80-year-old link between Dumfries and Norway celebrated

Celebrations were held in Dumfries over the weekend to celebrate the link between the town and Norway.

The link dates back 80 years after Norweigian soldiers and civilians fled to Scotland after their country was occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Their army command ended up being based in Dumfries and the strong links remain to this day.

Beverley explains the friendships made between Dumfries and Norway. Credit: ITV

On Saturday a stone of friendship was unveiled and after a parade over the River Nith crowds gathered at the site on the Whitesands. They heard Norways gratitude to the town for the warmth offered to those who fled here 80 years ago.

Beverley Thom, from the Scottish Norwegian Connection said: "There were many friendships made during the war.

"Not only were Scots and Norwegians but also Norwegians who came over whether that was on the Shetland bus or whether they came in through the ports in the south of England. The Norwegian brigade were established here in 1940. From then the numbers grew over the years and they moved to various other parts of Scotland.

"We have many people here who have uncles and grandfathers who came during the war and they met and married local girls."

The links have remained - with the King of Norway paying a visit. On Saturday the Defence Attache represented the royal family.

Captain Pal Hope said: "It is important because of the generation that actually took part. It is also for their children.

"It is important to have memorials like this so the history can be transferred to the next generations."

Captain Pal Hope believes it is important for the next generation to know about the links. Credit: ITV

The Scottish Norwegian Connection organised for the stone to be laid with it being brought from Norway to the UK.

Aslak Wahl, said: “It is fantastic, we have worked towards this for years. We wanted to make such a historic moment to make it known to Doonhamers and other Scottish people.

"We wanted to let the people of Norway know they have friends in Scotland and especially in Dumfries. The first 1,100 came to Dumfries in June 1940."

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