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First World War overkill

Royal Mail's WW I five year commemoration

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Royal Mail marks World War I with five-year series

Royal Mail marks World War I with five-year series

Six stamps per year in wide-ranging sets

John Howe25/03/2014 15:31:29
68 forum posts
60 photos

Now don't get me wrong I have a great admiration and respect for the servicemen who fought, were wounded or killed (on both sides) of the First World War. The hell that they endured for me is unimaginable. My grandfather related his exploits at Ypres and other battle fields. Thankfully he came through the war unwounded, was mentioned in dispatches more than once, was promoted in the field and entered no-man's land to save his commanding officer while under fire. Had medals for bravery.

But I question the need for the issue of 30 stamps over five years (plus the associated merchandise). Is this really a commemorative issue or a cynical attempt to make money?

I have my opinion; what is yours.

John McCallum25/03/2014 16:54:07
409 forum posts
583 photos

If they would just take a leaf out of the Australian PO book where they illustrated the verses of some Australian folk songs and do the same with some of the descriptive poems of the WW1 poets then I think it might send out the right messages. I particularly like the Wilfred Owen poem Dulce et Decorum Est and I think that some of the images presented by the poem would express the horror of WW1.

Julia Lee25/03/2014 16:56:39
2047 forum posts
1002 photos
230 articles

Given that Dulce et... has been on the English GCSE syllabus since I was a kid (*cough* 20 years ago), I'd be very surprised if it didn't make the cut.

Each of the five years will have an extract from a poem as one of the stamps. (The 'categories' stay the same). I suspect they're all specially commissioned stone-cut, too, and from the relevant year.

james harms26/03/2014 06:59:56
1 forum posts

I think this is a good initiative. Anything we can do to keep the memory alive.....let's just hope the lessons are forgotten and we don't have a Crimean War 2014 issue in 100years time!

Martin07/04/2014 11:16:14
46 forum posts

Not really a fan of this series, I was expected war images from some battles, but I guess that would be a little bit graphic for some eyes, or famous warships, aircraft, tanks, used during those years. I was also expecting Miniature sheets to go with this set, but I guess that is not happening since RM are just using 6 stamps for the set. In the end it works cheaper this way.

I really find this year's selection of stamp issues rather poor, apart from the Children's Classics, Buckingham Palace looks ok, seems I'm drifting off here.

Nick Peacock10/04/2014 17:36:12
9 forum posts

New Zealand have a similar 5 year stamp programme, I thought the Anzac contribution would be well commemorated. I think it will certainly be an EXPENSIVE exercise, particularly for the youngsters. Which other countries do you think will issue stamps for the 100th?

Carmen11/04/2014 11:43:22
650 forum posts
61 photos

Canada...? Battle of Vimy Ridge (especially since most people think it was a battle of WWII...sigh.) The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry have just received a commemorative cover for their 100th as well so that's related...

Julia Lee14/04/2014 09:26:35
2047 forum posts
1002 photos
230 articles

I compiled a list of countries we're aware of that are issuing stamps. I doubt it's complete, and focuses on main protagonists, other countries commonly collected here, etc.

If you DO become aware of more, please do let me know.

  • Austria Sarajevo 1914-2014 June 26
  • Australia April 22
  • Belgium October 6 2014
  • France

-100th anniversary of the assassination of Jean Jaurès summer 1914, socialist leader advocating peace. 2 stamps, one blue, one red, issued 23 June during Paris Stamp Show.

-the "bleuet de France" : the equivalent of British poppy, surely issued around November 11 or at Paris Autumn Show the week before?

-100th anniversary of WW1 = I don't know the date of issue (with thanks to Seb Marrot)

  • GB July 28
  • Gibraltar Yes, centenary 19-2-14
  • Guernsey 11-11-14 (and Alderney?!)
  • Isle of Man 19-2-14 Life in the Trenches/Trench Art MS
  • Jersey World War I Centenary Part 1 11-8-14
  • Russia July 28
  • Serbia June 24

Canada aren't because I looked...

Nick Peacock14/04/2014 10:06:32
9 forum posts

The New Zealand issue is August 6, 2014. Had no idea about Serbia or Russia!

Julia Lee14/04/2014 10:09:32
2047 forum posts
1002 photos
230 articles


The Ed (who is a history graduate) specified those two countries as ones worth contacting to find out.

Edited By Julia Lee on 14/04/2014 10:09:40

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