Norway Day 2021
Norway Day marked by the CWGC in Banffshire
Constitution Day on 17 May is the national day of Norway. Honouring the memory of Norwegian service men and women who served with the Allies during WW1 and WW2, each year the Commonwealth War Graves Commission arranges for tributes to be laid.
This year, the Lord-Lieutenant met with Mr Vincent Stuart, a CWGC volunteer who served with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, at Myrus Cemetery, Macduff. They laid a CWGC remembrance tribute at the grave of Korporal Birger Bratsberg, and flowers in the colours of the Norwegian flag.
Korporal Bratsberg was born in Trondheim on 5 October 1915. He joined the Norwegian Navy, serving as engineer on the S/S Leuregethan. He then joined the Royal Norwegian Army. Korporal Bratsberg married a Macduff girl. Sadly, he died in a shooting accident in Macduff on 15 September 1943.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission honours and cares the graves of the men and women of the Commonwealth who died in the First and Second World Wars, ensuring they will never be forgotten.
Read more about the important work of the CWGC.
The unique bonds forged between Norway and the UK during WW2 are remembered in a fascinating article from the Royal Norwegian Embassy.
"Many Norwegians who fled the Occupation of Norway to join the Allied struggle against the Nazis never saw home again. And many were buried in British cemeteries, having died in conflict, through illness or in accidents while in exile. This 17 May the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) in Scotland will remember the 58 Norwegians whose war graves it cares for, across 16 sites from Edinburgh to Shetland, just as the Norwegian Government cares for the British war graves in Norway. Commission staff, volunteers, and members of the public will visit each Norwegian grave, to place a tribute and commemorate these men."
Here in Banffshire, many lasting memories of our links with Norway during WW2 can be found. One of these is a Norwegian flag in Duff House, painted during the time that The Norwegian Brigade was headquartered in Duff House from October 1941 to April 1942.
The flag can still be seen today, although it is covered for protection. On the wall opposite the flag, there is a monogram "H7V", wishing for Victory for King Haakon VII (Norway's king at the time). King Haakon VII visited Duff House while he lived in the UK during WWII.