Colonel Simon Fraser did not see the joke in 1758 when his commander told him that a drummer from his regiment, the 78th Fraser Highlanders, had failed to pay for some milk that a local farmer had been selling to passing soldiers. General William Amherst, who commanded a column of British troops fighting the French in North America, had laughed the incident off after being scolded by the farmer’s wife. Fraser had the drummer, John Wilkie, given 200 lashes and kicked him out of the army. A few days later Amherst came across the boy wandering along a country road and had him arrested as a deserter. When the boy produced his army discharge papers, the general felt a twinge of guilt. He made Wilkie his personal servant.

Next Week - Irish Disguise

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