NT7853 : Private Wojtek 'The Soldier Bear'

taken 4 years ago, near to Duns, Scottish Borders, Great Britain

Private Wojtek 'The Soldier Bear'
Private Wojtek 'The Soldier Bear'
The statue of the soldier bear was erected in Duns in April 2016.
Wojtek was discovered as a three month old, orphan cub in Iran by Polish soldiers who had been based near Duns in Berwickshire. They adopted the tiny animal, fed him and nurtured him and brought him to maturity, a maturity which became more human than bear. Wojtek lived with the troops, ate with them and drank...ale with them, he even enjoyed a cigarette. When the division took to battle at Monte Cassino in Italy, Wojtek's job was to carry shells to the gunners and load them in to the artillery. On returning to Duns after the war, Wojtek, naturally, returned with them.
In 1947, he was gifted to Edinburgh Zoo where he, surprisingly, settled well even though he was more used to human ways. He lived the rest of his life at Edinburgh and died in 1963 aged 21.
Monuments to him have been erected in Edinburgh, two in London, Krakow in Poland, Grimsby and Ottowa in Canada and now in Duns.
After a service by a Polish priest, the beautiful monument was unveiled in the square at South Street in Duns by the Mayor of Zagan, Poland, a town which is twinned with and has close ties with Duns.
There is also a beautiful War Memorial in Duns Public Park, in memory of the Polish soldiers who died during World War II after being billeted in Berwickshire. Those brave men would be so proud of one of their favourite 'sons' Private Wojtek - "The Soldier Bear'.
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Grid Square
NT7853, 119 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 29 April, 2016   (more nearby)
Saturday, 30 April, 2016
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Public buildings and spaces  City, Town centre  People, Events  Defence, Military  Flat landscapes 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 7849 5387 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:46.6603N 2:20.6689W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 7851 5387
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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