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 second stamp, released on 15 May, depicts part of a poppy wreath, the recognised symbol of Remembrance, and a Hawker Hurricane fighter plane.
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 Forces.
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.