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New work to pay homage to War heroes

The incredible story of the Shetland Bus heroes is to be celebrated in a new work by Martin Winter performed in a special concert by Tertnes Brass in November.

Shetand
  The tiny fishing boats were used for the covert operations

Tertnes Brass is to pay musical homage to some of bravest heroes of the Second World War who risked their lives crossing the treacherous North Sea in Winter to ferry arms, engineers and special forces fighters under the cover of darkness to help Norwegian resistance against Nazi occupiers.

The Shetland Bus

They have commissioned a new work from trumpet player and conductor Martin Winter entitled 'The Shetland Bus' (Shetlandsgjengen) — the nickname of the clandestine operations that took place from 1942 to the end of the war that disguised small fishing boats to carry their vital cargo.

The boats made an incredible 198 trips to Norway and back to Shetland transporting 192 agents and 383 tons of weapons and supplies. On the return journey they carried back 73 agents and 373 refugees. 43 brave men of the group were killed.

Special concert

The work which will be performed in a special concert on Saturday 28th November tells the story of one specific journey of the 'Shetland Bus', starting from the secret harbour of Lunna in the Shetlands.

During the terrible winter months the boat led by Leif 'Shetland' Larsen, who was to become the most decorated officer outside of the Royal Navy, undertook a mission to northern Norway.

Undertaken in complete darkness, they encountered a particular brutal storm as well as being hunted by both wolf pack submarines and Luftwaffe planes, relying on their Captain's remarkable seafaring skills.

Immense challenges

Martin told 4BR: "Despite the immense challenges of nature and enemy the trip was a success and following the return to Shetland the Norwegian crew celebrated by playing traditional Nordic folk music.

However, the piece also includes 30 seconds of silence in honour of those who were lost on other journeys."

The boats made an incredible 198 trips to Norway and back to Shetland transporting 192 agents and 383 tons of weapons and supplies. On the return journey they carried back 73 agents and 373 refugees. 43 brave men of the group were killed4BR

Remarkable man

Leif Larsen was presented with the DSO, DSG, CGM, DSM and Bar for his incredible service in leading his ships, with renowned historian David Howarth describing him as "one of the most remarkable personalities of the entire Second World War". A statue in his honour now stands in the Bryggen area of Bergen.

Martin also revealed that there is a link between the great hero and the banding community in Norway as Larsen's brother Arlix conducted the then Bjorsvik Band in 1951, shortly before the Bjorsvik merged with Eikanger to form the now world famous band.

Further details about the free live stream concert will be published on 4BR in due course.

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