StampNews.com is pleased to present six stamps by Isle of Man Post Office that celebrate the history of the Gunners through their uniforms and battle landscapes.
On this occasion Isle of Man Stamps and Coins commissioned Glazier Design of London to work with the Royal Artillery Association and their historian Frank Baldwin to capture the spirit of the regiment through six key military events.
The first stamp is based on a figure in a print of the funeral of the Duke of Marlborough, responsible for founding the Royal Regiment. The coat of blue with red facings dates from 1716.
The second stamp shows an officer of the Royal Horse Artillery C. 1800. Horse Artillerymen rode rather than marched behind the guns. This branch founded in 1793 attracted a reputation for dash and panache during the Napoleonic wars.
The third stamp depicts a Gunner 4th (Hazara) Mountain Artillery Battery, in 1890. This unit was raised from Punjabi Sikhs and equipped with "screw guns" that could be dismantled and carried on mules. In Kipling's words "They sends us along where the roads are, but mostly we goes where they ain't: We'd climb up the side of a sign-board an' trust to the stick o' the paint." These were the Indian Artillery retained after the Indian Mutiny and saw much service on the North West Frontier. He is dressed in practical khaki and wears Indian slippers.
The fourth stamp is based on a photograph of Major J R Drinkwater Royal Field Artillery, a Manxman who served in the Royal Field Artillery in the First World War. He wears a khaki service dress uniform with his rank displayed on the cuff. The background shows an 18 pounder gun, the standard field gun of the war. 50,000 Gunners died in the First World War.
The fifth stamp shows an officer of the 15th (Isle of Man) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery with background showing a 40mm Bofors gun and a North African harbour. This unit was a territorial unit from the Isle of Man and served in Greece, North Africa, Italy and North West Europe as part of the 7th Armoured Division, the Desert Rats. The uniform is based on a photograph of Manxman Lieutenant Cowley taken in North Africa.
The sixth stamp depicts an officer of the Royal Artillery in Afghanistan in 2008, with a Warrior fighting vehicle in the background. Women have been eligible to serve in the Royal Artillery since 1992. The uniform is based on a photograph of Major Kate Philp who served in Iraq and in Afghanistan, where she lost her lower leg in 2008. We have picked her image as a reminder of the cost of war and its consequences for veterans.