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Community / Last surviving member of Shetland Bus operation commemorated in parliament motion

The Shetland Bus memorial in Scalloway. Photo: Shetland News
The Shetland Bus memorial in Scalloway. Photo: Shetland News

NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has lodged a parliamentary motion recognising the recent passing of the last surviving crew member of the Shetland Bus operation.

Jakob Strandheim died in Norway aged 101.

Earlier this year the war veteran was honoured with a memorial plaque at his home in Øygarden outside Bergen.

The Shetland Bus was a series of boat trips run between occupied Norway and Shetland during the Second World War, and a memorial to the operation proudly stands in Scalloway.

Carmichael said: “It is right that we recognise the passing of this part of our history from living memory.

“We are proud in the isles of our historic links to Norway, and of the vital role these islands played in the course of the World Wars.

“Jakob’s role – and that of the other crew members and local communities – is something that we must continue to commemorate and learn from even as the events themselves become more distant.”

The motion reads: “That this House recognises the passing of Jakob Strandheim, the last surviving crew member of the Shetland Bus operations during the Second World War; notes that the Shetland Bus operations comprised almost 200 missions, transporting hundreds of refugees out of occupied Norway to Shetland and moving agents, supplies and equipment into Norway to support resistance actions; further acknowledges that such resistance operations may have kept as many as 350,000 Axis troops diverted during the War, providing invaluable benefit to the Allied cause; and further recognises that with Jakob’s passing, there is a still-greater need to commemorate and learn from the events of the War as it passes from living memory.”