Guernsey Post commemorates Centenary of The Great War
Guernsey Post announces the release today of its fourth stamp issue commemorating the centenary of WW1, which explores Guernsey’s links to The Great War in the Air along with a limited edition souvenir folder, as part of its Stories from the Great War series.
Guernsey airmen depicted on the stamps include Wilfred Picton-Warlow (44p) who served in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and who was lost at sea while flying home on leave; Charles Collet (59p), one of the best Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) airmen of his day, who was also killed in a flying accident; and Frederick Fieldhouse Smith, RFC (90p), whose plane was shot down by the Red Baron’s protégé, German Ace Karl Allmenröder.
Guernseyman and Old Elizabethan Adrian Le Patourel-Jones (73p) was also a member of the RFC though not an airman. He worked as a Station Adjutant in an Administration section, where he was responsible for discipline, record keeping and reporting to RFC headquarters.
As the air services expanded, support teams became increasingly important and their work on the ground was essential to the war effort. Guernseymen played a part here too, as shown by the Crespin family (60p) - a father and two sons who served in the RNAS as mechanics. All three were transferred to the RAF when it was formed in April 1918, merging the RFC and the RNAS.
Airships and seaplanes first visited Guernsey in 1916 and the following year, a French seaplane base (80p) was established on the island. The station had two directives: to locate and destroy German U-boats and minefields and to help ensure the safe passage of allied ships. It was awarded the Croix de Guerre at the end of the War.
Guernsey Post has also produced 1918 limited edition souvenir folders, which include the names of the 1,500 Guernsey men and women who lost their lives during the War, along with a miniature replica of the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Colours and an overview of each of the five stamp issues in its Stories from the Great War series.
Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post said: - “Along with the penultimate issue in our Stories from the Great War series, our limited edition folder has been created to house the entire collection of Great War stamps.
“Our extensive research has included interviews with relatives of some of the individuals depicted our stamps and reviewing archive copies of the Guernsey Press, as well as benefiting from the outstanding work of the Channel Islands Great War Study Group.
“This project has seen us uncover a wealth of information about the many men and women of the Bailiwick who stepped forward to serve their country, many of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice. It’s very humbling, and a real honour, to tell their stories.”
Guernsey Post’s fifth and final stamps in the Great War series – Guernsey’s Memorials – will be released in November 2018.