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Unusual soldier (The bear - named Voytek)


isthatu 3 | 1,164
25 Jan 2008  #1
Oddly enough,after having a statue for some time in Edinburgh Zoo, woitek the bear is getting a bit of publicity. Images of a big bad bear biffing the boshe spring to mind.....

A campaign has been launched to build a permanent memorial to a bear which spent much of its life in Scotland - after fighting in World War II.

The bear - named Voytek - was adopted in the Middle East by Polish troops in 1943, becoming much more than a mascot.

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/south_of_scotland/7208505.stm

ps,adminI thought cutting and pasting from other sources was verboten? Please,if you are going to mess with peoples posts,please pop a wee note or something underneath,ta.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,388
25 Jan 2008  #2
A wonderful story.
Przemas 1 | 101
25 Jan 2008  #3
"He liked a cigarette, he liked a bottle of beer - he drank a bottle of beer like any man."

lol :)
osiol 55 | 3,922
25 Jan 2008  #4
Brilliant.
OP isthatu 3 | 1,164
25 Jan 2008  #5
"He liked a cigarette, he liked a bottle of beer - he drank a bottle of beer like any man."

Yep,thats the bit I highlighted on another forum :) Brill! :)
ps,anyone in the UK who can get UKTV history,keep an eye out for "Gladiators of WW2,Free Polish Forces" his story is told in that doc'.
Przemas 1 | 101
25 Jan 2008  #6
I’d love to stroll into a local pub for a pint with a buddy like Wojtek. hehe
AvJoeUK
25 Jan 2008  #7
I read this story earlier, truely excellent.
polishgirltx
25 Jan 2008  #8
great story... he was easy to get along with...
how cute :D
OP isthatu 3 | 1,164
25 Jan 2008  #9
Ok,just come across this link on the other forum,enjoy:)

vbservices.co.uk/baczor/html/wojtek.html
El Gato 4 | 351
25 Jan 2008  #10
"He liked a cigarette, he liked a bottle of beer - he drank a bottle of beer like any man."

Only the Polish would think that a bear just wanted a cig...

:]

This story is awesome. I want to buy the book. As soon as it hits the shelves let me know. :]
osiol 55 | 3,922
25 Jan 2008  #11
It's a shame he's not around any more - bears just don't live long enough.
It would have been nice to have had him on the forum.
Might have been a bit too old-school for all this modern internet mullarkey.
El Gato 4 | 351
25 Jan 2008  #12
It's a shame he's not around any more - bears just don't live long enough.

He's like a Polish Balto...but a bear and not a dog...

:]
osiol 55 | 3,922
25 Jan 2008  #13
They put him in a zoo in Scotland.
If he had to go to Scotland, they should have put him in a pub.
I think he'd have fitted in a bit better.
El Gato 4 | 351
25 Jan 2008  #14
Probably lived longer too.

Anyway, I'm off to the movies everyone. Dobranoc Poles, cheerio Brits, and go to hell trolls.

:]
osiol 55 | 3,922
25 Jan 2008  #15
go to hell trolls

If you're unlucky I'll come back.
Apparently it's cold there, like the hearts of both British and Polish people!
El Gato 4 | 351
25 Jan 2008  #16
Apparently it's cold there, like the hearts of both British and Polish people!

Someone's gotta start a new trend, right?

Dobranoc osiol :]
Eurola 4 | 1,906
25 Jan 2008  #17
Apparently it's cold there, like the hearts of both British and Polish people!

The cold hearts will hopefully stop the "global warming". We're freezing in Chicago.
Wyspianska
26 Jan 2008  #18
Apparently it's cold there, like the hearts of both British and Polish people!

I think that my heart is pretty warm right now : )
Now ask some British :P
wozzy 8 | 206
26 Jan 2008  #19
A pal of my father served with Wojtek all the way from Iran to demob in Scotland. he has very vivid memories of Wojtek and his daily bath in the river while in Iran. As a child I always thought that it was just a barrack room story........
Peter 3 | 247
26 Jan 2008  #20
It's a great story, just goes to show why the Poles had a panache and elan that other Allied troops did not.
celinski 31 | 1,258
28 Jan 2008  #21
Here is a link to where Voytek went after the war, pretty interesting.

Voytek died in December 1963. Since then his story has been drifting through the pages of historic lore like a wandering bear, heard but unconfirmed. Despite extensive documentation, photographs and even a few sculptures, most people have never heard of Voytek, or regard him as a myth. But Scottish campaigner Aileen Orr, along with others, wants to change that by erecting a memorial. As she told the BBC: "The story is totally amazing."

://blog.washingtonpost.com/offbeat/2008/01/voytek_the_soldier_bear _of_pol_1
matthias 3 | 429
29 Jan 2008  #22
Thread attached on merging:
Wojtek the soldier bear

iranchamber.com/podium/history/050807_iranian_soldier_bear.php

One of the coolest stories I ever read.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105
29 Jan 2008  #23
Campaigners seeking a memorial to a bear which fought in World War II say Hollywood producers want to turn his story into a feature film.

Hollywood hope for Soldier Bear
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/south_of_scotland/7216065.stm

The question is, who'll play the title role... ;)
OP isthatu 3 | 1,164
29 Jan 2008  #24
Robin williams...have you seen his hands?!!!
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105
29 Jan 2008  #25
Haha. You may have it spot on there!

Can anyone tell me the justification of having a memorial at Holyrood? I don't see why it should be there.
OP isthatu 3 | 1,164
29 Jan 2008  #26
As "justifiable" as having Mandela outside westminster I suppose,though Im sure I remember a statue of voytek at Edinburgh Zoo when I was a nipper....

One idea,he lived in the borders for a while,how about having a big statue at one of the border crossings? Better than an icecream van and a chubby Piper ;)?
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105
29 Jan 2008  #27
He has a memorial at the Zoo but I am not truly sure what it is. Yes I think if anywhere in Edinburgh, the Zoo would be ideal. He was in Hutton in the borders so there would be another good place for a memorial.

I prefer the idea of a big bear at the border rather than a piper :)
matthias 3 | 429
29 Jan 2008  #28
The thing that's sad about this story, is that the bear died all alone. Obviously their was no better solution than the zoo. But it still sucks.
El Gato 4 | 351
29 Jan 2008  #29
I want a pet bear now...
Eagle20 16 | 119
30 Jan 2008  #30
anyone in the UK who can get UKTV history,keep an eye out for "Gladiators of WW2,Free Polish Forces"

For anyone who might be intrested, the DVD "Gladiators of WW2, Free Polish Forces" is available to purchase.


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