|BC605BOB||RAF Single Stamp and RAF Goggles stamp from the Great War 2018 issue, with BOB postmark||£12.95||Buy Now|
|BC605GW||RAF Single Stamp and RAF Goggles stamp from the Great War 2018 issue, with Peacehaven postmark||£12.95||Limited Availability|
|BC605DBL||100 Years RAF with 1st class Hurricane stamp & Hawkinge postmark doubled with Lightning F6 stamp||£13.95||Limited Availability|
|BC605S||100 Years of the Royal Air Force, signed by a Spifire pilot (our choice of signature)||£28.50||Buy Now|
|BC605S2||100 Years of the Royal Air Force, flown and signed by Air Vice Marshall David Murray||£28.50||Limited Availability|
|BC605S3||100 Years of the Royal Air Force, flown and signed by former Tornado pilot Baz Dale||£28.50||Limited Availability|
|BC605||100 Years of the Royal Air Force, unsigned||£25.00||Sold Out|
Issue Date: 20/03/2018
Issue Name: 100 Years of the Royal Air Force
Producer: Buckingham Covers
2018 is the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force and this stamp issue pays tribute not only to the significant part it has played in British military history but also to its ongoing role of protecting the country and its interests, providing humanitarian assistance and saving lives.
This lovely cover feature the six new RAF stamps and has a stunning painting of a spitfire in mid flight by renowned aviation artist Mark Bromley, along with a Trenchard St, London postmark, and is available signed by a Spitfire pilot (our choice of signature).
The Royal Air Force
The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was founded in May I9I2 and had 166 aircraft by May 1915. In August I9I5 HughTrenchard became the new RFC field commander, who insisted on non-stop offensive patrols over enemy lines. For much of WWI RFC pilots faced superior enemy aircraft. British casualties were high. By I9I6 an average of two aircrew were lost every day increasing to nearly fifty aircraft a week in early 1917. It was with the arrival of improved fighter planes such as the Sopwith Camel and new bombers that losses began to decline. By the end of I9I7 the British had established their superiority over the German air force. Lord Trenchard was a strong supporter of strategic bombing with the support of RNAS squadrons. In 1918 Prime Minister Lloyd George instructed General Jan Smuts to look at air defence issues and from I April the RFC and the RNAS combined to form the Royal Air Force as an independent armed service with General Trenchard appointed Chief of Staff. During WWII the RAF underwent drastic change and expansion and was instrumental in preventing Hitler’s invasion reaching Britain during 1940s Battle of Britain, an event that earned the gratitude of the entire nation. Another famous yet controversial effort of the RAF was Bomber Command. Led by Air Chief Marshal Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris they led a strategic bombing campaign against Germany in the areas of Dresden and other key cities. After WWII, the RAF’s role has been largely defensive, but they have also undertaken operations in active service in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, and continue to serve as they have for the last 100 years.
By the end of the Great War in 1918, the fledgling RAF had endured 16,000 casualties, leaving 2,600 widows and dependents and 7,500 badly incapacitated men, who often had little or no chance of employment for the rest of their lives. In 1919 Lord Trenchard set about creating the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. The first assistance provided was a shilling for a night's lodging, giving the recipient a chance to seek work, or money to provide a former airman with the tools of his trade. Originally known as the Royal Air Force Memorial Fund, an original charitable objective was to raise money for a memorial for airmen who died in the Great War. The RAF Memorial was completed in 1923. During the Second World War staff worked through the night behind blackout curtains to supply grants to families - awarding 67,500 grants between 1943 and 1945. In the aftermath of the war many RAF families found themselves struggling, and in 1951 Winston Churchill himself made a personal appeal on behalf of the Benevolent Fund on BBC Radio, helping to raise over £26,000. By 1952 HM The Queen became the charity’s Royal Patron and by 1960 national servicemen and their dependents became eligible for assistance and support. In 2012 the Bomber Command Memorial was completed, a tribute to the 55,573 men in Bomber Command who lost their lives during WWII.
As the Fund approaches its 100th year it continues to provide a wide range of support to members of the RAF, past, present and future.
Want to see our all the covers in our 6th Series? View them all here
Air Vice-Marshal David Paul Murray, CVO, OBE is a retired senior Royal Air Force officer. He served as Defence Services Secretary in the Royal Household from 2010 to 2012. He is currently the Controller of the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Baz Dale is a former Tornado pilot and now director for Scotland & NI of RAF Benevolent Fund.