Issue Date: 28/07/2014
Issue Name: The Great War 1914 - 'Your Chums are Fighting'
Producer: Buckingham Covers
This cover commemorates the centenary of the First World War and features an image of a campaign poster of the time 'Your Chums Are Fighting - Why Aren't You?'. It is a set of six stamps, each one featuring the following: 1st Class Poppy stamp, 1st Class 'For The Fallen' stamp, 1st Class Private William Cecil Tickle stamp, £1.47 A Star Shell stamp, £1.47 'The Response' stamp and £1.47 Princess Mary's Gift Fund Box stamp.
World War I - The Beginning, 1914
The trigger for the first World War came on 28 June 1914, in Sarajevo. Gavrilo Princip, a Slav nationalist, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for the killing and because Europe was linked by a series of diplomatic alliances – Austria, Hungary, Germany, Italy (Central Powers) and Britain, France and Russia, the Triple Entente/Allied forces. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe's great powers collapsed. Within a week, Russia, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Serbia had lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and World War I had begun.
Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary famously remarked "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime". On the 4th August 1914, Britain sent its own ultimatum to Berlin: halt the invasion of Belgium or face war with Britain as well. A reply was demanded by midnight that night. The first German troops crossed the Belgian frontier at Gemmerich, 30 miles from the fortresss city of Liege that morning. When London received no answer to its unlimatum, Britian declared war on Germany.
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Field Marshall Sir John 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.