First World War is one of the most tragic events that involved countries from around the world. This war is always a popular them for various stamp issues produced by different Postal Services annually. This stamp release is the second set of Guernsey Post's philatelic products that commemorate the centenary of The First World War.
StampNews.com invites all collectors to pay attention to these monumental stamps.
This second issue of stamps commemorating the First World War looks at the huge contribution that the General Post Office (GPO) made, with a particular focus on the Bailiwick.
Bridget Yabsley, acting head of philatelic at Guernsey Post, said: ‒ "Of the 250,000 employees of the General Post Office (GPO) in July 1914, 75,000 workers bravely put themselves forward and made an enormous contribution during the Great War in the years that followed. Records show that 43 of these men came from the Guernsey Post Office".
The 42 pence stamp depicts Philip Carré, a postman in Sark when war broke out and who subsequently joined the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry (RGLI). He returned to Sark and his role as the island's postman when the Regiment was demobilised in February 1919 and was awarded the Coronation long-service medal in 1953.
The post was dispatched daily across the English Channel on mail boats to be distributed by The Royal Engineers (Postal Section) or REPS from Field Post Offices. One of the mail boats that went between Guernsey and England during this time was the SS 'Vera' (56p), who provided a vital link for islanders.
Letters and greetings also returned to the islands, as depicted on the 57 pence stamp by a card sent home to Guernsey by Lieutenant Peter Le Page of the Royal Army Medical Corps.
As well as joining other regiments, 12,000 post office workers enlisted in The Post Office Rifles, the 8th Battalion City of London Regiment, including Privates JG Fowler, AW Smith, LW Burridge, HF Taylor and RF De Garis, all young postmen from the Bailiwick (62 pence stamp). Lawrence Burridge was killed in May 1916, aged 23. Albert Smith died from gunshot wounds in December 1917, aged 25. The fate of the other three Guernseymen is not recorded.
The troops did not have time to write lengthy letters and pre-printed Field Service Post Cards replaced lengthy letters during the War. Soldiers referred to them as 'whizz bangs' ‒ their nickname for the small German artillery shells - because they got through the censors so quickly.
The whizz bang depicted in the 68 pence stamp was sent to the sweetheart of Guernseyman Private Yves Cataroche, who also featured in Guernsey Post's first issue on the 41p stamp.
Captured on the 77p stamp are postman Robert, who joined the RGLI, and postmistress Ethel Bynam, who married after the War in 1922. The position of the Edward VII penny stamp signifies 'longing to see you again'. Their grandson, Dave Bynam, followed in their footsteps and continues to work at the Guernsey Post office.
Mrs Yabsley said: ‒ "Our stamp issue is testament to the untiring work of the Post Office workers, who made an enormous, positive difference to those at the Western Front and also the Home Front.
"It also reveals stories of unwavering bravery and support shown by the people of the Bailiwick who served during the Great War".
The six stamps and prestige booklet will be released on Remembrance Day, which in many countries is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918.