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New stamps honour Royal British Legion centenary
The Isle of Man Post Office has issued a unique set of stamps to celebrate 100 years of the Royal British Legion, the UK’s largest charity dedicated to supporting the needs of the Armed Forces, past and present, and their families …
Formed in the aftermath of the First World War to fight the rights of those who had given so much and come back to so little, the RBL’s work has left a deep-rooted legacy for generations to come and it remains dedicated to its mission of creating better futures for all those who serve with the British Armed Forces.
Well known for its annual Poppy Appeal, the RBL champions Remembrance and campaigns on behalf of current and former members of the British Armed Forces and their families. Today, the RBL has around 2,500 branches across the UK and around the world, with more than 235,000 members worldwide.
On the Isle of Man, the RBL serves a vital role at the heart of the community, with 10 branches and clubs across the Island. Says Ray Ferguson, chairman Royal British Legion IOM: ‘Isle of Man County Royal British Legion is delighted to have joined with Isle of Man Post Office in the creation of a series of stamps celebrating our centenary. Each stamp represents a key value that has sustained our organisation throughout the past 100 years. Our purpose and commitment has remained unchanged since our formation on 15 May 1921, when our beneficiaries needed care after the First World War. Today the needs of the Armed Forces community are changing, but we still ensure that the support and services they require are available. Our RBL motto of “Service not Self” remains the core driver for our members here on the Isle of Man and across the world wherever RBL branches exist. We extend our thanks to IOMPO for sharing in our centenary with the issue of these wonderful stamps, which perfectly illustrate the ethos of the Royal British Legion.’
Above: Launching the stamps at the Tynwald War Memorial. Left to right: Phil Glover, Carl Underwood, Dawn Quinney, Steve Rodan OBE, James Fenton, Dougie Porter, Ray Ferguson, Gary Hardman
Sgt Ben Poku has been a volunteer case worker at the RBL for more than 13 years, providing essential support for ex-Service men and women, and their families. Originally from Ghana, Ben has served in the Army for almost 21 years, first as a Gunner in the Royal Horse Artillery before training to be a nurse with Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps. He is now based at Catterick Garrison and has been working within the local NHS during Covid-19. He comments: ‘It’s a real privilege to feature on these special-edition stamps to mark the RBL’s centenary, as we celebrate the charity’s proud heritage and the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces. I love my volunteering role, it’s very rewarding to see first-hand the impact the work of the charity has on the people it helps. The money raised from the sale of these stamps will help us continue to provide life-long support to the Armed Forces community, in what has been a very poignant year for us.’
Maxine Cannon, general manager Isle of Man Stamps & Coins, adds: ‘We are thankful to the Royal British Legion and the RBL Isle of Man branch for their assistance in producing this landmark issue. This collection is dedicated to all Service men and women, and all those involved with the Royal British Legion. Their work and support is truly appreciated.’
The stamps have been designed by Glazier Design in London and were issued on 26 June. They will beavailable as set, sheet set, presentation pack (limited to 2,000), first day cover (limited to 3,000), an imperforate printer’s pane and a first day cover signed by local veteran James Fenton (limited to 100).
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THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
The Royal British Legion (RBL) is the UKs largest charity dedicated to supporting the needs of the Armed Forces community, past and present, and their families. The RBL is the champion of Remembrance and safeguards the Armed Forces Covenant. It is well known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem the red poppy.
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LOCAL VETERAN JAMES FENTON
James Fenton (featured on the ROW stamp) served as a Gunner and then as a Bombardier with the RoyalArtillery in Burma. He is also author of the book The Forgotten Army, based on extracts from the hundreds ofletters he sent home to his parents in Lancashire while serving with the 178 Field Regiment Royal Artilleryin India, Burma and Malaysia.
FLT LT SAMUEL RANDLE
Sam Randle (featured on the EU stamp) is a previous IOMPO employee, has graduated from RAF CollegeCranwell and is currently based at RAF Benson as a trainee helicopter pilot.
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