Local playwright Alan Pollock tells the amazing true story of Wojtek, a bear who fought in the Second World War

Today’s Storytime video features local playwright Alan Pollock (One Night in November) reading his own debut children’s book, The Bear Who Went To War. Illustrated by Bryony Thomson and published by Old Barn Books, it tells the amazing true story of Wojtek, a brown bear who was recruited into the Polish army during the Second World War.

As well as helping to boost morale among the soldiers, Wojtek joined the fight against the Nazis at the Battle of Monte Cassino by carrying artillery shells to resupply Allied troops. After the war, he retired to Edinburgh Zoo, and is now commemorated with a statue in Edinburgh’s Princess Street Gardens.

The story was recently picked out by World Book Day as one of eight brilliant children’s books to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Listen to Alan reading the story below.