Sunday, 26 May 2013

History in Black and White

Temporary Sergeant P. M. O'Connell reading a letter from home, France, 1918
Australia issued some evocative stamps of scenes from the past 200 years of their post office in 2009 and I thought this one would fit perfectly with this week's Sunday Stamp theme inspired by the US Memorial Day. Although the Australian War Memorial provides the name of our letter reader, the soldier relaxing behind him is not mentioned.  What a happy scene amongst the destruction of World War 1 and a nice memorial for the "poor bloody infantry".  Of course this war and the great loss of Australian and New Zealand lives at Gallipoli gave rise to Australia's own memorial day - ANZAC Day on 25th April.
The 2009 set also used a painting recreating this above event but I prefer the engraved 1959 stamp for the 150th anniversary of the Post Office showing Postmaster Isaac Nichols boarding the brig 'Experiment' to collect mail. Isaac's was the archetypal Australian immigrant, arriving as a convict and becoming a successful businessman and credited with running the first post office.
2011: Remembrance Day (1 of 2 stamps/maximum cards)
Lastly lets play the Last Post, the final farewell.  Although Australia has in the past issued stamps for the Gallipoli landings and ANZAC Day I think this set is the first done for Armistice Day which of course in 2011 fell in a unique set of number of all the 11s (11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month).  Perhaps they will do another one in 2111.  The stamp design is by the Melbourne artist Tim Hancock who's maternal Grandmother, Doreen Neale, transcribed the poem "In Flanders Fields" for him so the handwriting would look authentic for the period.

An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme - stamps commemorating or memorialising people or events.  


Lisa B said...

The maxi-cards are fantastic, one doesn't normally associate the trenches and the front with smiling faces, but letters from home must have raised smiles. The last one is beautiful and very poignant.

Bob Scotney said...

Three great stamps, the first maxi-card is one to treasure.

VioletSky said...

These soldiers must have really looked forward to getting mail from home. I like the stamp for Armistice Day - I don't think I have seen one before.

♥FoodTripFriday♥ said...

Look at the smile on his face upon reading his mail?So priceless!!!

Happy Memorial Day!!!

Willa @ Postage Journal
My Sunday Stamp#57: Memorial Day

viridian said...

Thank you for getting a post up. I am sorry that I was away from my computer without warning and could not post Sunday Stamps. We'll continue next week.