The following was provided to me by a friend some time ago.
"George was born in Edinburgh 1928 He started learning the pipes at an early age taught by PMaj George Ackroyd. As a young man, George went on to make pipes for James Robertson for several years (which heavily influenced his later pipe making) before joining the Scots Guards in 1945. Soon after joining the Scots Guards, George became a piper in the 1st Battalion where he served in the Regiment, along side his brother Bob, who went on to be Pipe Major of the 2nd Battalion. George rose to become a Pipe Corporal in the Guards and friend to Angus MacDonald before leaving in 1953 to pursue pipe making, producing bagpipes in Scotland and the USA eventually forming his own company Kilgour Strathspey. He made excellent pipes and became very well respected in his field.
According to friends, George never lost his affinity for his brothers in the Scots Guards and always remained an active supporter of the Scots Guards throughout his life.
From what I understand, George's experience making pipes here in the USA was not a particularly happy one and that his return to Scotland almost a decade later was none too soon for him. After leaving the Kron shop, George continued to make pipes in the UK, though not in large quantities-many went to Scots Guards pipers.
Sandy St. James, a retailer for Kilgour pipes before the USA years, owns the last three sets that George ever made. I don't know if they are for sale or not.
I met Goerge in 1977. I Droped in to his shop in Edinburgh as it was just around the corner from where I was boarding on Royal Terrace. I was not allowed to pracitice in the "private Hotel" I was staying at so George in his classic style said "I am just an impoverished bagpipe maker and as such cannot afford to pay you but I will trade you practice space in my celler for helping me around the shop". So began my apprenticship making bagpipes (mostly turning down square blocks of blackwood into round blanks) His shop was very old school and most of the tools and lathes were from his days at Robertsons. I also had to stoke the fire (blackwood shavings) make the tea and walk the dog. After hours at the lathe, he deemed me good enough to bore drones and shape to the point of being ready to comb and bead. He was a perfectionist but never did he lose his temper if i screwed up a piece of wood. He was full of stories of the guards, turning at Robertsons and the Edinburgh piping scene. Many famous pipers of the day would come visit George and test out the latest chanter so there was always great playing in that shop. I returned to Edinburgh in 2001, and after not seeing George in 23 years rang him up to see if we coud meet. He came over that night to the Scotsman in a suit and tie and we spent the night going over all that happened over the years."
Also of note, George had gathered a list of names and addresses of Pipers that had served in the Guards over the years, and from this came up with the idea of forming a Pipers’ Branch of the Scots Guards Association. In 1998 this became a reality and George served as Treasurer of the Branch for three years. As per the Scots Guards
Magazine, “The Branch will be ever grateful for his efforts in assisting in its formation.”
George was said to be a very colorful character a good friend, and avid supporter and fixture of the major piping community and competitions in Scotland.
George passed away on 21 May 2007.