All is bear in love and war

Country Life Every Week - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

I WAS charmed by Les­lie Ged­des-brown’s sto­ries of spe­cial bears (Spec­ta­tor, July 12). A few years ago, I owned a toyshop in Chelsea sell­ing the sort of toys that were dif­fi­cult to find, in­clud­ing tra­di­tional bears. The cus­tomers came in all sizes, as did the bears. One of my reg­u­lars was a de­light­ful el­derly gen­tle­man who was al­ways im­mac­u­lately at­tired, wear­ing a blazer with a small bear peep­ing out of his breast pocket.

One day, cu­rios­ity got the bet­ter of me and I asked him about his friend. He ex­plained to me that, dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, when he was three, he was evac­u­ated to Amer­ica and on the long ocean voy­age his only friend was the lit­tle bear. His par­ents were killed in the war and he never saw them again. The bear was his fam­ily and they’d been in­sep­a­ra­ble for 70 years. Sarah Cam­pos-mar­tyn, by email

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