New Royal Mail stamps see wartime evacuees reunited

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'Homeland Heroes' of Second World War celebrated on stamps 70 years on

Stamp collectors will be able to get a snapshot of history on Royal Mail's forthcoming special stamp launch. The stamp issue features 12 new stamps and is issued by the Royal Mail today. On one of the stamps is an iconic and powerful wartime photograph of three young children, perfectly epitomising an evacuee scene.

The image is part of the 'Britain Alone' stamp issue which pays tribute to the war generation. Stamp collectors will be able to get close to those who 70 years ago resolved to 'dare and endure' on the Home Front, when Britain and the Commonwealth stood alone against the Axis Powers.

The evacuee stamp shows a touching image of Barbara Southard (nee Dawson) flanked by her brother John and sister Rosemary, taken in 1941 at Kings Cross station. The three awaited evacuation to Northampton - complete with labels attached to their lapels. Barbara, the oldest of the three, is captured putting a protective arm around her siblings as they waited to embark on their journey.

Now almost 70 years on, and following extensive research, Royal Mail has brought the three siblings - now in their 70s - back to the same station to recreate the picture that will appear on millions of 60p stamps.

The stamp issue marks the tireless work of the British people who 'did their bit' for the war effort as the country faced its darkest days. Groups like the Home Guard, the 80,000 strong Women's Land Army, Air Raid Wardens and the Fire Service were integral to ensuring the country's survival as it faced its enemy alone. The stamp issue also recognises the contribution of the Royal Princesses and the man who symbolised Britain's bravery and defiance, Sir Winston Churchill, who features on one of the 1st Class stamps in the issue.

If Churchill was seen as man of the moment, the mass-evacuation of 338,000 British and French service personnel at Dunkirk was certainly the event which summed up the people's determination to succeed despite significant odds. To commemorate this incredible event Royal Mail is also issuing a special Dunkirk Miniature Sheet of four stamps which mark the 70th anniversary of the Miracle of Dunkirk.

Julietta Edgar, Head of Special Stamps at Royal Mail said: "After the fall of France in 1940, Britain suffered a period of huge uncertainty and grave danger brought into sharp focus by the destruction of the Blitz, and the possibility of defeat in the Battle of the Atlantic. Across the country, daily life was changed forever as new civil defence organisations were formed and nearly three million people were relocated from big cities to the relative safety of the countryside.

"I hope that this collection of stamps will serve as poignant reminder of how much the country was affected by the Second World War and remind later generations of the huge contribution the public at large made to the war effort."

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