He was one of the legendary characters of the Second World War who stormed the beaches at Normandy while playing the bagpipes.

Scottish piper Bill Millin played his comrades ashore at Sword Beach during the D-Day landings, armed only with his traditional dirk dagger sheathed inside his kilt-hose.

Immortalised in the film The Longest Day, he was commander Lord Lovat's personal piper in the 1st Commando Brigade when he landed at the beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944. 

He was the only man who wore a kilt during the landings, which was the same Cameron tartan kilt his father had worn in Flanders during the First World War. 

The legendary piper died in 2010, aged 88 - but now his grandson, Jacob Millin, will be carrying on his legacy by performing at The Railway Tavern's veterans breakfast in Dereham this Saturday from 9am. 

Eastern Daily Press: Piper Bill Millin performing for soldiers Piper Bill Millin performing for soldiers (Image: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)

“I will be piping to encourage others to remember not only my grandfather but all those who fought and fell,” Jacob said.

“I feel it is important that my generation – the grandchildren of those who so bravely gave their all – ensure that their memory never fades.

“My grandfather was a giant of a man to many and I am proud to be involved in keeping the story alive.”

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Eastern Daily Press: Bill Millin exiting the landing craft playing his bagpipes to storm Sword Beach at Normandy during D-Day on June 6, 1944Bill Millin exiting the landing craft playing his bagpipes to storm Sword Beach at Normandy during D-Day on June 6, 1944 (Image: IWM)

Pipers had traditionally been used in battle by Scottish and Irish soldiers, but by the Second World War the use of bagpipes was restricted to rear areas between the frontline and home territory. 

However, Lord Lovat ignored this and ordered his piper, then aged 21, to play. 

When Private Millin demurred, Lord Lovat replied: "Ah, but that's the English War Office - you and I are both Scottish, and that doesn't apply."

The D-day legend later said he talked to captured German snipers who claimed they did not shoot at him because they thought he had gone mad.

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Eastern Daily Press: Bill Millin at his home in Devon in 2005Bill Millin at his home in Devon in 2005 (Image: PA)

William Millin - 'Piper Bill' 

William Millin, known as Bill, was born in Regina, the capital city of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, on July 14, 1922.

His father was from Scotland but had moved the family to North America, returning to Glasgow as a policeman when Bill was three.

Bill joined the Territorial Army in Fort William and played in the pipe bands of the Highland Light Infantry and the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, before volunteering as a commando and training with Lord Lovat at Achnacarry. 

On June 6, 1944, Private Millin and the 1st Commando Brigade landed at Sword Beach in Normandy as part of the D-Day landings. 

Bill played 'Highland Laddie', 'The Road to the Isles' and 'All The Blue Bonnets Are Over The Border' as they exited the landing craft and stormed the beach. 

Bill returned to Normandy a number of times to commemorate the events of 1944.

Later in life he lived in a nursing home in Dawlish, Devon, before he died in a Torbay hospital in 2010, aged 88.