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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 12:54 GMT
Sculptor to immortalise sea dog
Bamse the sea dog
Much-adored Bamse the Norwegian sea dog died in 1944
Scottish sculptor Alan Herriot has been chosen to create a statue of a wartime sea dog which became a local hero in a Scottish town.

Bamse the St Bernard died in Montrose in 1944 after arriving in the Angus town two years earlier with Royal Norwegian Navy captain Erling Hafto.

The Montrose Bamse Project has raised 50,000 to commission the statue.

Last summer, a memorial ceremony was held in Montrose to mark the 60th anniversary of Bamse's death.

Henny King, director of the project, said 23,800 had already been raised since April and included 8,000 from Norway.

There are hundreds of stories about him in the town and we just think it would be wonderful for Montrose if we had a statue
Henny King
Montrose Bamse Project

"Bamse was a World War Two hero and a symbol of freedom against Nazism for Norwegian troops throughout the world," she said.

"Those who knew him, and some are still alive, say he was almost human in his understanding and reaction to things.

"There are hundreds of stories about him in the town and we just think it would be wonderful for Montrose if we had a statue."

The dog's reputation stemmed from his habits in battle out at sea on board the minesweeper Thorodd, which was based in Montrose during the war.

Bamse, who wore a Norwegian sailor's cap, used to stand at the gun tower of the boat throughout hostilities and became a local institution in Montrose.

Memorial ceremony for Bamse the St Bernard
Harriet the St Bernard attended last year's memorial ceremony

He was issued with his own bus permit, which hung around his neck and would gather up any errant crew members from the local pubs.

Bamse even featured on Christmas and Easter cards at the time.

He was given a hero's funeral when he died and was buried in the town beside the current Glaxosmithkline factory.

Mr Herriot has been a professional artist since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in 1974.

His work includes the Drummer Boy Memorial in Winchburgh, West Lothian, and a Miners Monument in Newtongrange, Midlothian.


SEE ALSO:
Montrose remembers dog of war
04 Jul 04 |  Scotland


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