Thursday 30 April 2015

560. The War Of 1812 - Part 4.

  The Tristan Da Cunha Post Office will release a surprising issue on 1 June 2015 to commemorate the bicentenary of the fight between the USS Hornet and HMS Penguin, the final action to take place in  the War of 1812. The battle between the two ships took place off Tristan Da Cunha on 23 March 1815 by which date the war had actually come to an end.
  In late 1814 the American Navy had prepared a small squadron of ships in New York with the aim of sending a force to attack British shipping in the Indian Ocean. The ship of the commander of the squadron was captured by British ships but the captains of the other American ships were not aware of this defeat and evaded the British blockade and arranged to meet off Tristan which was being used by the Americans as a cruiser base. Two ships arrived but were blown away by a gale and the Hornet alone reached the island on 22 March 2015. 
  As the Hornet prepared to drop anchor HMS Penguin was seen to the south-east. The 2 vessels exchanged broadsides for about 15 minutes. The British commander was killed and the US captain wounded. With the Penguin's masts damaged and 14 men killed its second-in-command surrendered the Penguin. Penguin was too badly damaged to be repaired and the Americans set fire to the ship. So ended the final engagement of the war - the American Senate had ratified the Treaty of Ghent on 18 February 1815. 
  The issue was designed by Robin Carter and lithographed by BDT International:-

  In Blog 377 my philatelic account of The War of 1812 had arrived at the point where the British had waged a successful campaign against the Americans which included attacking Washington and burning down the US President's residence, the White House, and then moving on to Baltimore in September 1814 which is where their successes ended as the Americans resisted the American assault on Fort McHenry (see also Blogs of 17 March 2012 and numbers 220 and 347).
  By then Bonaparte had been defeated in France and exiled to Elba and the French and British had become allies. Britain ended the trade restrictions and impressment of American soldiers which, in addition to the American's lust to seize Canada, had been causes of the war between Britain and The United States. The war was in a stalemate and an end was brought to it by the Treaty of Ghent which was signed on Christmas Eve 2014. 
  Unfortunately, not yet knowing that the Treaty of Ghent had been agreed, the British invaded Louisiana  but were defeated with heavy losses by American forces under General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans fought on 8 January 1815. Even then, as the above Tristan Da Cunha stamps illustrate, the War of 1812 had not quite seen its last engagement. 
  The US Postal Service issued a single stamp on 8 January 2015 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. The stamp was designed by Greg Harlin and a portrait of Andrew Jackson is depicted on the reverse of the pane of 20 self-adhesive stamps. 

  The War of 1812 played an important role in establishing a Canadian identity after the Americans failed to take over the territory and it is a pity that Canada Post has not issued stamps in 2015 to commemorate the end of this important period in Canada's history. 

  In Blog 481 I mentioned the set of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet which was released by Hong Kong Post  on 23 April 2015 on the subject of sports. The miniature sheet is illustrated below. The issue was designed by Cheng Kar-wai and lithographed by Cartor:-

  Cyprus Post will issue 2 stamps and 1 booklet of 8 stamps on 5 May 2015 as its contribution to the annual Europa omnibus issue. The theme is "old toys" and the designs are by Costas Panayi and printing in lithography by Giesecke and Devrient Matsoukis SA of Greece:-

Booklet of 8.

  Jersey Post has announced yet more new issues. The first is to commemorate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and consists of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet with a total face value of £5.71p. The issue was lithographed by BDT International and will be put on sale on 15 June 2015:-

  In the same month, on 27 June 2015, Jersey Post will then issue a set containing 14 stamps (cost £8.68p) as well as a "Prestige booklet"(cost £17.36p) to commemorate the holding of the 16th NatWest Island Games in Jersey from 27 June to 3 July 2015. In this era of excess it has proven necessary to issue a stamp to depict each of the 14 sports represented at the Games. The issue was designed from photographs by Andy Le Gresley and lithographed by Enschede. For those who have nothing better on which to spend their money Jersey Post points out that a complete set of sheets of 10 of each value can be bought at a price of £86.80p plus, if you live in The United Kingdom, value added tax - I might hold back on that one:-

  Collectors of Jersey stamps will be delighted to know that Jersey Post is planning to release another 8 commemorative issues before the end of 2015 plus, no doubt, numerous Post And Go labels with additional inscriptions applied to them.

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Tuesday 28 April 2015

559. Israel Stamp Commemorates Jewish Contribution In Gallipoli.

  It has been suggested from time to time that Israel may join The Commonwealth. This seems unlikely but the country then known as Palestine was under British rule from the end of the First World War to 1948. Israel issued a single stamp on 14 April 2015 to commemorate the centenary of the establishment of the Zion Mule Corps which served with the British and Allied forces in the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.
  The Zion Mule Corps resulted from the acceptance in Alexandria by the British in February 2015 of a plan by Zeev Jabotinsky and Joseph Trompeldor to establish a military unit from Russian Jewish émigrés from Palestine to help to drive out the Ottomans from Palestine. The British commander, General Maxwell, was not legally able to enlist foreign nationals as fighting troops but could set up a volunteer transport Mule Corps. Trompeldor recruited volunteers from those Jews in Egypt who had been deported there by the Ottomans and 650 of them formed the Zion Mule Corps with 562 of its members being sent to Gallipoli in mid-April 2015 to carry water to the troops.
  The Zion Mule Corps arrived at Cape Hellas on 28 to 29 April, just 3 to 4 weeks after it had been raised. The Zion Mule Corps was landed under artillery fire. Private M. Grouschkowky was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal after preventing his mules from stampeding while under heavy bombardment at Krithia on 5 May. Despite being wounded in both arms he delivered necessary ammunition to the troops. Captain Trumpeldor who was second-in-command of the Mule Corps was shot but refused to leave the battlefield.
  The Mule Corps was returned to Alexandria on 10 January 1916 and disbanded on 26 May. The Mule Corps had experienced 13 fatalities during the Gallipoli Campaign. In August 1917 a Jewish Battalion was established as the 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusilers and was made up of British volunteers, the Mule Corps and many Russian Jews. In April 1918 the 39th Battalion was raised in Nova Scotia mainly made of Jews who lived in North America and the 40th Battalion was established largely made up of Palestinian Jews and captured Ottoman Jews. The 41st and 42nd Battalions were established at Plymouth as depot battalions.
  The 38th, 39th and 40th Battalions were involved in fighting the Ottomans north of Jerusalem and in the Jordan Valley. In September 1918 the Jewish Legion, as the five battalions become known, fought against the Ottomans at the Battle of Megiddo which was a decisive victory in the Allied War with the Ottoman Empire.
  The new Israel stamp shows the Zion Mule Corps at Gallipoli with the tab showing the flag of Israel and the Union Jack (shown at head of this blog).

  One stamp which has up until now completely escaped my awareness of it, is the old $2.50 Tanager definitive stamp with the old value cancelled by a large rectangle and the new value printed above it unlike the first which merely has the new value printed on it. This is said to have been issued during 2014. Both surcharges were carried out by Benji Quick Quality Printing Services:-
New surcharge.

Original surcharge.

  The roll out of IAR Post And Go kiosks in the Royal Mail Enquiry offices of various English towns continues with 3 more being set up at the end of April 2015. The offices at which the machines are sited are:-
  M004 - Kingston upon Thames - from 27 April 2015,
  M005 - Croydon - from 28 April 2015 and 
  M006 - Doncaster - from 29 April 2015.
  These machines will dispense stamps in the Machin Head and Machin Head Second Class designs and will not have location identifying inscriptions as was the case with the Crewe and Bradford North locations for a limited period.

  Meanwhile it has also been announced that the Jersey Post IAR kiosk JE01 will travel to London to be used at the Europhilex Philatelic Exhibition from 13 to 16 May 2015. The kiosk will dispense Jersey Flag labels with an additional inscription applied to them, "Europhilex 2015/Penny Black 175". Jersey Flag labels with the same inscription applied to them produced by the back office machine B002 will be sold by the Jersey Philatelic Bureau. JE01 will also dispense the Jersey Protected Species labels at the exhibition in London but without an additional inscription.

  India Post issued a single stamp on 21 April 2015 to commemorate the bicentenary of the Old Seminary (Orthodox Theological Seminary) in Kottayam. The seminary is run by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church - the St. Thomas Christians who are known as the Malankara Nazranis:-

  Isle Of Man Stamps issued a "Smiler sheet" on 24 April 2015 which contained 10 x £1 stamps with attached labels to commemorate the bicentenary of The Gurkhas serving as part of the British armed forces. The £1 stamp used in the sheetlet was originally issued on 26 February 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. A photograph of Prince Henry of Wales with a Gurkha soldier is featured in the lower border of the sheetlet:-

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Friday 24 April 2015

558. Excellent New £1 Black From Gibraltar; Ireland's Gallipoli Commemoration.

  In my opinion, Gibraltar Stamps has issued the very best stamp of the current rash of issues which commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Penny Black. I think that it is a brilliantly clever design. It places the Yousuf Karsh portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the background of the Penny Black. It is a simple and original design and is tremendously effective. The single £1 stamp is accompanied by a £3 miniature sheet which features part of a sheet of 1d Blacks. The issue was designed by Stephen Perera and lithographed by BDT International. The date of issue was 24 April 2015:-

  Gibraltar Stamps also released 4 new definitive stamps on 24 April 2015 with face values of 12p, 18p, 80p and £3 in the design of the current series - the Yousuf Karsh portrait of The Queen. The stamps were designed by Stephen Perera and lithographed by Cartor:-

  Along with Gibraltar's Penny Pound stamp, I very much like Royal Mail's Penny Black commemorative stamp which I detailed in Blog 536. Again, this is a simple but clever design and illustrates that the simplest designs are often the best and do not need to be printed on wood or metal or have the scents of chocolate or roses attached to them.:-

  An Post, the postal administration of The Irish Republic, has issued 2 stamps to commemorate the Irish participation in the Gallipoli Campaign on the centenary of the conflict. Allied troops landed on the Gallipoli beaches on 25 April 1915 and Irish battalions involved in the landings suffered heavy losses during the "V" Beach landing at Cape Hellas.
   The main force was deployed from the SS River Clyde and included the First Battalion of The Royal Munster Fusiliers as well as 2 companies of the 2nd Battalion and 1 company of the 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Later, in August 1915, another Allied invasion was attempted at Suvla Bay but this was also a failure again with significant Irish losses from the 10th and 11th Irish Divisions. The Allies began an evacuation in December 1915 and this was completed early in January 1916.
  The 68c depicts Irish soldiers in a trench at Gallipoli and the €1 value features a picture of the SS River Clyde. The stamps were designed by Vermillion Design and lithographed by Cartor. This is an interesting and important issue and highlights the role of thousands of Irishmen in the First World War and although Ireland left The Commonwealth a long time ago it is a reminder of the country's historic links with the Commonwealth nations:-

  Post PNG, the postal administration of Papua New Guinea, has released a set of 4 stamps, 1 miniature sheet and 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps on the subject of "Traditional Art". This is a lovely, colourful and interesting set which uses old designs very successfully. The stamps were designed by Yang Yansom and lithographed by Southern Colour Print and the date of issue was 9 March 2015:-

  Papua New Guinea's upcoming issues are:-
April 2015 - Contemporary art - art by Martin Borobubuna,
April 2015 - Traditional head dresses of Papua New Guinea,
April 2015 - The 15th Pacific Games to be held in Port Moresby from 4 to 18 July 2015.

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Thursday 23 April 2015

557. Malta Commemorates Its Role In The Gallipoli Campaign.

  Malta Post will issue one miniature sheet on 25 April 2015 as its second issue to commemorate the centenary of Malta's role as a hospital in the First World War. This excellent item depicts medical and nursing personnel tending to an injured soldier with a view of Valetta in the background. The date of issue recalls the date when Allied troops landed on the beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula 100 years ago. As a result of the Ottoman victory in the Gallipoli campaign there were over 21000 British casualties along with 10000 French dead, 8709 from Australia, 2721 from New Zealand and 1358 from India. 58000 injured men were treated in Malta. 300 ANZAC troops are buried in graves in Malta.
  The issue was designed by MaltaPost and lithographed by Printex:-

  The Falkland Islands Post Office will issue a set of 4 stamps on 12 May 2015 as the 4th part of its "Colours In Nature" series. The designs feature 2 birds - a Black-throated finch and a Dolphin Gull as well as 2 examples of the territory's flora - the Fuegian fern and the Yellow daisy. As ever, another excellent set from the Pobjoy Stamps/Creative Directions stable - the set is of modest face value, complete local relevance and top rate design:- 

  Jersey Post will at last release a set of stamps which has meaning to the island itself on 9 May 2015 when the 70th anniversary of the island's liberation from Nazi occupation is commemorated by 6 stamps and 2 miniature sheets. The excellent designs are by Mark Morck/Hat Trick Design and the issue will be printed in lithography and intaglio.
  The £1 miniature sheet features the former British prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill, and a quote from him, "...and our dear Channel Islands are also be freed today." This coincides with the 50th anniversary of his death:-

  The postal administration of  The Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus issued a pair of stamps on 1 April 2015 on the subject of the fight against cancer. Both stamps carry a charity surcharge and the 1 Turkish lira + 10c stamp is notable for a spectacularly gruesome design of a chest cavity opened up to reveal the lungs with the upper lobe of the left lung eaten up by cancer - enough to make the most ardent smoker think twice before putting another cigarette in their mouth:-

  The miniature sheet which commemorates the 175th anniversary of the Penny Black which will be issued by Royal Mail on 6 May 2015 will be overprinted around the edges of the block of 4 stamps contained in the miniature sheet with the inscription "BUSINESS DESIGN CENTRE EUROPHILEX 2015 13 - 16 MAY LONDON N1 EUROPHILEX 2015" and sold only in a presentation pack at an increased price of £4.95p although the presentation pack would normally cost £3.05p with the face value of the stamps being no more than £2.52p. Only one of these packs will be sold per customer per day so anyone venturing on an expensive trip to London will want to take a collection of disguises along with them to wear so that they can buy multiple examples of this item and sell them at an extortionate profit to those who do not get to Islington:-

  Back to MaltaPost which issued a pair of stamps on 21 April 2015 which depict local aqueducts and specifically commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Wignacourt Aqueduct. The issue was designed by Cedric Galea Pirotta and lithographed by Printex:-

  In addition to the basic sheetlet, Sri Lanka Post released the "Solar System" item of 10 stamps with an additional inscription in the lower border to commemorate the National Stamp Exhibition of 2014:-

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