The ship is the 'Vega' built in Gothenburg (1913) and chartered from Svea Lines by the International Red Cross in World War 2 for their relief work. It provided a vital link to the islanders when Germany occupied the Channel Islands in 1940 by enabling them to keep in contact with their families. They were allowed to mail 25 word messages (which were only to concern family matters) and taken by the Red Cross from Jersey to Geneva and then distributed from there to the addressees. It also carried vital medical supplies. In 1944 when the Allies started the D Day landings and began the final push into Europe the Vega also prevented the islanders from starvation in the last year of the war with food parcels which were brought from the British Commonwealth supply stores in Lisbon. The painting, by the stamp designer Nick Shewring, shows the arrival of Vega into the harbour at St Helier at the end of 1944.
With the end of war in Europe the Vega, loaded with general cargo, set sail for her home port of Stockholm and was the first ship to arrive there from London after the war. Returned to her owners, Svea Line, she would be scrapped at Travemunde in 1954 but never forgotten by the inhabitants of Jersey for it also appeared on a set commemorating the 25th anniversary of liberation issued in 1970 which were given to all Jersey school children.
|1995: "Peace and Freedom"|
|2001: Outback Services|
Alice Springs. The graphic designer is Lynda Warner and all the stamps in the set show panoramic vistas with a symbolic graphic icon for the outback service portrayed.
An entry to Violet Sky's Sunday Stamps II theme - Health, medical or red cross - lots more here