British Military Plays `Farewell to Meerut’ after 126 Years

A tune titled ‘Farewell to Meerut’ on the shores of England and Scotland, composed in 1886 by John Balloch in Meerut Cantonment, commonly played by bands. This long dead martial tune was last time played in 1890 by bagpipers here, marking the departure of 1st Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, a very old British regiment, also known as 25th Regiment of Foot, hence the name 25th King’s Own Scottish Borderers ‘Farewell to Meerut’.

The King’s Own Scottish Borderers served in India during the 1857 Mutiny and World War II and also served with distinction around the world over three centuries. The 1st Battalion was stationed in India from 1842 to 1855 and thereafter from 1875 to 1890. It participated in the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880) and the Chin Lushai Expedition in Mizoram (1889-1890) during its second stint. The battalion was positioned at Meerut between the two campaigns. The tune was composed by pipe major John Balloch, for the battalion in 1886, prior to the unit’s departure from Meerut for the campaign in the Lushai Hills. On 8th Aug, a combined band of multiple Indian regiments played the tune at Kulwant Singh Stadium for the first time in 126 years.