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A real shaggy dog story to be told at Brechin visitor centre

Two LOCAL authors are to sign copies of their book about a heroic World War Two Norwegian sea dog at Brechin Visitor Information Centre (VIC) on Saturday, October 13.

Authors Angus Whitson and Andrew Orr will be at the Brechin VIC/Pictavia Visitor Centre at Brechin Castle Centre, from 2 p.m., for a presentation and book signing of their Scottish bestseller ‘Sea Dog Bamse – World War Two Canine Hero’.

St Bernard dog Bamse, pronounced Bump-sa (meaning teddy bear), grew up in the fishing port of Honningsvåg as the family pet and guardian of the four children of Haldis and Captain Erling Hafto.

After Germany’s invasion of Norway in April, 1940, Bamse escaped to Scotland accompanying his master on the Royal Norwegian Navy minesweeper KNM Thorodd. The rest of his life was spent in the North-east of Scotland fighting for his homeland’s liberation.

More of Bamse’s life and achievements - including personally saving the life of Thorodd’s second-in-command and later becoming the official PDSA Allied Forces Mascot - are chronicled in the doggy tale.

Sadly, Bamse died in 1944 and is buried at the port of Montrose.

His grave is still cared for by people who remember him and in 2006, a statue of the heroic canine was unveiled at Montrose harbour by HRH Prince Andrew. He also has his own fully-registered tartan - Sea Dog Bamse, Pride of Norway Tartan, based on the colours of Norway’s national flag.

Regional Director for VisitScotland, Jim Clarkson said: “As 2012 is the Year of Creative Scotland, it is fantastic to have two local authors coming to Brechin’s VIC to present and sign copies of their fascinating book.

“Events such as this give us chance to celebrate our wealth of local creative talent as well as promote this area to visitors, no matter what reason they have for visiting.”

There will be a Bamse look-alike representative of the St Bernard breed present at Saturday’s book signing, which will be preceded by a presentation on Bamse’s life and the story behind the book.

 

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