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LEGION SNUB INVITE TO SS MAN'S FUNERAL; PoW pub boss's widow hits out at old soldiers.

Byline: By Alan Dow

THE British Legion are snubbing an old soldier's funeral - because he was German.

Yet Werner Busse, 82, who ran pubs in Scotland after the war, had good links with the British military for 60 years.

He even arranged for a collection in aid of the Legion at his funeral.

But Inverness Royal British Legion chairman Brian Matheson said: "Werner Busse is a former enemy combatant and couldn't be a member of the Legion.

"We won't be sending anyone along to this man's funeral despite him having the collection in our benefit."

Yesterday, his distraught widow Molly, 78, hit out at the Legion's stuffy officials.

She said: "Werner was Army daft and he would have been thrilled to bits at the thought of ex-servicemen - just like himself - from the Legion attending his funeral.

"After all, the Germans and Brits are allies these days - not enemies."

Werner was a young tank commander in the Waffen SS when he was wounded and captured by the British in Normandy in 1944.

He came to Scotland as a PoW and worked on a farm near Keith, Banffshire.

He stayed on after marrying the farmer's daughter, Molly.

The couple ran pubs all over Scotland eventually settling in Inverness at the Moray Bar.

Werner struck up such a bond with the local military that squaddies flocked to his pub where he proudly displayed their various regimental crests on the walls.

The King's Own Scottish Borderers, on a tour of duty at nearby Fort George, even made him an honorary member of their sergeants' mess.

But now members of the Legion have sparked fury with their decision - despite being willing to accept the donation of several hundred pounds from Werner.

His father-in-law was George Stables, a hero with the Gordon Highlanders in World War I.

George was a founder of Keith Royal Legion club - and fully approved of his daughter's choice of husband depite him being a German prisoner of war.

And each Poppy Day since his father-in-law's death 27 years ago, Werner sent a wreath in his memory to the Keith Legion.

Werner, who was also held in America as a PoW before being brought to Scotland, loved visiting the US.

He died from a heart attack while on holiday in California and his body was flown home to Inverness for his cremation this afternoon.

His ashes are to be scattered at the scene of the fighting where he was captured on Hill 112 near the city of Caen in Normandy.

'He was a former enemy combatant.. we won't be going to his funeral'

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COMMANDER: Werner in his SS uniform; HOLIDAY: Werner Busse loved visiting the US
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 14, 2008
Words:446
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