Master Cpl. James Gendron Photo credit: Soldier On


In honour of International Bagpipe Day, we would like to share something special from the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf.

As the Games came to an end, the Duke of Sussex told a moving story about meeting Master Cpl. James Gendron in the Canadian tent. The Duke noticed bagpipes and was pleased when Gendron played for him – only later hearing how many painful memories the pipes held for Gendron.

“In Afghanistan he played 63 ramp ceremonies. For 63 caskets. For 63 souls. For 63 families. For four years after that last ceremony, he couldn’t touch them. This week he wasn’t sure whether he could bring himself to play them. But he did,” said the Duke.

“What had once haunted him, dare I say it, may now be what helps heal him. Thank you, Jay, for your service, for your courage, for sharing your gift.”

Click to watch the Duke of Sussex at the 2023 Invictus Games closing ceremony speak about meeting Master Cpl. James Gendron (starts at 4 min mark)