|BC615||The Great War Centenary 2018, unsigned||£18.50||Buy Now|
|BC615A||The Great War Centenary 2018 with Stampex Magnifying Glass Postmark||£18.50||Limited Availability|
|BC615A2||The Great War Centenary 2018 with Stampex 'The Great War 1918' Postmark||£18.50||Limited Availability|
|BC615S||The Great War Centenary 2018, signed by Sir Hew Strachan DL FRSE FRHistS FBA||£28.50||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 13/09/2018
Issue Name: The Great War Centenary 2018
Producer: Buckingham Covers
Not only did the First World War claim millions of lives, it changed the course of history and transformed the lives of generations to come. We are proud to present the fifth part of a five year commemorative programme marking the centenary of its outbreak. Each year of the war has been explored though a stamp which covers six key themes: Poppies, Poetry, War Art, Memorials and Artefacts. These themes combine to form a beautiful and poignant collection which serves as a fitting way to commemorate this tragic conflict. This is the fifth and final issue in the series which started in 2014.
The Great War
In the spring of 1918, German forces, released from the Eastern Front, launched a major offensive on the Western Front. Despite some minor initial successes, the Germans fought for six months without being able to break the Allied lines. This meant that the war was coming to an end. Allied counter-offensives at the Marne and at Amiens (August) were successful and in the early autumn a hundred days of semi-mobile warfare forced the Germans back beyond the Hindenburg line and freed much of occupied France and Belgium. On 11th November, at 11am in the Forest of Compiègne, an armistice between the Allied forces and Germany was signed and fighting stopped. Other Central powers sued for peace but across the world, millions of young men were dead - 947,000 of them from the British Empire.
At home in Britain, victory was greeted with celebrations and a return to something like normality. So many things had changed, however, and in a General Election held in December, where the coalition government were returned with a massive majority, women over 30 were allowed the vote for the first time.
Although an armistice was agreed in November 1918, it was not until 28th June 1919 that the Treaty of Versailles was signed between the Allied powers and Germany, thus officially ending the “war to end all wars”. Further treaties with the other defeated Central powers followed through 1919 and, in the victorious countries, public celebrations marked the end of hostilities.
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Sir Hew Francis Anthony Strachan, DL, FRSE, FRHistS, FBA is a Scottish military historian, well known for his work on the administration of the British Army and the history of the First World War.