Royal Mail commemorates 150th Anniversary of the Victoria Cross medal with a set of 6 stamps, a miniature sheet and a prestige book.
The Victoria Cross is the highest decoration that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Although it was instituted by Royal Warrant in 1856 but was made retrospective to the Autumn of 1854 to cover the period of the Crimean War.
The recipients of the Victoria Cross shown on the stamps are:
1st class - Agansing Rai, a Gurkha who was awarded the VC in an action against the elite Japanese 33rd Division in Burma in 1944;
1st class - Boy Seaman First Class, Jack Cornwell ('The Boy VC') who was mortally wounded at his post at the Battle of Jutland;
64p - Midshipman Charles Lucas who won the very first VC for hurling a live shell over the side of his ship, during the Crimean War;
64p - Captain Noel Chavasse, a Royal Army Medical Corps Doctor who won two VCs and lost his life tending the wounded under fire on the Western Front in 1917;
72p - Captain Albert Ball of the Royal Flying Corps, an aviator who claimed 44 kills before his untimely death in 1917;
72p - Captain Charles Upham, a New Zealander who was awarded his first VC fighting German paratroopers in Crete and his second in the North African desert before being captured and eventually confined to Colditz.
The Miniature sheet (190 x 67mm) also includes the 20p Victoria Cross stamp from the 1990 Gallantry series.
The prestige book panes are shown below.
Click on the stamp images for a larger version, and then Back
to this page.
|Pane 1 - Agansing Rai, Charles Lucas and Albert Ball stamps in a se-tenant strip of 3; the background shows William Bishop (1917, Albert Jacka (1915), John Leak (1916), Alfred Hook (1879), William Hall (1857), and Theodore Hardy (1918)|
|Pane 2 - Jack Cornwell, Noel Chevasse and Charles Upham stamps in a se-tenant strip of 3; the background shows Guy Gibson (1943), Frederick Topham (1945), Arthur Cutler (1941), Stanley Hollis (1944), Premindra Singh Bagar (1941), and Richard Stannard (1940).|
| Pane 3 - four 50p and four First Class PIP Machin
stamps* surrounding a VC label. The background features Sergeant
Alfred Knight, the only Post Office Rifleman to have been
awarded the medal, who captured a machine gun nest single handed
and then took command of his platoon and others when all the
officers were killed or wounded, on 20 September 1917 at Ypres
on the Western Front, during the First World War.
*This pane is a publicity mock-up; for a scan of the actual pane see the FDC illustration below.
|Pane 4 - Block of 4 x 20p 1990 Gallantry stamps, the background of the pane featuring Private Johnson Beharry, at the time of writing, the most recent recipient of the VC. Despite being seriously wounded on the second occasion, Pte Beharry saved the lives of the soldiers in his Warrior armoured vehicle twice when it was ambushed on patrol in Iraq.|
The stamps, and Miniature Sheet are all printed in lithography. In the Prestige Book the VC and Gallantry stamps (panes 1-3) are litho, and the definitive pane gravure. All printing is by by Joh Enschede Stamps.
The VC stamps are 41x30mm, the miniature sheet 190x67mm, and the design is by Atelier Works, with PSB text by author Bernard Cornwell
All images except FDCs are copyright Royal Mail 2006
We have produced exclusive FDCs for this issue for the set and the
miniature sheet - shown below,
and in sets of 4 prestige book panes - see above.
Norvic FDC with set of 6 stamps with postmark L10190 or F10210 Price
Note: this this illustration has the postmark added digitally.
Norvic FDC with miniature sheet with postmark L10186 or L10195 Price - £9.25
Note: this illustration has the postmark added digitally.
Prestige book on a set of 4 Norvic FDCs honouring Lt Col Derick
Seagrim VC and his brother Maj Hugh Seagrim DSO MBE GC from Norfolk.
The stamp panes are cancelled as follows:
Pane 1 - L10181 Duxford; Pane 2 - L10198 Hyde Park, London; Pane 3 - F10210 Forces PO; Pane 4 - L10191 Victoria Cross Society
Price - £18.50 (Note the postmarks have been added digitally to scans of the actual panes.)
Also available -
Set of 6 stamps mint or VFU - price - £4.25
Miniature sheet - price - £4.50
Presentation Pack - Price - £4.95
Prestige Book - price £9.50
Set of 7 stamp cards - price - £3.00
Special first day of issue postmarks
| Ref FD633
Philatelic Bureau Official First Day postmark.
"Who would true valour see, Let him come hither..." [John Bunyan]
| Ref FD634
Official Cuffley First Day postmark. "I only did my Job" [William Leefe Robinson VC].
| Ref FD634N
Cuffley non-pictorial FD postmark
| Ref L10179
Stampex Official FD postmark London N1
| Ref L10185
Lambeth Road, London SE1
| Ref M10206
Victoria Road, Birmingham
| Ref L10180
Captain Fenton John Aylmer, Aylmer Road, London N2.
| Ref L10181
For Valour, Duxford, Cambridgeshire.
| Ref L10187
Chelsea London SW3
| Ref L10184
Hyde Park, London W2
| Ref L10186
The Bravest of the Brave, Portsmouth
| Ref F10210
1856-2006 For Valour, BFPS 2934
| Ref L10182
The Victoria Cross, Zeebrugge Raid, Dover.
| Ref L10192
The Victoria Cross Society, Crowborough, East Sussex
| Ref L10191
GBFDC Association Victoria Square, London SW1
| Ref L10190
Whitehall, London SW1
| Ref L10195
Hyde Park, London W2
| Ref L10194
Warrior Square, London E12
|Ref N10208 Wording changed to: 'First Day Cover Albert Ball VC' from 'To Commemorate Albert Ball VC', Trent College, Nottingham.|| Ref L10198
Hyde Park, London SW1
| Ref L10199
The First Awards Hyde Park, London SW1
| Ref L10197
Bletchley Park Veteran
| Ref L10200
Hyde Park London W2
| Ref N10209
Malet Lambert School, Hull, East Yorkshire
| Ref L10196
VC Mereworth, Maidstone
|Ref F10212 - The 150th Anniversary of the Victoria Cross, BFPS 2916||Ref L10188 - We Salute Victoria Cross Winners - RAFLET Stamp Club, Victoria Street, London SW1||Ref L10183 Victoria Cross Recipients of VC "For Valour" Thornton Heath, Croydon|
N10209 Malet Lambert School was attended by 2nd Lt John Harrison V.C.M.C. East Yorkshire Regiment, awarded the Victoria Cross for "conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice in an attack" Killed in action 3rd May 1917, Scholar of this school 1901 - 1909.
N10208 Trent College. Captain Albert Ball VC DSO MC (on the 72p stamp) was a student at the College from 1909-1913. He enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters in 1914 before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in 1916.
L10196 Mereworth. Charles Lucas (64p stamp) is buried here.
L10181 Duxford and L10185 Lambeth Road - Locations of the Imperial War Museum.
This page updated 11 September 2006
If you would like to be contacted when this page is updated please email us.
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