As Australians prepare to commemorate Anzac Day, Australia Post has released the first stamp issue in a five-year series designed to tell the chronological story of our nationâ€™s involvement in World War I. Between 2014 and 2018 Australia will commemorate 100 years since WWI, a conflict which helped to define our country.
As the organisation that helped deliver precious letters between WWI soldiers and home, Australia Post is intrinsically linked to the Anzacs, a connection which it hopes to honour through this commemorative stamp issue.
â€œDuring the next five years of commemoration we hope to join all Australians in honouring the contribution made by Anzacs and hope that these stamps serve as a symbol of our appreciation to those who made the ultimate sacrifice,â€ said Michael Zsolt, Manager Philatelic, Australia Post.
Each of the five stamp issues has been developed in conjunction with the Australian War Memorial to encompass key events, battles and individuals relevant to each year of the centenary. Dr Brendan Nelson, Director, Australian War Memorial, says that the centenary stamp issue complements the War Memorialâ€™s planned centenary activity.
â€œThrough our centenary commemorations we hope to encourage Australians, young and old, to reflect upon and learn more about Australiaâ€™s military history. These stamps are a brilliant visual representation of Australiaâ€™s involvement in World War I, but more importantly, each tells a significant story that we can learn from and be proud of,” said Dr Nelson.
This 2014 stamp issue marks Australiaâ€™s involvement in the first months of war, with five domestic base-rate (70c) stamps entitled:
ï‚· War Declared! ! â€“ Volunteers queuing to enlist in Sydney.
ï‚· Australians i n Action â€“ The seizure of German New Guinea â€“ the first action in which Australians were involved.
ï‚· Troops Depart â€“ The enthusiasm of new recruits as they departed for Europe.
ï‚· Training Mena Camp â€“ Australians with a mascot at Egyptâ€™s Mena Camp.
ï‚· Our Boys â€“ Three unknown soldiers in a studio portrait, representing the tens of thousands of young men who fought in a war half a world away.
The WWI centenary stamp issue comprises a minisheet, stamp pack, first day cover, maxicards, medallion cover, booklet of 10 x 70c self-adhesive stamps and two postal and numismatic covers. The stamps and associated products are available from participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps from 22 April 2014 while stocks last.