Condolence for Norway

Condolences: Henry Duthie OBE and councillor Ian Tait sign the Book of Condolence at Fraserburgh Heritage Centre. Picture: Alison Kennedy
Condolences: Henry Duthie OBE and councillor Ian Tait sign the Book of Condolence at Fraserburgh Heritage Centre. Picture: Alison Kennedy

A Book of Condolence opened at Fraserburgh Heritage Centre on Monday.

People are invited to pay their respects in the book for the victims of the twin attacks in Norway last week. The book will later be sent to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Edinburgh.

A member of Fraserburgh Heritage Society and volunteer at the centre explained the historic friendship dating back to the Second World War enjoyed between Fraserburgh and Norway.

He said: “After Norway was invaded by Nazi Germany in April 1940, Norwegian soldiers (and Royalty) sought refuge in Scotland. Duff House in Banff became the headquarters of the Norwegian ‘Brigade’ with a unit based in Fraserburgh.

“In the winter of 1941-2, which was unexpectedly cold in North East Scotland, Norwegian soldiers, born and bred with skis, did sterling work delivering essential supplies to isolated households.

“The arrival of Norwegians was popular with local girls on the dance floors too! Romance blossomed for several couples who later married.

“The North Sea Bus, mainly ran by fishermen from both Norway and the North of Scotland transported much needed supplies and men throughout the Second World War. Many Norwegians used the same method to settle in Scottish ports such as Fraserburgh. Boats escaping from Norway included M/S Olaf - arriving in Fraserburgh on July 3, 1941. On board were Skipper and owner Olaf Rasmussen, Martin Breivik, MartinG. Eide, and Nils Eriksen. A second boat arrived on August 3, 1941 after a very difficult voyage. On board were Arnfinn Bjorge, Nils Larsen, Torleif Larsen, Kristian Simonsen, and Teodor Simonsen.

“Norwegian John Moe, who died in 2001, had cause to remember ‘Fraserburgh at War.’ John was one of the two ‘Crovie Spys’ captured by Banff Police on April 7, 1941. The pair had been ‘recruited’ by the Germans in Norway and flown across the North Sea in a Luftwaffe flying boat.

“John was in fact a double agent and revealed his activities in 1981 and made a nostalgic return visit to Fraserburgh. He always felt concern over the death of a boy in the Broch in an air raid conducted by the Germans to conceal their supply drop during Operation Oatmeal, where he persuaded the Germans to drop him explosives and other supplies by parachute near Aberdeen in February 1943. He then took the credit for carefully staged sabotage operations in - England! John’s real loyalties were never detected by the Germans.”

The Scottish flag at Fraserburgh Heritage Centre will be at half-mast for the week as Fraserburgh mourns the victims of Norway’s recent tragedies.