After the First World War, millions of men
returned home but were faced with terrible hardship as Britain struggled with
huge economic problems. Many servicemen had suffered horrific injuries, and
many families had lost their male family members. Initially the ex-servicemen
formed a number of independent organisations to provide support and welfare.
The creation of The British Legion can
largely be attributed to Field Marshal Earl Haig and Lance Bombardier Tom
Lister, who brought together numerous ex-servicemen's organisations as one
body. Its aim was to provide care for all those who had suffered as a result of
service during the war.
The British Legion received its Royal
appellation on 29 May 1971 – the date of its golden anniversary. Membership was
extended to serving members of Her Majesty's Forces, as well as to ex-Service
personnel, in 1981.
We are proud to commemorate the centenary of
the formation of the Royal British Legion with the release of four stamps,
which will be issued during the course of 2021. The third stamp, released on 1
September, depicts part of a poppy wreath, the recognised symbol of
Remembrance, and an image of soldiers in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
When joined together, the stamps bear a
single wreath of colourful poppies in striking contrast to the black and white
images chosen to symbolise the commitment of members of the British Armed
The fourth and final stamp - along with the
souvenir sheet bearing the four stamps and depicting a wreath of poppies - will
be issued on Remembrance Day, 11 November 2021.