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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

The Real Winnie, A One-of-A-Kind Bear, by Val Shushkewich


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Perhaps this is more of a book for Winnie-the-Pooh fans than for Great War enthusiasts, but Val Shushkewich’s book describes how Lieutenant Harry Colebourn of the First Canadian Contingent adopted a female orphan bear which accompanied him to Salisbury Plain in October 1914. When Colebourn was preparing to leave for France he left Winnie (named after the city of Winnipeg) at London Zoo, where her docile nature made her very popular. After the war A A Mile and his son Christopher Robin visited the Zoo and became very fond of Winnie, who inspired Milne's famous children’s books.

There’s not too much about the military side of things, though there are a number of photographs of Winnie with Canadian soldiers on the Plain.

Eighty pages, ISBN 1-896219-89-6, published by Natural Heritage Books at $16.95 CAN but available on-line for about £10.


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