Manitoba History: Winnie-the-Who?: The Contested Birthplace of the World’s Most Famous Bear

by Andrea Smorang
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Number 87, Summer 2018

This article was published originally in Manitoba History by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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“London, early in World War I,”reads the caption superimposed over a scene of red-brick buildings, horses on cobblestone streets, and turn-of-the-century automobiles. A soldier with a Canadian accent says a bittersweet goodbye to a black bear cub, and turns the animal over to two English men who promise to be temporary caregivers while the soldier is fighting in France. The soldier tells the men the bear is named Winnie after his hometown, Winnipeg. In the next scene, captioned 10 years later, a young boy admires adult Winnie in her pen at the London Zoo. The boy asks if they can take her home, and since of course this request is impractical, his father promises to write stories about the bear as a compromise. The boy accepts the deal and suggests the stories be about a bear named ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’. The closing narration explains how this real-life bear inspired four volumes of stories that continue to sell millions of copies worldwide. [1] The Heritage Minute video Winnie, produced and distributed by Historica Canada, tells the story of a Canadian soldier and his pet black bear who became the inspiration for a character that would capture the imagination of children and adults globally for nearly a century. This video is part of a series of 60-second television spots launched in 1991, designed to inform Canadians of important moments in their history, and run on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and CTV networks. Looking deeper, it hints at three geographic locations: London, England; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and White River, Ontario. Each has separate but equally valid claims to the origin story of a global sensation, and all three have used their own connection to Winnie-the-Pooh to create and maintain local cultural identity.

A statue in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park shows Harry Colebourne feeding the bear cub who would be the basis for the Winnie the Pooh literary character.
Source: A. Smorang

Harry Colebourn came to Canada from England as a teenager in 1905. [2] He completed veterinary training in Ontario and then moved to Winnipeg, to work for the Health of Animals branch of the Manitoba Department of Agriculture. [3] Colebourn quickly enlisted following England’s declaration of war on Germany in July 1914, along with thousands of Winnipeggers, [4] and a month later, he boarded a train bound for a military camp in Valcartier, Québec. The day after departure (24 August 1914), the train made a scheduled stop in White River, Ontario. On the platform, Colebourn met a man attempting to sell an orphaned black bear cub. [5] Colebourn purchased the cub for $20, an amount equivalent to $430 in 2018. He named her Winnipeg Bear, after his adopted hometown, and called her Winnie for short. Tens of thousands of men from across Canada arrived in Valcartier around the time Colebourn and Winnie did, to be trained and then deployed overseas. [6] Colebourn was one of five veterinary officers tasked with tending to the 9000 horses that would also be sent to the battlegrounds in Europe. Winnie was quickly discovered to be an uncommonly gentle bear that Colebourn could train with relative ease. While she provided his fellow officers with a welcome distraction in the tense and nervous atmosphere, Winnie developed an intensely close bond with Colebourn. She played happily with other officers but preferred to stick close to Colebourn and slept under his cot at night.

On 3 October 1914, Colebourn and Winnie boarded the S. S. Manitou. [7] It was one of thirty ships, which carried more than 36,000 men across the Atlantic Ocean in the largest movement of people in Canada’s history. [8] In the winter of 1915, Colebourn was finally to be sent to the Western Front in France, where Winnie could not accompany him. He arranged for her to be temporarily held at the London Zoo. [9] During the war, Winnie became a star attraction at the zoo. Her uniquely gentle temperament meant that visitors were often allowed into her enclosure, where she gave rides to children and was fed from the hands of guests. Colebourn had always intended to take her back to Winnipeg with him after the war, to live in Winnipeg’s recently opened Assiniboine Park Zoo, but she was thriving in her new environment and had become so important to the city of London that Colebourn decided to donate Winnie officially to the London Zoo in 1919. [10] A plaque to honour his donation was erected near Winnie’s enclosure. In 1920, Colebourn returned to Winnipeg. He died in September 1947, and is buried in the Field of Honour at Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg. [11] In an interview decades later with Colebourn’s son, it was revealed that while Colebourn was aware the character Winnie-the-Pooh was named after his Winnie, he never knew the extent of the fictional character’s international fame and popularity. [12] Winnie lived the rest of her life at the London Zoo. A stroke in 1933 left her partially paralyzed and in May 1934, she was euthanized out of compassion. She had lived to be 20 years old, surpassing the average lifespan of wild black bears. She was mourned in many newspapers worldwide, [13] including in Winnipeg, although her obituary in the Winnipeg Free Press was attributed to her status as a beloved zoo attraction, not for her connection to Winnie-the-Pooh. [14] This connection had been lost in the 15 years since Harry Colebourn donated her to the London Zoo, and would not be found again for decades. Colebourn’s own Winnipeg obituary was titled Veterinarian Dies, Aged 62, and did not mention Winnie. [15] The origin stories of Winnie-the-Pooh would take many years to unfold and perhaps still have not been unpacked in their entirety.

Members of the headquarters staff of the Second Canadian Infantry Brigade pose with “Winnie” in this photo from 1914.
Source: Archives of Manitoba, D. Harry Colebourn Collection 19, N10477

As viewers are informed in the Heritage Minute on Winnie the bear, English author Alan Alexander Milne and his son Christopher Robin Milne were regular visitors to the London Zoo. Christopher Robin’s cherished stuffed toy bear had been called Edward until meeting Winnie at the zoo, after which he changed his toy’s name to Winnie-the-Pooh. A fictional, animated version of the stuffed bear had previously made appearances in some of Milne’s poetry, but the first official appearance of the character Winnie-the-Pooh was published in a short story Milne wrote in 1925 for The Evening News, [16] a newspaper that debuted in 1881 and remained one of London’s most popular daily publications for nearly a century. [17] After it was positively received, Milne published two novels about the bear and a host of characters inspired by additional toys belonging to Christopher Robin. In 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh was released in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States. It was an instant hit, selling more than 150,000 copies in its first year. [18] In 1927, Milne published a book of poems, Now We Are Six, some of which featured Pooh and his friends. In 1928, The House at Pooh Corner followed. All three works were illustrated by Ernest Howard Shepard. Despite roaring success, Milne retired from the characters after the third installment out of apprehension over being branded as strictly an author of children’s literature. [19]

The explanation below the video Winnie on the Historica Canada website briefly elaborates on the tale of a black bear donated to the London Zoo by Captain Harry Colebourn and a young boy whose fascination with her inspired his father’s famous stories. It details the purchase of Winnie by Colebourn in White River, and gives a short biography of A. A. Milne. The text also makes several errors—perhaps unsurprisingly, as the story of Winnie has been lost and found, told and retold, frequently enough that details have understandably been muddled. Historica Canada’s website calls the bear “Winnipeg” and incorrectly, claims the patrons of the London Zoo were responsible for nicknaming her “Winnie”, while diaries and letters written by Colebourn establish it was he who gave her the nickname. The website also claims “Pooh” came from Christopher Robin’s pet swan of the same name, which is likely, also incorrect. Sources do differ on this issue—the CBC reported Pooh was the name of a swan owned by a friend of Milne, [20] while other sources claim the Milne family had encountered a wild swan while on vacation that Christopher nicknamed Pooh. The page also mentions the commemorative statue in White River, where Winnie was purchased by Colebourn, but does not mention the statues in either Winnipeg or London, or the Winnie-the-Pooh gallery in Winnipeg, all of which existed at the time of publication. The Winnipeg information particularly seems an odd omission, as this Heritage Minute was created for the purpose of educating Canadians on the Winnipeg connection to the globally famous franchise. White River is mentioned in the textual explanation on the webpage but not in the Heritage Minute video itself. Finally, the page reports that the statue in White River was erected in 1989, while the website of the White River township claims it was erected in 1992. [21]

Born at Birmingham, England on 12 April 1887, Harry Colebourn emigrated to Canada in 1905 and attended the Ontario Veterinary College. After graduation, he worked with the federal government’s veterinary service in Winnipeg. In 1914, while travelling by train as a member of Canadian forces heading to Europe, he bought a small female bear cub which he named Winnie after his adoptive home town. He left the bear at the London Zoo when his brigade was mobilized to the French battlefields, where it was seen by British writer A. A. Milne. After the war, Colebourn returned to Winnipeg and resumed his work as a veterinarian until retirement in May 1945. He died at his Winnipeg home, 600 Corydon Avenue, on 24 September 1947 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.
Source: Archives of Manitoba, D. Harry Colebourn Collection 1, N10312

Despite these errors, in precisely 60 seconds the Heritage Minute Winnie establishes the birthplace of Winnie the bear, her owner before she became a fixture at the London Zoo, the Canadian origins of her name, the origins of the characters Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin, and the inspiration for author A. A. Milne. It also establishes the eventual illustrations by E. H. Shepard, who is depicted as visiting the zoo with Milne and Christopher. This is almost certainly a creative leap. While Shepard and Milne had a working relationship for many years, they were not friendly with each other. [22] The Heritage Minute, in displaying the Winnipeg origins of the bear that is beloved by so many and would inspire stories that captured the world’s imagination, is an attempt by Historica Canada to reclaim Canada’s ownership of a global phenomenon that has been usurped by an American corporate juggernaut. Often dwarfed by the United States’ ability to create media content and culture that become international sensations, Canada is left to shine light as best it can on its own contributions to the entertainment industry while always existing in the immense shadow of its powerful southern neighbour. The story presented in Winnie is one that, at different times and in different ways, has been utilized by citizens of London, Winnipeg, and White River to establish their own city as the official birthplace of Winnie-the-Pooh and lay claim to the recognition that goes along with such a bold assertion.

Milne’s stories were, and continue to be, global phenomena. Despite a limited number of published works, the Winnie-the-Pooh books have sold an estimated 70 million copies worldwide, and have been translated into more than 30 languages. [23] In 1961, the rights for Winnie-the-Pooh were purchased by Walt Disney Productions. [24] Disney has since released five feature films, dozens of short films, direct-to-video films, and video games, and engaged in extensive merchandising. A sixth feature film, the live-action Christopher Robin in which the title character has reached adulthood and forgotten about his childhood animal friends, was just released in August. The popular The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida opened in 1999, and there are copycat versions of this ride at Disneyland California, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Shanghai Disneyland Park, and Tokyo Disneyland. According to Forbes, Winnie-the-Pooh is the second highest-earning fictional character of all time, coming in only 200 million U.S. dollars behind Mickey Mouse, and an enormous US$3 billion above the next highest-earning character. [25] In 2006, Winnie-the-Pooh was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, joining an elite group of only 16 animated characters to be given this honour, including Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and Donald Duck. [26] Nearly a century after the first publication of the stories, Winnie-the-Pooh remains one of the most popular characters in both Canada and the United Kingdom. [27] Pooh also retains cultural significance worldwide: a bizarre story in July 2017 saw the government of China censoring Winnie-the-Pooh images on social media websites after President Xi Jinping took offence to online comparisons of himself to the famous cartoon bear. [28] In June 2018, a Winnie-the-Pooh exhibit organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London opened at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, and will also travel to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and then to Japan. [29] The global tenacity of the franchise is undeniable; however, any connection to Winnipeg, White River, or Canada has not been included thus far in Disney’s prolific adaptations of A. A. Milne’s classic tales.

To the patrons of the London Zoo, Winnie was adored and in many ways timeless. Her death in 1934 did not end public fascination with her memory. The London Zoo is celebrated as the home of the real-life Winnie, and as the place where her chance meeting with a young boy would inspire a global sensation. Her skull was saved after her death, and was put on display at the Hunterian Museum in 2015. [30] The zoo has hosted several commemorative installations over the past several decades. In 1981, the zoo unveiled a bronze statue of Winnie with the inscription “She gave her name to ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ and A. A. Milne and Ernest Shepard gave ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ to the rest of the world.” [31]

The stories she inspired also carry cultural significance in their retained Britishness, even after the franchise was bought by the American Walt Disney Productions. Winnie-the-Pooh has been most famously voiced by Sterling Holloway (from the 1960s to 1970s) and Jim Cummings (from the 1980s to the present). While both voice actors were born in the United States, the character Pooh spoke (and continues to speak) in a slightly neutralized accent typical of the upper class of southern England. To the present, the character frequently uses formal language that would generally be out of place in the United States. The films are usually narrated by a distinctly British voice, with English actors such as Sebastian Cabot and John Cleese filling this role. Other characters in the series continue to sound somewhat British as well. From 28 May to 1 June 1984, BBC Radio broadcast a series in which British actor Alan Bennet read five of the ten chapters from Milne’s first book. [32] Previously, in the 1970s, British comedian Willie Rushton had acted as narrator for similar BBC programming. The recent film Christopher Robin stars popular British actors Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell.

In 2012, the 16th-century cottage in East Sussex where the Milne family spent weekends and summer holidays was sold for £2 million. [33] The country retreat borders on Ashdown Forest, which is the inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood in Milne’s stories. The area enjoys Winnie-the-Pooh related tourism, as there are several landmarks within the forest that featured in Milne’s writing. These landmarks include ‘Gills Lap’ (a clump of pine trees that was the inspiration for Pooh’s ‘Enchanted Place’), a wooden footbridge where Pooh and Christopher Robin famously raced twigs on the stream below, and an abandoned quarry that became ‘Roo’s Sandy Pit’. The Ashdown Forest Centre offers two self-guided ‘Pooh Walks’ along which hikers can visit these landmarks. [34] In 2014, an original Shepard sketch of Pooh and Christopher Robin was sold at Sotheby’s for over £300,000. [35] Nearly a century after its creation, the aesthetic of this character was still valued and considered significant.

In 2016, by lucky coincidence, both the Winnie-the-Pooh stories and Queen Elizabeth II turned 90. Numerous articles and radio shows on the BBC celebrated their monarch’s 90th birthday in conjunction with the 90th anniversary of Milne’s first published book of Pooh stories. Full advantage was taken of the ability to intertwine Winnie-the-Pooh into the celebrations of the Royal Birthday and of British pride and nationalism. A new storybook was released by Disney for the anniversary in which Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Christopher Robin go on an adventure to Buckingham Palace. In this story, they meet the then three-year-old Prince George (drawn in similar style to the original illustrations of Christopher Robin), and Pooh sings Happy Birthday to the Queen. [36] By attaching Winnie-the-Pooh to the Queen’s milestone birthday celebrations, London evoked ideas of nationalism related to iconography. The celebrations created place identity out of culturally understood symbols and asserted national claim to the characters by situating them within a distinctly British space. Although the storybook was created and published by Disney, in its capacity as owner of the exclusive rights to the characters, Pooh and friends were drawn in a style reminiscent of Shepard’s original illustrations, rather than the style that Disney animators created in the 1960s that has endured largely unchanged to the present. The message is clear; this event was a celebration of Great Britain, and what could be more British than the monarchy and Winnie-the-Pooh?

Although it was always known that Winnie the bear was the namesake of Winnie-the-Pooh, the Winnipeg link was lost from public memory for several decades. Harry Colebourn’s son Fred knew his father’s pet bear had been the inspiration for A. A. Milne’s stories, but few others did. As late as 2014, the Library and Archives Canada had an extensive public file on Harry Colebourn that was lacking in any mention of a pet black bear. [37] In 1977, Fred travelled from Winnipeg to the London Zoo to see the place his father’s bear had lived and died, only to discover that the plaque honouring his father’s donation had been removed, and that the zoo had since begun incorrectly reporting that Winnie had been the mascot of the Princess Patricia Light Infantry regiment. [38] Whether purposely or by the accidental loss of information, Fred did not know, but it was clear to him that the London Zoo was erasing Harry Colebourn and the famous bear’s connection to Winnipeg. Fred embarked on a quest to find proof of the connection in the war diaries and letters his late father had left behind, and he succeeded in doing so. In 1987, Fred was interviewed by multiple news outlets including the Winnipeg Free Press and the CBC, and Canadians were finally made aware of Winnipeg’s right to possession of the world’s most famous bear. [39] A few years later, the Winnie the Bear Commemorative Committee, with funding from private donors and the Variety Club of Winnipeg, commissioned a statue to memorialize Harry and Winnie. A photograph, in which she is standing on her hind legs and he is feeding her milk from a bottle, was recreated as a life-sized bronze statue. Fred was the sculptor’s model. The statue was unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in August 1992, where it remained until 2010, when it was moved about 500 metres east to the park’s Nature Playground. In 1995, a replica statue was given to the London Zoo by the Manitoba government. [40] The plaque next to the replica in London tells the story of Winnie and Harry Colebourn, and acknowledges the gift of the statue from the people of Manitoba. [41]

In 2000, Sotheby’s planned to auction the only existing oil painting of Winnie-the-Pooh by E. H. Shepard. It was painted in the 1930s, commissioned by a tea shop in Bristol called Pooh Corner. [42] A group of Winnipeggers led by art dealer David Loch campaigned to raise the money to buy it for the city of Winnipeg, believing Winnipeg to be where this unique artifact belonged. [43] They were ultimately successful; outbidding many other art lovers and collectors and purchasing the painting for $243,000 collected from government grants and private donations. The painting went for $177,000 above its estimated value. [44] Speaking to whether he had encountered any opposition to the fundraising campaign, Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray said, “people here are very attached to Winnie-the-Pooh, and Winnipeggers get downright indignant when people don’t know [the Winnipeg connection].” [45] In 2012, the Winnie-the-Pooh gallery opened on the second floor of the Assiniboine Park Pavilion, where the oil painting is on display for free public viewing. Outside the pavilion, a second Pooh statue sits during the summer months—constructed of grape vines, clovers, and other live plants, complete with iconic honey pot. As of 2016, the gallery also contains many of Colebourn’s diaries, letters, veterinary tools, and photographs of Winnie, most of which were provided by the Colebourn Family Archives, housed at Ryerson University, Toronto. Also on display is Christopher Robin Milne’s copy of Now We Are Six, with a personal inscription from his father. [46] Winnie’s journey from Ontario to London and her celebrity status at the London Zoo is referred to as “a Canadian story ... that would later inspire a literary icon.” [47] Of the exhibit, curator Irene Gammel said “we are pleased and proud to return the story of Harry Colebourn and Winnie the bear to the people of Winnipeg.” [48] With this gallery, and in the language of returning and belonging, Winnipeg has staked its own claim to ownership of Winnie-the-Pooh.

The town of White River, Ontario, was created in 1885 by the Canadian Pacific Railway as a halfway point between Winnipeg and Toronto where trains could replenish their supplies. [49] Nearly all trains heading southeast from Winnipeg stopped in White River during the early decades of the 20th century, and so it was not by accident that Captain Harry Colebourn found himself at the train station in the small Ontario town. It was, however, by luck rather than design that he came upon a trapper with a bear cub, walking up and down the platform hoping to find a buyer. The exact location of Winnie’s birth is of course unknown, but as the trapper who sold her was from White River, the town has claimed her as their own. The homepage of the township’s website boasts the town is “best known as the birthplace of Winnie the Pooh.” [50] To be inflexibly technical this is not quite true; the town is the birthplace of Winnie the bear, not the character inspired by her, but nevertheless the town has wholly embraced its claim to fame. While it is arguably easier in a small town to create a more total sense of place identity and unity than it would be in a city the size of Winnipeg (and therefore even more difficult in the far larger city of London), this should not diminish White River’s efforts to craft a sense of self and belonging based around its most renowned inhabitant. The town hosts an annual festival to celebrate the famous bear that attracts both locals and tourists to participate in Pooh-themed activities, a re-enactment of Winnie and Colebourn’s meeting on the train platform, and the purchase of souvenirs. [51]

The author with her brothers stands by a Winnie the Pooh monument at White River, Ontario, July 1995.
Source: A. Smorang

While they originally received trouble from Disney lawyers over proposed commemoration, [52] eventually a 14-foot statue was erected in 1992. The plaques surrounding the statue mention but downplay the connections to both Winnipeg and London, choosing instead to emphasize the bear’s birthplace (similar selective narration has been done in Winnipeg, where Colebourn’s adopted hometown is emphasized and Winnie’s birthplace is rarely mentioned). One plaque informs readers that the train station where Colebourn purchased Winnie was on Winnipeg Street, not outright suggesting but perhaps subtly implying the street might have been from where the name was derived. Additionally, the statue—of a tree with Pooh perched in it—depicts Pooh in the Disney art style, complete with iconic red t-shirt and honey pot, rather than the style of Shepard’s illustrations or a realistic image of the black bear. Likely, this was a choice made out of recognition that the Disney version was far more well-known by the 1990s than were the original illustrations. By labelling themselves the birthplace of Winnie-the-Pooh, rather than Winnie the bear, the citizens of White River have bypassed the wandering route from soldier to bear cub to zoo attraction to literary inspiration, and instead have claimed direct ownership of the international sensation.

London, Winnipeg, and White River each have separate but equally valid claims of origin to the character that has become one of the most successful franchises of all time. These three places have all focussed on their own connection to the bear and somewhat ignored the others’ claims. This is not necessarily problematic, but does provide insight into how cultural icons are used to create collective identity. It is also an example of regional identities being assembled by the claiming of ownership to something or someone that gains notoriety after leaving its supposed place of origin, in the same way towns and smaller cities often tout themselves as the birthplace of certain popular figures. The Heritage Minute Winniedemonstrates Historica Canada’s acknowledgement that most Canadians are unaware of the Canadian origins of the colossal Disney franchise. However, Historica Canada also made an important decision to prioritize the Winnipeg connection over the White River connection. While White River is discussed in the text below the video on Historica Canada’s website, it is not mentioned in the video itself, which would have reached far more Canadians than the explanation on the website. In White River, the regional origin of the bear is advertised as more important than the origin of the name Winnie or the geographical location where the bear’s encounter with a young Christopher Robin would serve as the inspiration for the now famous stories. In Great Britain, reference to the Canadian origins of the bear is minimal and the London home of Winnie, A. A. Milne, and Christopher Robin is paramount. In Winnipeg, the bear’s name and the permanent residence of her owner Harry Colebourn is emphasised, with the Assiniboine Park statue and gallery. These three communities have each created a narrative in which their own connection matters more than the others’ do. In different ways and at different times, London, Winnipeg, and White River have extracted from this claim to fame a sense of local pride, a magnet for tourism, and an attempt to gain national and international notoriety. Ownership of an icon as popular and prolific as Winnie-the-Pooh has been used to create and maintain local culture, that allows the citizens of the three communities to be intangibly united around a shared sense of identity.


1. “Winnie”, Historica Canada Heritage Minutes, 2 March 2016. Unlike other Heritage Minutes on the website, this video does not report a year of release. While it was posted to YouTube in 2016, in a 2015 interview with CBC Radio, author Lindsay Mattick mentions the existence of this Heritage Minute during her years of research for a book published that same year. (“The true tale of Winnie the Pooh, an unlikely First World War legacy”, The Current, CBC Radio, 11 November 2015). It is therefore reasonable to assume the Heritage Minute was being circulated on television stations several years before it was posted to Historica Canada’s website, although an exact date is not possible to discern.

2. Val Shushkewich, The Real Winnie: A One-of-a-Kind Bear (Toronto: Natural Heritage, 2003), p. 1.

3. M. A. Appleby. Winnie the Bear (Winnipeg: Dominion Street Publishing, 2011), p. 14.

4. Appleby, 17. The number of first-wave Winnipeg volunteers is estimated somewhere between 12 and 14 thousand.

5. Kevin Rollason, “Honey of an occasion: Ontario exhibit marks Winnie the bear’s adoption by Winnipeg soldier 100 years ago”, Winnipeg Free Press (hereafter WFP), p. 23 August 2014.

6. Appleby, p. 23.

7. “The true tale of Winnie the Pooh, an unlikely First World War legacy”, The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti, CBC Radio, 11 November 2015.

8. Appleby, p. 27.

9. Appleby, p. 39.

10. Appleby, p. 53.

11. The Municipal Cemeteries Branch,, accessed 6 June 2017.

12. Fred Colebourn interviewed, “Winnie-the Pooh’s Canadian connection”, Midday, CBC News, 3 June 1987.

13. Heidi Graham, “Winnie-the-Pooh”, The Encyclopedia of Manitoba (Winnipeg: Great Plains Publications, 2007), p. 743.

14. “Winnie, Noted Canadian Black Bear Who Amused Londoners at Zoo, Passes”, WFP, 13 July 1934.

15. “Veterinarian dies, aged 62”, WFP, 26 September 1947.

16. Appleby, p. 71.

17. Ric hard Simms, “The History of the Evening News”,, accessed 27 April 2018.

18. “A Short History of Winnie-the-Pooh”, Penguin Random House,, accessed 6 June 2017.

19. Appleby, p. 78.

20. “Winnie-the Pooh’s Canadian connection”, Midday, CBC News, 3 June 1987.

21. “Winnie the Pooh, White River Ontario”,, accessed 29 March 2017.

22. Appleby, p. 78.

23. Appleby, p. 88.

24. Valerie J. Nelson, “Shirley Slesinger Lasswell, 84; fought Disney over Winnie the Pooh royalties’, Los Angeles Times, 20 July 2007.

25. “Pooh celebrates his 80th birthday”, BBC News, 24 December 2005.

26. “Pooh joins Hollywood Walk of Fame”, BBC News, 12 April 2006.

27. “Winnie the Pooh saga turns 100 years old”, CBC News, 24 August 2014.

28. Steven Jiang, “Chinese internet censors crack down on ... Winnie the Pooh”, CNN, 18 July 2017.

29. The Associated Press, “Silly old bear: exhibition explores world of Winnie-the-Pooh”, WFP, 2 June 2018.

30. Sean Coughlan, “The skull of the ‘real’ Winnie goes on display’, BBC News, 20 November 2015.

31. “Winnie the Pooh, White River Ontario”,, accessed 29 March 2017.

32. “A. A. Milne—Winnie-The-Pooh. Episode 1”, BBC Radio 4 Extra, 28 May 1984; “A. A. Milne—Winnie-The-Pooh. Episode 2”, BBC Radio 4 Extra, 29 May 1984; “A. A. Milne—Winnie-The-Pooh. Episode 3”, BBC Radio 4 Extra, 30 May 1984; “A. A. Milne—Winnie-The-Pooh. Episode 4”, BBC Radio 4 Extra, 1 June 1984; “A. A. Milne—Winnie-The-Pooh. Episode 5”, BBC Radio 4 Extra, 2 June 1984.

33. “Christopher Robin’s East Sussex childhood home up for sale.” BBC News, 15 May 2012.

34. “Mapped walks”, Ashdown Forest Centre, Accessed 2 April 2017.

35. “Winnie the Pooh drawing fetches £314,500 at auction”, Newsround, BBC News, 10 December 2014.

36. “Winnie-the-Pooh’s adventure to Buckingham Palace”, Newsround, BBC News, 26 May 2016; “Winnie-the-Pooh and the Royal Birthday”, CBC News, 22 December 2016.

37. Rollason, “Honey of an occasion.”

38. Fred Colebourn interviewed, “Winnie-the Pooh’s Canadian connection”, Midday, CBC News, 3 June 1987.

39. Heidi Graham, “Pooh Bear’s Name is Winnie”, WFP, 2 May 1987.

40. Appleby, p. 102.

41. “The bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh”, The Zoological Society of London, published 18 January 2014, accessed 31 March 2017.

42. Kim Honey, “Feeling all flustered over a bear”, The Globe and Mail, 11 November 2000.

43. Doug Speirs, “Winnie-the-Pooh gallery a long time coming”, WFP, 3 April 2012.

44. “Winnipeg outbids art lovers for Pooh painting”, CBC News, 16 November 2000.

45. Quoted in Honey, “Feeling all flustered over a bear.”

46. “The man behind ‘the Pooh’”, WFP, 7 November 2016.

47. Irene Gammel and Kate Addleman-Frankel, wall text, Pavilion Gallery Museum, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

48. “The real Winnie comes to Assiniboine Park gallery”, WFP, 14 November 2016.

49. Shushkewich, p. 7.

50. “Winnie the Pooh, White River Ontario”,, accessed 29 March 2017.

51. Heather Bot, “From White River to Christopher Robin”, Northern Ontario, 24 November 2016.

52. “Disney Growls at Winnie the Real Pooh’s Birthplace”, The Los Angeles Times, 11 May 1989.

We thank Clara Bachmann for assistance in preparing the online version of this article.

We thank S. Goldsborough for assistance in preparing the online version of this article.

Page revised: 8 September 2018