2015: Stories of the Great War Part II (Stamp Design: Charlotte Barnes)
What a mammoth task it was getting post to and from the front line in World War 1 and Guernsey Post celebrated those pieces of postal history that survive in 2015. The items shown on the stamps were brought to Guernsey Post by family members in response to a request put out to the public in 2013 to share the islanders stories of the Great War. Lets look at the stamp
The first (42p) shows Philip Carré, the island of Sark's postman who left home to volunteer in the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry. Many of his descendants still live on Sark including his great grandson, Simon, who is continuing the family tradition and is one of the island's postmen. Next (56p) is one of the mail boats that carried the mail across the English Channel, the steamship 'Vera' built on the Clyde in 1898. The 57p shows an embroidered sampler sending the Christmas greeting of Lt Peter Le Page of the Royal Army Medical Corps. A lot of these embroidered cards sent from soldiers to their sweethearts survive and I have two sent to my Grandmother by her first husband who sadly did not return from the war.
12,000 of the countries post office workers enlisted in the Post Office Rifles and the 62p stamp shows five Guernsey ex post officer workers, members of the 8th Battalion City of London Regiment, Private J G Fowler, AW Smith, LW Burridge, HF Taylor and RF DE Garis. Lawrence Burridge was killed in May 1916 aged 23 and Albert Smith died from gunshot wounds in December 1917 aged 25, the fate of the other three is not known. The 68p stamp shows a pre-printed Field Service Postcard sent from Private Yves Cataroche. The soldiers referred to these as Wizz Bangs (their nickname for the small German artillery shells) because they got through the censors so quickly. Lastly the 77p stamp shows Robert and Ethel Bynam. He was a postman who started as a telegram boy at 14 and like Philip Carré in the first stamp joined the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry' and like him continued as a postman after the war until retirement. Ethel was a postmistress who would have understood the significance of how and where stamps are placed on cards, this one says 'longing to see you again'. Robert and Ethel married in 1922. Their grandson, Dave, is Head of Network Planning at Guernsey Post.