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Inside Front cover - Art Severance and "Burnt" John

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/1/1 (354 reads)

Art Severance and "Burnt" John Art Severance. Fourchu: That's the tune I spoke about, there, "The 71st Highlanders' Quick? step." They tell a story about an old piper, he lived over at Inverness--John MacKinnon. He was a pipe major in the First World War. "Burnt John," they called him. He got his hands just practically broken up in a mine explosion. That was long before the war. He had been piping for some time, but by God, he couldn't do anything at all with it, after that. And he was deter? mined that he was going to play the pipes again. They tell me he used to take eels, and cut them up, put them in bottles, and stand them in the window in the sun. And then, what sort of oil that came off of them--sun-rotted oil, you know. And he'd massage his fingers with that, and kept working at it, and by God, boy, at last he got them so he could--. Some of his fingers were right off, you know, the tips of them. Well, this little finger, he wouldn't use it anyway, and this one was really bug? gered up. But anyvay, he got into the Highland Brigade in the First World War--the 85th--185th, 219th, and those. There were 4 battalions and then there was a reserve battalion into it. So any? way, they were up in Aldershot, up in the Val? ley, with the camp there. It was just before the draft came for that brigade to go overseas. ART SEVERANCE CONTINUES ON PAGE 63 i!'d'"'i'' '.f' .1' .Tr rf'r A. . .AfiTll'r. m 'y '' m I'JL '??fl fj{'rf p ' riTr'r'-r' rr' S The 71st Highlanders' Quickstep MARCH COMPOSED: Story Continues on Page 63
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