Issue Date: 19/11/2006
Issue Name: Lest We Forget 2006 Miniature Sheet Cover
Producer: Buckingham Covers
Devastating first day cover, marking the 90th Anniversary of The Battle of the Somme. The moving illustration of the terrible battle is by artist, Christopher Williams (1873 - 1934). Featuring the 2006 "Lest we Forget" miniature sheet. The postmark quotes from Laurence Binyon’s most famous war poem, "For the Fallen"?: At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them.A small number of covers were signed by one of Britain’s military elite, Field Marshall Sir John Chapple GCB CBE DL.
World War I
World War I started with the asassination of a minor royal in the Balkans in 1914, triggering the powderkeg of unrest that was in Europe. It was the world's first truly global conflict. It was fought across five continents and involved thirty countries.
It was the start of the twentieth century, but transport as we know it today had not yet been invented. Cavalrymen still rode to war on horseback, brandishing sabres but alongside them were cars, primitive tanks, and by the end of the war, aeroplanes were in use.
After four years of terrible fighting, with men dying in flooded trenches, gassed with mustard gas and blown to smithereens with bombs and mortar fire, an estimated 13,000,000 soldiers were dead or missing. Europe had lost almost an entire generation of men. Countries had lost all the able bodied men, either taken away as prisoners or killed. Unknown numbers of civillians lay dead. The landscape of Europe looked like a lunar surface.
Almost overnight, empires that had taken centuries to build were gone. The United States had transformed itself into a world power. At the Paris peace negotiations the world looked to Woodrow Wilson as a peacemaker and embodiment of democracy.
The way war fought changed forever.
Want to see our all the covers in our 2nd Series? View them all here
Field Marshal Sir John Lyon Chapple, GCB, CBE was a career British Army officer in the second half of the 20th century. He served as Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, from 1988 to 1992.