'Memories of World War Two'1943 ~ 1945
‘Memories of World War II’ was three stamp issues by Guernsey Post that depicted milestones in World War II, whilst also featuring events which had particular significance for Guernsey, a British outpost but close to home and occupied by the German forces from 1940-45. One issue was released each year. Again, lots of research from cap badges to ship types.
I had a tight brief for this stamp, bringing in all elements together. Showing the lighthouse on the end of St Peter Port harbour wall, the Red Cross Ship S.S. Vega entering harbour, the barrage opened across the harbour mouth and landmarks behind – all in the correct perspective.
By August 1944, the Occupying German Army & the local people of Guernsey were struggling to survive. An appeal was made and the S.S. Vega was assigned to deliver aid to the islands. She arrived on 21st December 1944. Aboard her were parcels of supplies which were taken by carts & lorries to depots across the island. Enabling the Guernsey & German population to survive the final months of Hitler’s occupation of the Channel Islands.
The VE Day & Liberation Stamps on the First Day Cover. I wanted this set of stamps to be bright and colourful to evoke the joy of Liberation for the islanders. The only more thoughtful one is the mix of emotions on the 36p stamp, as the evacuated children return. Often siblings had been split up, even living in different towns. Many children didn’t recognise their parents after five years apart – a gap which must have felt like a lifetime.
I was particularly interested with this stamp depicting HMS Charybdis & HMS Limbourne in all their glory. They were torpedoed and sunk in the bay of St Malo during ‘Operation Tunnel’ on 23rd October 1943. Charybdis, an anti-aircraft cruiser, lost 460 of her crew – the biggest single death toll in the English Channel. Limbourne, a destroyer on convoy duty protecting Charybdis also suffered casualties. Twenty bodies from Charybdis were washed ashore in Guernsey and were buried by the Occupying Germans with full military honours. Over 5,000 local people, bringing with them 900 wreaths, attended the funeral at St. Peter Port. The Germans did not allow the islands to attend allied funerals after this. I illustrated this stamp with airbrushed acrylic paint.