"Winnie the Bear"; Maquette for A A Milne memorial at London Zoo
Bronze on a marble base
This is a copy cast to replace a previous version, which was in the Club and is now lost (S0043).
This is a maquette for the memorial to A A Milne at London Zoo. Winnie the Pooh was originally modeled after a real black bear in London zoo. Winnie began life as an orphaned cub bought as a mascot by Colonel Harry Colebourn, veterinarian with the Canadian army, when his regiment was in training for World War I. Colebourn named the bear Winnie after his hometown of Winnipeg. Subsequently his regiment was shipped to England, where in 1914, when called to the front, Winnie was gifted to London Zoo. There she entranced visitors with her antics, and among those visitors were A A Milne and Christopher Robin.
The full story can be found in Mia Sokoloski, "The Romance of the Captain and Winnie the Bear" White River, Ontario, 1992.