Dagenham Girl Piper Uniform

Object number

LDVAL 2010.5.1


after 1940 – before 1949


Hat: From a complete Dagenham Girl Piper uniform dating from the 1940s. this belonged to Peggy Iris, an original band member and first Pipe Major for the band.

The Dagenham Girl Pipers were founded in 1930 as the first female pipe band in the world.

The band’s founder was Joseph Graves, Congregationalist Minister at Osborne Hall, Dagenham. He chose 12 girls from his Sunday school, average age 11, and hired a former Pipe Major to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers to teach them piping, drumming, marching and Highland dancing.

By 1933, the band had become a full-time organization, with the girls as paid employees and Rev. Graves as manager. By 1936, they were fulfilling 400 engagements a year and at busy times had four complete bands on separate tours around the world. In 1937, they appeared in Berlin before Adolf Hitler, who told Mr Graves he wished Germany had a similar band.

The Pipers celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1980, with a concert at the Barking Assembly Hall. On New Year’s Day, 2000 they gathered on the steps of the Civic Centre in Dagenham, fulfilling a pledge they had made back in 1938.

Physical description

A black velvet beret style hat. With a decorative silver brooch with a large orange stone possibly citrine in the centre, surrounded by small black and large brown feathers.




Social and community organisations


hat: Cotton
brooch: white metal

Collection type

Social history

Alternative reference

Entry Number E1537 (2012-08-21)

Looking for records

Objects that are not on display in the museum can be viewed by appointment at the discretion of the Museum Curator. To find out more about accessing the collection please email: valencehousemuseum@lbbd.gov.uk or telephone: 020 8227 2034

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