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Bamse the St Bernard


Fair Use | Wikipedia


Getting a bath from crew-mates | Fair Use | Wikipedia

Bamse the St Bernard

Raymond Okonski | CC BY-SA 2.0 | Wikimedia

Here at Bowerland and Devon dogs we are full of praise for heroic animals of all kinds!! But Dogs are simply the best when it comes to some things. This is the tale of Bamse who stole the hearts of everyone who knew him.

Bamse served aboard a Norwegian Minesweeper in WWII

Bamse was a Saint Bernard that served aboard a Norwegian Minesweeper Thorodd during World War II. Despite his cute and cuddly appearance (Bamse means “cuddly bear” in Norwegian) he was extremely tough. Bamse was originally brought on board by the ship’s Captain Hafto. When the captain tried to take Bamse with him when leaving for another posting, the crew, who had grown fond of the dog, threatened to leave the ship if he was taken away. They loved the dog so much that they would have mutinied rather than lost him to another ship.

Rescuing the Crewmen

Bamse became legendary in Dundee and Montrose, where the ship was stationed during World War II. He rode buses alone with a specially made bus pass tied around his neck, made sure that drunken sailors made it back to their posts, and allegedly put a stop to bar fights! Once, he rescued a crewman who’d fallen overboard by diving in to drag him to safety. He rescued another crewman cornered by a knifeman by barreling into the attacker and dragging him into the water.

Bamse was also a Peacemaker

It was reported that when sailors got into fights on board, he forced them to stop by standing on his hind legs with his paws on their shoulders as if to say, “Calm down, it’s not worth it.” And Bamse wasn’t just famous in Scotland, where his ship was based. Every Christmas, he was dressed in a little sailor’s hat and photographed so that his picture could be put on christmas cards and sent to the crew-mates’ relatives in Norway. Awwww.

The Bamse story was brought to the attention of the Montrose Heritage Trust by Mrs Henny King. As a member of the Montrose Port Authority board she first heard about some of the exploits of this huge St. Bernard dog during the Second World War from Captain Johannsen, the then harbour master.

Here at Bowerland and Devon Dogs we salute Bamse for his bravery. If these are the traits you wish your dog to achieve then please give us a call on 07717 696623 And we can get you and your canine companion on the right track to success. Or you can email us on contact@devondogs.co.uk. Read more of our Saturday Stories HERE.

Come and stay with us in our cottage style apartments, right in the heart of Dartmoor, and create your own unique dog stories to tell!



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