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Desmond7
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POPPIES RISE AGAIN ON REMEMBRANCE DAY STAMPS

Royal Mail will mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme with a special commemorative miniature sheet, issued to coincide with this year’s Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Somme.

From 1st July to 21st November 1916, the Somme was the most brutal land battle in UK military history. By the time it was over, the combined casualties numbered over one million men. The battle became a byword for the futility of war - and one which fuelled the need for remembrance.

The Lest We Forget miniature sheet, issued on 9th November, features five stamps: a new 1st Class stamp portraying bright red poppies emerging from stark stems of barbed wire, alongside a block of four country definitive stamps representing the soldiers from around the UK who gave their lives in the battle.

To launch the miniature sheet Barbara Roulston, Head of External Relations, Royal Mail Group presented two framed sets of the stamps to Dr Ian Adamson, Chairman and Carol Walker, Director of the Somme Association. These are to be displayed in the Somme Heritage Centre in Newtownards and in the Ulster Memorial Tower in Thiepval, France.

Dr Adamson, said “We are delighted that Royal Mail is commemorating the end of the Battle of the Somme with this beautiful miniature sheet. This was the bloodiest of land battles with an unimaginable number of fatalities and the symbol of the poppy upholds the memory of all those brave soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“The ‘Lest We Forget’ stamp issue is most appropriately titled and we will hang these frames in our museums with pride”

The miniature sheet is printed in gravure, which means it will contain the first Northern Ireland stamp printed by this process, and it is the first of three Lest We Forget miniature sheets to be issued to coincide with Remembrance Day over the next two years.

The 2007 miniature sheet will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the third Battle of Ypres, otherwise known as Passchendaele, while the final sheet concentrates on the 90th anniversary of the Armistice in 2008 when the guns finally fell silent over Europe.

Barbara Roulston, said: “The simple image of the poppy is recognised the world over as a sign of remembrance to the millions who have lost their lives, including thousands from Northern Ireland. We should never forget their sacrifice and we hope that this stamp issue is a fitting tribute as we commemorate this important anniversary.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

Stamp Technical Details:

Value

Description

1st - First class inland letter rate Poppies

72p – Rest of World airmail up to 20gm English definitive, Tudor Rose

72p – Rest of World airmail up to 20gm Scottish definitive, Tartan

72p – Rest of World airmail up to 20gm Welsh definitive, Prince of Wales Feathers

72p – Rest of World airmail up to 20gm Northern Ireland definitive, Parian China

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