Author Lindsay Mattick will visit the statue of Winnie the Pooh at the London Zoo in remembrance of her great-grandfather, WWI soldier Lt. Harry Colebourn, and his pet bear “Winnie” who became the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s stories.
In 1914, Canadian soldier Harry Colebourn brought a female bear cub with him to Salisbury Plain; the female bear was named ‘Winnie’ after the soldier’s adopted hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. While Colebourn served three years in France, he kept Winnie at the London Zoo - to which he eventually donated her.
It was at the London Zoo that A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin Milne encountered Winnie, who became the inspiration for Milne's books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928).
Lindsay Mattick is the author of an upcoming children’s picture book called Finding Winnie that tells the story of her great-grandfather and Winnipeg the bear. It will be available in fall 2015.
Ryerson University Library & Archives - "Remembering the Real Winnie: The World's Most Famous Bear Turns 100" :
Interactive version: http://therealwinnie.ryerson.ca/interactive