The stories behind the stamps

IWM Collections WWC M15

IWM Collections WWC M15

The Royal Mail has released the third set in a five part landmark series, with six stamps designed to mark the events of 1916. In this blog post, we explore the Lives of the First World War stories behind some of these images.

 

Munitions worker Lottie Meade’s portrait, pictured above, is featured on one of the stamps. This portrait is from IWM Collections, of Lottie in her work uniform. She died of TNT poisoning, on 11 October 1916. She was mourned by her husband, Frederick, and their four young children.

 

Your battle wounds are scars upon my heart

Vera Brittain’s emotive poem ‘To my brother’ lends a quote to one of the commemorative stamps: ‘your battle wounds are scars upon my heart.’ Vera’s brother Edward was hit by a bullet through his thigh on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Soon after, a shell burst close to him and a splinter from it went through his left arm. He survived the engagement, but died whilst serving in Italy on 15 June 1918.

 

Travoys Arriving with Wounded at a Dressing-Station at Smol, Macedonia, September 1916. Art.IWM ART 2268

Travoys Arriving with Wounded at a Dressing-Station at Smol, Macedonia, September 1916. Art.IWM ART 2268

One of Stanley Spencer’s artworks is depicted on a stamp. The piece features wounded soldiers and medical orderlies based in Macedonia, in September 1916. Stanley was a commissioned artist in both world wars, and Imperial War Museum holds this painting and many other examples of his work.

 

The final stamp is of Arthur Green’s Battle of Jutland commemorative medal. The inscription reads ‘31 May 1916 To the glorious memory of those who fell that day’. Arthur was the Director of the Royal Naval School of Music. He died in 1974.

 

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