A poem written by Wilfred Owen while he was in hospital in Scotland is featured in a set of six special stamps to be issued by the Royal Mail to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
The poem – Anthem for Doomed Youth – which British Army officer and poet, Owen wrote while in hospital in Craiglockhart, Edinburgh, in 1917, mourns the waste of young lives cut short by wailing shells and the rattle of rifle fire. Owen was killed in action just one week before the Armistice.
Also featured is Second Lieutenant Walter Tull, the first mixed-race army officer to command troops in a regular unit. Before joining the army, Tull played professional football for Tottenham Hotspur and Northampton Town – making him one of the first black professional footballers.
The set is the final in a five-strong series exploring each year of the war though stamps featuring historic memorials and artefacts that have become synonymous with the conflict, portraits of some of the participants, art showing some now famous and moving scenes, poems composed during the war and newly-commissioned artworks of poppies – the symbol of Remembrance.
Mr Tull’s great niece, Pat Justard, now lives in Strathpeffer, Ross-shire.
She said: “We are honoured that this Royal Mail stamp is commemorating our great uncle Walter Tull, who died tragically 100 years ago during the First World War. While it is a time, for us as a family, to remember respectfully the death of our great uncle in such a terrible war, like so many others, we are also proud of his accomplishments.”
She added: “While this year of centenary may provide a particular spotlight on Walter’s story and life, we hope that Walter’s example will continue to encourage and promote projects that support inclusion and equality.”
A 1918 painting by Paul Nash– We Are Making A New World – is also included in the set as is the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, at Westminster Abbey, as well as a picture of 100 poppies – to mark the centenary of the end of the war. An image of RAF pilot Lieutenant Francis Hopgood’s goggles, fitted with custom prescription lenses in Triplex safety glass, which survived his crash-landing without breaking, is the final stamp in the set.
Philip Parker, spokesman for the Royal Mail, said: The First World War series has been one of our most ambitious stamp projects. Every year stamps have been issued to mark centenaries of the War, and the resulting 30-stamp tapestry is a moving tribute to those who served and participated.”