Pipers lament for Kirkcaldy pipe major Dennis Rodden

Pipe Major Dennis Rodden
Pipe Major Dennis Rodden

The pipe band fraternity in Fife is mourning the death of pipe major Dennis Rodden who passed away recently at the age of 85.

Born in Kirkcaldy and raised in Kennoway, Dennis learned to play the bagpipes from the age of 8.

He was an accomplished piper who successfully competed around the Highland Games circuit, played regularly in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo where he performed as the lone piper on several occasions. He often played at weddings and funerals around Kirkcaldy where he lived with his late wife Mary and their children Donna and Brian.

Dennis joined the Black Watch as a National Service soldier in 1954, after having his call-up papers deferred until he completed his apprenticeship as a motor mechanic. His brothers Michael, Alex and Jimmy also served with the Black Watch.

Dennis saw service overseas, including Belize and Cyprus, and was Pipe Major of the 1st Battallion the Black Watch from 1959-61.

While serving with the Battallion, he spent eight years (1962-70) as Pipe Major of the Highland Brigade Depot Pipes and Drums at Fort George on the amalgamation of the Lowland and Highland Brigade depots.

He spent the final six years of his service as Pipe Major of the 1st Battalion, The King’s Own Scottish Borderers while serving in Germany and completing three tours of duty in Northern Ireland before retiring from the regular army in 1976 after 22 years service.

After returning to civilian life Dennis settled in Kirkcaldy with his family. He worked with GEC at Mitchelston until he retired and kept up his piping as Pipe Major of the local Scottish Ambulance Pipe Band.

He made occasional trips to Germany to perform with Blechschaden, the brass section of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by his cousin Bob Ross.

Peter Snaddon, a friend, said: “Dennis was an accomplished piper. I often enjoyed his company at the KUSI club, and he will be missed very much.”