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EDINBURGH, Redbraes Polish War Memorial Gardens (WW2)

 
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ADP



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 466
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:05 pm    Post subject: EDINBURGH, Redbraes Polish War Memorial Gardens (WW2) Reply with quote

Quote from the Edinburgh Evening News, 11 November 2008

    Soldier bear centrepiece of memorial to Polish fighters

    A MEMORIAL to honour the thousands of Scottish-based Polish soldiers who fought in the Second World War was unveiled on Remembrance Sunday.

    The tribute in Broughton's Redbraes Park, organised by community activists, includes a sculpture of Voytek the soldier bear celebrated member of the Polish army.

    The ceremony on Sunday which was also Polish Independence Day saw Polish and Scottish children telling the story of Voytek, who was found in Iran in 1943 and spent the rest of the war as a "bear soldier" carrying ammunition for troops.

    The project was started by community police officer Simon Daley, who has dedicated three years of his own time to the monument.

The printed article includes a picture of the memorial.

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ADP



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
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Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see the Polish memorial in Redbraes Park is a garden as well as the statue.

http://www.leithopenspace.co.uk/redbraes-community-garden/polish-memorial-at-redbraes/

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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bear statue is not actually in the memorial garden yet. The one in the photographs was only a resin mock-up and is no longer there.

Despite what it says in the papers it's not in Redbraes Park either. It's further down Redbraes Place in the entrance to the Redbraes Community Garden.

There's quite an interesting background to this memorial. I spoke to one of the volunteers today who told me Simon Daley wanted to do something to bring the locals and Polish incomers together after there had been some anti-Polish racism in the area. The memorial was seen as giving the locals a chance to see why we owe the Poles a debt of gratitude for their help during the Second World War.









Adam
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4928
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shame about the spelling mistake on the first plaque. You would have thought they could have got someone to proof read it!

\Paul
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DelBoy



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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Location: The County of Angus

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Enternal"???
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's changed his name but the bear story has cropped up again.

http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Campaigners-plan-statue-of-Polish.6578244.jp

Campaigners plan statue of Polish soldier bear in capital

By ALICE WYLLIE

HE IS one of Poland's most famous soldiers, but Private Wojtek was no ordinary military man. Like his comrades, he liked a beer and a cigarette and showed tremendous courage under fire, but Wojtek, the "happy warrior" was a 6ft, 500lb brown bear who served alongside Polish soldiers during the Second World War.

His story is one that is well-known in Poland, but it is in Scotland that plans are afoot to erect a memorial commemorating his extraordinary life. Author Aileen Orr signed copies of her new book Wojtek the Bear: Polish War Hero next to a maquette depicting the famous bear in West Newington, Edinburgh, this week.

The work, by Scottish sculptor Alan Herriot, shows Wojtek's 'keeper', soldier Peter Prendys, placing a hand on the shoulder of the gentle giant, a stance he always adopted when the pair walked around camp together.

The campaign to build the 200,000 statue is supported by Cardinal Keith O'Brien and Euan Loudon, the former governor of Edinburgh Castle, and the preferred site for the artwork is Edinburgh's Calton Hill, although others being considered include Hillside Crescent.

The proposed location is over an existing water pump, described by Ms Orr as "an eyesore". With the help of an engineer, the plinth would conceal the still-functioning pump, and if the application is granted the statue will be unveiled in around 12 months' time.

Edinburgh's Lord Provost George Grubb said: "Wojtek, the Soldier Bear, was a very familiar and much-cherished figure in Edinburgh and became part of the tradition and history of the Polish community in the city. We would like to ensure that his memory is preserved for generations to come and our monuments experts are currently working with the Polish community to help identify a suitably prominent site for his memorial statue."

Wojtek was acquired by the army as a cub, and quickly took on the role of mascot to the 22nd Company of Polish Army Corps. He provided a welcome distraction from the horrors of war, wrestling with the troops and entertaining them by getting into countless scrapes, from getting stuck up a palm tree to cornering an Arab spy.

He is best remembered however for his role in the battle of Monte Cassino, where he voluntarily helped his comrades unload boxes of artillery shells for the Allied guns in the heat of battle.
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DelBoy



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And again....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-20858950

Wojtek the beer-drinking soldier bear statue planned
Wojtek and soldier A small maquette of the sculpture has already been made.

A beer-drinking bear who saw action in World War II could be immortalised by a statue in Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens.

Wojtek - dubbed the "Soldier Bear" - was adopted by Polish troops and helped them carry ammunition at the Battle of Monte Cassino.

After the war he lived in Scotland at Hutton in Berwickshire, before ending his days in Edinburgh Zoo.

The Wojtek Memorial Trust Fund has now raised 200,000 to create two statues.

One bronze statue will go to Poland and it is hoped the other will be erected in Princes Street Gardens.

The bear, which was enlisted and given a name, rank and serial number, died in 1963.

Fund organisers now hope city planners give the site the go-ahead so they can erect the statue in 2013 - in time to mark the 50 year anniversary of the bear's death.

Aileen Orr, author of Wojtek The Bear: Polish War Hero, believes a war monument is long overdue.

She said: "Wojtek ended up at Sunwick Farm in Berwickshire where I live, but before I was born.

"My grandfather, Jim Little, had him and he would play on the grass in the garden.

"My grandfather met him in Palestine with the allies.
Wojtek and soldier The sculpture would take about five months to make

"This is one of the classic stories of World War II. You don't have to embellish it because the story itself is incredibly exciting and sad."

A bigger than lifesize bronze cast is being planned by sculptor Alan Heriot.

Mr Heriot said: "The Polish soldiers should be remembered as they fought for us as did Wojtek the bear.

"Everyone would like to see this statue sited in 2013."

Wojtek was rescued as a cub in the Middle East in 1943.

The Polish soldiers adopted him and as he grew he was trained to carry heavy mortar rounds.

At the end of the war the bear - who had also learned how to smoke and drink beer - was billeted at an army camp in the Scottish Borders.

When the Polish soldiers were demobilised he was taken to Edinburgh Zoo where he eventually died in 1963.
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