World War I, also known as the Great War, was centered in Europe and began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. The conflict involved some 70 million military personnel, with 9 million casualties and saw the map of Europe redrawn.
The war drew in all the world's great economic powers which assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (UK, France and the Russian Empire) and the Central Powers of Germany and Austria – Hungary. These alliances were eventually joined by Italy, Japan and the United States of America (Allies) and the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria (Central Powers).
Germany and Russia were similarly affected. A formal state of war between the two sides persisted for another seven months, until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany on 28 June 1919, although most commemorations of the war's end concentrate on the armistice of 11 November 1918.
The League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such an appalling conflict. This aim failed, with weakened states, renewed European nationalism and the German feeling of humiliation contributing to the rise of fascism and the conditions for World War II.
The Pitcairn Islands Philatelic Bureau has released this stamp issue to commemorate this world-changing conflict and acknowledges the sacrifice made by many.