Posted by: Derek Sullivan
Date: February 09, 2005 02:44PM
Last May I did a posting on Thorodd,Montrose,
This update came in today!
(One of the nicer things that is happening in the world today)
Wartime home plans tribute to Norway's four-legged hero
A ST BERNARD dog that became a symbol of freedom and defiance for millions of Norwegians during the Second World War is to have a life-sized bronze statue erected in Montrose.
Bamse arrived in Britain in 1940 on one of the ships in the Royal Norwegian Navy flotilla that carried King Hakon VII and members of his government into exile. Two years later, the dog arrived in the Angus town when his owner, Erling Hafto, a naval captain, took command of the Thorodd, a minesweeper in the Norwegian navy.
The 14-stone St Bernard quickly captured the hearts of locals. As the mascot of the Royal Norwegian Navy, he would take up position in the foremost guntower at the bow of the ship whenever the Thorodd went into battle, refusing to leave his post until the action ended. Decorated for outstanding bravery in action, his image adorned thousands of patriotic postcards mailed around the world by exiled Norwegian sailors, soldiers and airmen.
Bamse was only seven years old when he died in July 1944. Hundreds of people lined the streets of Montrose as he was given a heroís funeral.
The £50,000 project is being championed by Henny King, a member of the board of the Montrose Port Authority. She told The Scotsman: "When I heard about Bamse last April, I thought, what a fantastic story.
"When you read about what he did, you think that canít be so. But everything in the legend is true. The Norwegian sailors even made a special gunnerís helmet for him.
"Even today, Norwegians still come to Montrose to visit his grave."