Wojtek the Soldier Bear
Wojtek the Soldier Bear tells the true story of a bear who was adopted as a cub by Polish soldiers travelling across Persia to serve in the British 8th Army. Having been officially enlisted as 'Private Wojtek' to ensure transit to Italy, he famously helped to deliver shells to the Polish artillery at the Battle of Monte Casino in 1944. At the end of the war, Wojtek and his unit were transported to Scotland for de-mob. With their homeland either absorbed into the Soviet Unon or part of a Communist dominated Poland, most of his comrades decided to settle in Britain. And so Wojtek was found a home at Edinburgh Zoo, where he lived until 1963.
The pen and ink drawings here are part of a graphic interpretation of this remarkable story. For a fuller account I recommend Wojtek the Bear by Aileen Orr with Neal Ascherson