By Flight Lieutenant Chloe Stevenson
Leading Aircraftman Robert Scott has paid tribute to an ancestor who died at Gallipoli the only way he knows how: by playing his bagpipes.
Leading Aircraftman Scott will be the piper for the Anzac Day commemorative services held on April 24 and 25 in Turkey.
“I played the pipes because it just felt like something I should do. I chose to play two tunes, Battle of the Somme and Waltzing Matilda."
In the lead-up to the services he visited the grave of his great-great-uncle, Private Thomas Haylock, of the 21st Battalion.
“He was killed on the October 12, 1915 here on the Gallipoli Peninsula and was buried in the grave just here in front of me in Shrapnel Valley,” Leading Aircraftman Scott said.
“His brother, my great-grandfather Frederick Haylock, was also in Gallipoli and unfortunately had to identify his brother’s body.
“Frederick Haylock went on to fight at Egypt, Belgium and France, where he was shot in the leg, hospitalised and later sent back home to East Gippsland.
“Lakes Entrance in East Gippsland is still my family’s home today, it is where I grew up.”
Leading Aircraftman Robert Scott at Private Tom Haylock's grave site in Gallipoli, Turkey. Photo: Petty Officer Andrew Dakin
To pay his respects to his fallen great-great-uncle, Leading Aircraftman Scott laid a plaque he made on Private Thomas Haylock’s grave, then played the bagpipes.
“I just wanted to make something small to leave behind for him to say thanks,” he said.
“I made the plaque from some cypress from the family farm. The tree was purchased and planted by my grandfather, who served in the Second World War, using some of the pay he received for fighting in that conflict.
“I played the pipes because it just felt like something I should do. I chose to play two tunes, Battle of the Somme and Waltzing Matilda.
“Battle of the Somme was written during the Somme battle in France during WWI. I chose to play this because Uncle Tom’s brother served there after the Gallipoli campaign.
“I played Waltzing Matilda to bring back a bit of home for him.”
“I just wanted to make something small to leave behind for him to say thanks."
He said visiting the grave was an emotional experience, more humbling rather than sad.
“It is a great honour and privilege to be able to visit the grave of my great-great-uncle, to be able to stand where my great-great grandfather stood and fought.”
Leading Aircraftman Scott is continuing his family’s tradition of service through deployments on operations.
“I have completed two deployments to the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.
“I have also been lucky enough to perform as a clarinettist at the Anzac Day 2017 services in Gallipoli and also as the piper for the centenary of Armistice commemorations in Belgium and France during November 2018.”