Voytek the Soldier Bear by Garry Paulin

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People's Stories

People's Stories

Dimitri & Voytek
Dymitri & Voytek

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Around the world...

When news of my forthcoming book (January 2008) appeared in the local press, I could never have anticipated the interest from around the world in Voytek`s story... it was incredible!

As a result, among the many emails I received was one from Andy Traverse (Szawlugo). We corresponded and became good friends.

Andy`s father – Dymitri Szawlugo was a member of the 22nd Transport Company. Dymitri lives in Surrey, England.

Andy is a dentist in Canada. He has bought several hundred books and offers a free book to each of his dental patients. To my amazement Andy identified the soldier featured on the back cover of the book... Henryk Zaccharewicz.

Henryk lives only 10 mins away from Andy in Ontario, Canada.


Henryk Zaccharewicz

Henryk Zaccharewicz

May 2008

"I told the stories for years..."
Henryk Zaccharewicz told the stories of Voytek the bear in the nursing home for years but no one believed him until he received my book.

Henryk & Voytek, Winfield Camp 1947

Henryk Zaccharewicz

Winfield Camp 1947

Henryk Zaccharewicz & Voytek, Winfield Camp 1947 (photo courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. Shepherd, Coldstream)

Mrs. Shepherd was a cook on Winfield camp in 1947. This photograph lay for years in a drawer.

Voytek “ playing “ with two local lads. Winfield Camp 1947

George Hall, Des Divine. Winfield Camp 1947.

Voytek “playing“...

Voytek “playing“ with two local lads (George Hall, Des Divine). Winfield Camp 1947.

George recalled how he was told not to be afraid of the bear. The Polish soldier pointed out that it was always important that Voytek was fed before the boys played with him!

 ...it was not advisable to approach Voytek whilst he was eating!

Andy (left), Dimitri, myself.

Andy Traverse (Szawlugo) (left),
Dymitri Szawlugo, Garry Paulin

Dymitri`s life story

In August last year I travelled to Surrey to meet Andy and his family. (Andy (left), Dymitri, myself).

It was fantastic to meet Andy and Dymitri and also to hear Dymitri`s stories about Voytek.


"Read more about Dymitri`s life story at..." www.imilitaria.com link to another website

Marian Blazejewicz

L/Cpl

Marian Blazejewicz

2nd Polish Corps

22nd Transport Co.


Marian is pictured front, left. (Ancona, Italy 1945/6)

Kashka (monkey)...

Now aged 87yrs Marian recalled how he travelled with Voytek and Kashka (monkey) on board M.S. Batory (from Egypt to Italy). After the War, Marian spent several months at Winfield Camp.

Eventually, Marian settled on the outskirts of Edinburgh and worked as a coal miner.

After the War the Polish Army recognised Voytek's efforts and incorporated his emblem on the trucks and Army buildings.



Lt., Mieczyslaw
Gladysz-Gryff

Voytek was not forgotten...

the Polish community did not forget their hero. Thousands of Poles visited Voytek regularly at Edinburgh Zoo, often giving him a cigarette!

Lt., Mieczyslaw Gladysz-Gryff often took his daughter Karen to visit Wojtek at Edinburgh Zoo.

Close to the Zoo -"The Post House Hotel" owned by Sir Rocco Forte (1960's) contained a Lounge Bar decorated and furnished in a "Voytek" theme. Table mats etc., carried Voytek's image. A wooden statue of Voytek stood in the corner. This statue is now owned by Barnardos.

 

Karen Gladysz-Gryff standing at Voytek's enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo
Karen Gladysz-Gryff standing at Voytek's enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo 1962

PIC 8 Krystyna Ivell (nee Mackiewicz) is planning an exhibition about Voytek and the Polish people`s history. We would be interested to hear from anyone who has any photos, memorabilia etc. that could be used in the exhibition.
Krystyna Ivell (nee Mackiewicz), Garry Paulin

Planning an exhibition...

Krystyna Ivell (nee Mackiewicz) is planning an exhibition at the Sikorski Museum, London about Voytek and the Polish people`s history. We would be interested to hear from anyone who has any photos, memorabilia etc. that could be used in the exhibition.

Contact: email: Garry Paulin

See more pictures of
Wojtek at www.wojtekthebear.com link to another website

 

Book: Voytek the Soldier Bear

Buy online from this website

Garry's contact details

email: Garry Paulin

website: www.voytekbear.com

Berwick-Upon-Tweed

UK

 

Voytek the Soldier Bear by Garry Paulin

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