for about half an hour.

The public is invited to attend the performances.