Winnie the Pooh

During WWI , troops from Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) were being transported to eastern Canada, on their way to Europe to join the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade.  When the train stopped at White River, Ontario, a lieutenant named Harry Colebourn bought a small female black bear cub from a hunter who had killed its mother.  He named her ’Winnipeg’, after his hometown of Winnipeg, or ’Winnie’ for short.  Winnie became the mascot of the Brigade and traveled to Britain with the unit. When the Brigade left for the battlefields of France, Colebourn, now a Captain, took Winnie to the London Zoo in December of 1919, for a long loan.  Winnie was very popular with visitors and lived here until 1934.
The bear was also very popular with Christopher Robin, son of author A.A. Milne.  The bear was Christopher Robin’s inspiration for calling his own teddy bear Winnie.....Winnie the Pooh.  The name Pooh originally belonged to a swan, as can be seen in the introduction of Milne’s ’When We Were Very Young’.
A.A. Milne started to write a series of books about Winnie the Pooh, his son Christopher Robin, and their friends in the 100-Acre-Wood.  These other characters, such as Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger,
Kanga and Roo were also based on stuffed animals belonging to Christopher Robin.  The characters, Rabbit and Owl, were based on animals that lived, like the swan Pooh, in the surrounding area of Milne’s country home, Cotchford Farm in Ashdown Forest, Sussex.  It is this area on which the 100-Acre-Wood was based.

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