A bears tale Scots Honour WWII Veteran Polish Bear A reception has been held in the Scottish Parliament in honour of a bear which saw action in World War II. Wojtek - dubbed the "Soldier Bear" - was adopted by Polish troops and helped them carry ammunition at the Battle of Monte Cassino. After the war he lived in Scotland at Hutton in Berwickshire, before ending his days in Edinburgh Zoo. Members of the Polish community, Hutton residents and ex-servicemen were expected to attend the event. Wojtek - also known as Voytek - was rescued as a cub in the Middle East in 1943. The Polish soldiers adopted him and as he grew he was trained to carry heavy mortar rounds. When their forces were deployed to Europe the only way to take the bear with them was to "enlist" him. So he was given a name, rank and number and took part in the Italian campaign. At the end of the war the bear - who had also learned how to smoke and drink beer - was billeted at an army camp in the Scottish Borders. When the Polish soldiers were demobilised he was taken to Edinburgh Zoo where he eventually died in 1963. Efforts are now being made by the Wojtek Memorial Trust to build a permanent tribute to the bear. Founder Aileen Orr said: "The story of Wojtek has only recently been raised again throughout Poland and Scotland. The fact that a large bear could be trusted with humans to the extent he played with children and enjoyed a bottle of beer made him unique. It is understood no bear can be tamed, but he was the exception."