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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Four-legged hero's memorial plan
Bamse The Dog
Bamse the dog became a local legend
A fundraising drive to construct a memorial for a four-legged WWII hero has been launched.

Bamse the St Bernard, who died in 1944, became a local legend during his time stationed in Dundee and Montrose.

The Norwegian sea dog became a symbol for freedom against Nazism for the allied Norwegian troops.

Among Bamse's most famous exploits during his two-year posting was when he saved the life of sailor Lt Cdr Olav Nilsen in Dundee docks.

The fundraising drive was publicised when Bamse look-a-like Brit arrived at the docks on Thursday along with the HM frigate Unicorn.

The Bamse project aims to raise 50,000 for a larger than life-size statue at Montrose Harbour, which will be created by Midlothian sculptor Alan Herriot.

'Local institution'

Bamse, who is buried in Montrose, came to the town in 1942 with Royal Norwegian Navy captain Erling Hafto.

St Bernard
Brit the St Bernard is fronting the fundraising campaign

His reputation grew from his habits in battle while out at sea on his master's ship, the minesweeper Thorodd.

He would stand firm at the foremost gun tower of the boat until hostilities ended and eventually received the PDSA award for bravery for his actions.

During his two years in the town, Bamse, who used to wear a Norwegian sailor's cap, he became something of a local institution.

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.

He even featured on Christmas and Easter cards at the time and became a symbol of freedom to the allied forces.


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


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