Moray coastal village tribute to Norwegian ‘Shetland Bus’

Memorial to be dedicated next month
Memorial to be dedicated next month

THE MORAY SITE of top-secret Second World War missions into Nazi-occupied Norway is to be commemorated in a special dedication ceremony next month.

Burghead was a little-known subsidiary base for the ‘Shetland Bus’ operations linking the UK mainland with occupied Norway.

While it is well recorded that the bulk of clandestine operations by Norwegian crews into their occupied homeland were launched from Shetland, throughout the war several were also launched from the Moray fishing port.

In 1943 eleven Norwegians and one British national lost their lives in operations from Burghead – but the existence of this clandestine organisation is little known anywhere, including, until recently, in the Burghead community.

Now members of that community will honour and commemorate those who lost their lives and who served from Burghead in what was a highly important chapter in the history of both Norway and Scotland.

At the ceremony on August 23 at 2pm in Burghead Harbour, a new memorial and information board is to be unveiled and dedicated.

Amongst the many guests will be relatives of the men who lost their lives who will have travelled from Norway to be present. At the ceremony there will also be a representative of the Scottish government, a pastor from the Norwegian church and the padre from RAF Lossiemouth and Burghead’s local minister.

A floral tribute will be scattered from a launch in Burghead Bay at the location where four of the men died in an accident.

The ceremony will form part of the second day of a ‘Burghead’s Norwegian Weekend’ with the entire weekend organised by the Burghead Headland Trust.

On Saturday, August 22 there will be a Viking long ship visiting the harbour while there will also be a re-enactment of a battle that took place between the Vikings and Picts in the 9th Century.

There will also be events for children including a puppet show, and stalls, boats, wildlife boat trips, rowing, food, a beer tent, and music.