Pipe Major William Robertson began piping at 11 years of age with the Boys Brigade, 1st St. Andrews Company. He was called up for National Service with The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment), the oldest serving regiment of the British Army.
Bill was accepted for the Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion of the regiment under Pipe Major Willie Denholm (ex K.O.S.B's). In 1953, Denholm retired and was succeeded by Pipe Major Hugh Fraser a renowned solo competitor who transferred from the Cameron Highlanders. Bill was fortunate enough to be taught and influenced by Hugh who had so much to pass on with his experience in the "Old School" of Army piping pre-war and of the 40s and 50s. He was also a notable composer.
At the age of 23, Bill gained the much-coveted Pipe Majors' Certificate at Edinburgh Castle under the direction of the World famous Pipe Major Willie Ross MBE (ex Pipe Major of the Scots Guards and legendary soloist). A year or so later Bill succeeded Hugh Fraser as Pipe Major of the 1st Battalion.
In 1959 Bill immigrated to New Zealand he started directing and training a group of youngsters of the Hamilton Caledonian Society's Pipe Band and brought them up from Grade 2 to Grade 1, winning third in the National Grade 1 Championships 1963/4. Bill then directed the Auckland and District Pipe Band and took them to several Grade 1 New Zealand championship victories, the Open events at Vancouver BC and Santa Rosa, California in 1972 and they also gained the highest points for tone at the Scottish Championships in the same year.
Bill placed first in the Highland Brigade Piobaireachd event in 1957, he won the Comunn Na Piobaireachd New Zealand Gold Medal in 1962 and the Australian Open March, Strathspey and Reel competition held in Sydney, 1967.
Bill's piobaireachd composition, 'Lament for Pipe Major Hugh Fraser' was placed third in the BBC competition for new piobaireachd in 1965. It has been published in the book "Collection Ceol Mor - composed during the Twentieth Century" compiled by the Piobaireachd Society - UK. It also appears with his 6/8 march "Pipe Major Bill Boyle, New Zealand Scottish Regiment" in the Royal Scots Pipe Music Book.
Bill has been a significant contributor to the School of Piping over the years and we offer his unique bagpipe tutorial series for sale through our online shop.