StampNews.com is excited to let our readers know that Royal Mail issued the fourth set of six stamps in its series marking the centenary of each year of the First World War.
The imagery on the stamps features historic memorials and artefacts that have become synonymous with the conflict, portraits of some of the participants, art showing some now famous and moving scenes, poems composed during the war and newly-commissioned artworks of poppies – the symbol of Remembrance.
The stamps illustrate: how artists, including writers and painters, interpreted the events, the role of non-combatants and civilians, the role of the Services, the role of women, the contribution of the Commonwealth.
These themes combine to form a beautiful and poignant collection which serves as a fitting way to mark this tragic conflict.
Shattered Poppy is by photographer John Ross. Using a microscope in his work, Ross manages to reveal aspects of subjects not normally visible.
An extract from the poem, ‘Dead Man’s Dump’, by British painter and poet, Isaac Rosenberg also features. The poem graphically depicts the horrors of the war. Rosenberg himself died on 1 April 1918, during the German spring offensive.
Also included in the set is an image of nurses Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm who travelled to Belgium to join a small ambulance corps where they worked transporting casualties to base hospital. They established a front-line first-aid post at Pervyse in Belgium where they would eventually treat 23,000 casualties. In 1917 they were awarded the Military Medal.
Also featured is an image of a war ship with its hull painted in a geometric, abstract style. The design was created by British painter Edward Wadsworth, who was engaged to create ‘dazzle camouflage’ patterns for British ships, which were intended to confuse attacking German U-boats.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the battle of Passchendaele, which commenced on 31 July 1917, a stamp features an image of the Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium, where fallen soldiers from the battle were buried. Designed by Sir Herbert Baker, a total of 11,961 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War are buried or commemorated there.
Private Lemuel Thomas Rees’ life-saving Bible was specially photographed for the stamp issue. During the Battle of Passchendaele, an exploding German shell landed close by, and although Rees was hit, he was saved by the small Bible that he kept in his breast pocket. Rees was conscripted into the 6th Battalion in 1917.
Philip Parker, Royal Mail, commented: “The First World War claimed millions of lives, changed the course of history and transformed the futures of the generations that followed. We are proud to present the fourth part of our commemorative programme marking the contribution and sacrifice of those who took part.”