PRISONER OF WAR SERIES
One of the main factors of being a Prisoner of War was that no matter your rank, what you flew or where you came from you were all in the same boat. As a tribute to all those Airmen who were interned in POW Camps during WWII we have deceided upon a short series of covers, which at this time will include Colditz Castle, Stalag Luft I and Stalag Luft III whilst we are currently looking at other options. Obviously, the artwork is an important factor in this series and we have spent a great deal of time trying to get it right - our first effort was a special release for the Great Escape 60th Anniversary which gives some idea of what we are trying to achieve. The special variants are certified on reverse.
Here is the details of one of the covers issued in this series to act as a reference:
THE GREAT ESCAPE ~ 24 MARCH 1944
60th Anniversary of the Great Escape from Stalag Luft III Limited Edition Cover
To mark the 60th Anniversary of the Great Escape and all those interned in Stalag Luft III we have produced a special commemorative cover in association with former Allied Prisoners of War who spent time at Stalag Luft III to raise money to preserve and maintain plaques/memorials for those British and Commonwealth subjects killed or executed while POWs and also other charities chosen by Squadron Leader 'Jimmy' James MC, of Great Escape fame.
The artwork for the cover has been commission from former Matchbox artist Ross
Wardle, and shows the unmistakable watch towers and searchlights watching over
the prisoner's huts at Stalag Luft III as night draws in. Two German soldiers,
or 'goons' as they were known to the POWs, are shown standing on patrol - little
knowing that 30 feet below them there is a tunnel. Tragically 50 of the 76 Allied
POWs that escaped were executed by the Gestapo on Hilter's orders after being
recaptured. The story of the Great Escape was made into the cult 1963 film 'The
Great Escape' starring Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough.
The cover bears Royal Mail 1990 Gallantry stamp showing the Military Cross and Military Medal cancelled with our official BFPS 2770 postmark for the 60th Anniversary of the Great Escape - Stalag Luft III 24 March 2004.
The cover is hand signed by Squadron Leader Jimmy James MC who took part in the Great Escape on 24 March 1944 and was 39th to exit the tunnel. Recaptured he was sent to Sachenhausen concentration camp where he escaped via tunnel in September. He was released at the end of the war and awarded the Military Cross and a Mention in Despatches for his escaping activities.
At present we are working on other variants signed by Stalag Luft III inmates at the time of the Great Escape, which will be issued at some point in time.
Those currently available for purchase are currently listed in our online shop.