Sea Dog Bamse
Memorial Sea Dog Bamse Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
Norway and Scotland's World War II Canine Hero
Sea Dog Bamse
This dance honors a remarkable animal hero of World War II with connections to Norway and Scotland, who passed away this day, July 22, 1944, a St. Bernard known as Sea Dog Bamse.
Taken from the book description of the same name:
"This is the remarkable story of one of the Second World War's most unusual animal heroes, a 14-stone St. Bernard dog who became global mascot for the Royal Norwegian Forces and a symbol of freedom and inspiration for Allied troops throughout Europe, and captured hearts on both sides of the North Sea even sixty years after his death.
From a happy and carefree puppyhood spent as a family pet in the Norwegian fishing town of Honningsvåg, the gentle giant Bamse followed his master at the outbreak of the war to become a registered crew member of the mine-sweeper Thorodd. Often donning his own steel helmet as he took his place in the Torodd’s bow gun turret, Bamse cut an impressive figure and made a huge contribution to the morale of the crew, and he gallantly saved the lives of two of them.
After Norway fell to the Germans in 1940, the Thorodd operated from Dundee and Montrose, where Bamse became a well-known and much-loved figure, shepherding the Thorodd’s crew-members back to the boat at pub closing time, travelling on the local buses, breaking up fights and even taking part in football matches.
Mourned both by locals and Norwegians when he died in 1944, Bamse’s memory has been kept alive both in Norway, where he is still regarded as a national hero, and in Montrose, where a larger-than-life statue of him was unveiled in 2006 by Prince Andrew. "
There is even a special tartan named for Bamse.
For more about his history, click the memorial statue for a documentary video.