Tribute to the Norwegian heroes who called Burghead ‘home’

Cdr Baard Eriksen and Trond Kverhellen of Norwegian Special Operations joined the tribute at Burghead.
Cdr Baard Eriksen and Trond Kverhellen of Norwegian Special Operations joined the tribute at Burghead.

SEVERAL HUNDRED VILLAGERS have been joined by representatives from Norwegian special forces, UK military and community representatives at a touching dedication ceremony in Burghead to the ‘Shetland Bus’ heroes.

A warm summer day awaited hundreds who gathered at Burgead Harbour for the unveiling and dedication of a monument to the men who died in World War II when serving on secret missions from their Moray base.

Fishermen and sailors from Nazi occupied Norway provided a vital link between Scotland and their home nation throughout the war – and while most operated from boats out of Shetland some were based in Moray.

Created by the Burghead Headland Trust, the new memorial lists the names of Norwegian sailors who were killed while serving from their temporary Moray home.

Local MSP Richard Lochhead opened Sunday’s tribute, the culmination of a ‘Norwegian Weekend’ organised by the Trust. He said: “I am honoured to be a part of this very special ceremony commemorating those who took part in the Shetland Bus operation.

“We join people from Norway and Burghead to remember those who tragically lost their lives in these highly dangerous operations.

“With sandstone from Burghead, millstone from a Shetland quarry and a propeller which was also donated from Shetland, this memorial will be a poignant tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Wreaths were laid by descendants of those Norwegian’s who were killed including Henriette Opsanger Kvarne, whose great-uncle Peter Nonas was in their number.

Following the ceremony wreaths were laid out in Burghead Bay in a final and personal memorial by friends and family members.

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