Great Britain honors Royal Marines with Sept. 29 set of 12 stamps
By David Hartwig
On Sept. 29, Great Britain’s Royal Mail issued a set of 12 stamps to commemorate the elite fighting force known as the Royal Marines.
“Featuring eight stamps and an exclusive miniature sheet, we look at the history of and modern-day operations of the Marines, as well as some of the key operations they’re involved in by sea and by land,” Royal Mail said.
The stamps are presented in two se-tenant (side-by-side) strips of four.
The Royal Marines souvenir sheet features four additional stamps showing Royal Marine uniforms from 1664 to 1944.
The four stamps comprising one of the strips are valued at the first-class rate (currently 95 pence). The other stamps are denominated at £1.85 (the rate for letters to Europe up to 100 grams and worldwide up to 20 grams).
The first-class stamps show marines taking part in aviation, cold-weather, mountain and arid-climate operations.
The stamps denominated at £1.85 show marines taking part in commando training as well as amphibious and maritime security operations. A fourth stamp denominated at £1.85 features the band service of the Royal Marines.
Each stamp features the silhouette of Queen Elizabeth II that appears on special stamp issues. As reported in the Oct. 17 issue of Linn’s Stamp News, Royal Mail said in a Sept. 27 announcement that it plans to exhaust existing stocks of stamps before issuing stamps with the image of King Charles III.
A first-day cover offered for the stamp issue includes an information card that explains the reasoning behind these different Royal Marines operations and addresses the training required.
“Royal Marines have the longest infantry training period in the world,” according to the card.
“Scaling cliffs, finding inaccessible areas adversaries think are secure, coming from the sea in small boats and helicopters, working at night to conduct raids, moving in quickly, taking the enemy by surprise, getting out just as fast — these skills are the key elements of the Force.”
The information card notes that Royal Marines are ready to deploy for combat missions and humanitarian duties. These humanitarian duties could include maritime security, as depicted on one of the £1.85 stamps, where the Royal Marines protect private interests.
According to the website of the Royal Navy, “Over 90% of global trade is transported by sea — and inevitably, this attracts the attention of criminals. The Royal Navy is committed to protecting maritime trade from pirates, terrorists and traffickers and keeping the wheels of commerce turning, whatever it takes.
“British ships and units, including the Royal Marines, are committed to maritime security operations around the world. These operations focus on reassurance and wider regional engagement, with the ultimate aim of protecting the interests of the UK and its allies.”
The Royal Navy’s website also calls members of the Royal Marines Band Service “the public face of the Royal Navy.” This service performs at national and international events in addition to undertaking operational roles with members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, according to the website.
The varied roles employed by members of the Royal Marines could be a result of the organization’s long and varied history. A presentation pack offered with the issue includes information on the history of the Royal Marines from its origins in 1664 to today, as well as the set of stamps and the souvenir sheet.
The presentation pack notes that the Royal Marines first served in …
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