Six stamps and a Miniature Sheet marking 70 years since Jersey’s liberation from the German occupation will be issued by Jersey Post on 9 May 2015. A collaboration between Hat-Trick Design and master engraver, Martin Mörck, the issue traces the victory of the allied forces in Europe that led to the Island’s joyous liberation in 1945.
During the first year of World War Two, as western Europe fell to the forces of Nazi Germany and France became occupied, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill decided to demilitarise the Channel Islands to save them from destruction. German troops arrived in Jersey on 1 July 1940 to take the surrender and the Channel Islands became the only part of the British Isles to be invaded and occupied during the Second World War.
“The surrender of German forces in Europe on 8 May 1945 saw the war in Europe come to an end and the following day, the islands of Jersey and Guernsey were officially liberated,” explains Chris Elligott, Jersey Post’s Philatelic Production Co-ordinator. “Liberation Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Islanders each year on 9 May and we felt it was important to commemorate such an important anniversary.”
The six stamps feature a series of graphic illustrations, each of which incorporates a symbolic ‘V’ for ‘Victory’ and the Miniature Sheet shows a portrait of Sir Winston Churchill together with a powerful quote from his famous victory speech ‘...and our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today’. Chris continues: “We commissioned master engraver Martin Mörck to produce the hand engraved portrait based on an original photograph by acclaimed photographer Yousuf Karsh. A special intaglio print technique has been used which gives the sheet a unique, textured feel.”
Norwegian artist and stamp engraver, Martin Mörck, began the commission with a traditional line-drawing and describes the portrait as the most difficult engraving he has completed within his 40 year career. For the Miniature Sheet, the portrait has been combined with designs created by Hat-Trick Design, who also produced the artwork for the stamps. Islanders are able to see Martin’s original line drawing which has been signed and framed and is currently on display at Broad Street post office in St Helier.
Liberation Day falls on Saturday this year and, as a mark of respect, Jersey’s Broad Street and Rue des Pres post offices will be closed to allow all islanders the opportunity to join in the celebrations on this special day. The stamps and philatelic stamp products such as stamp sets, Miniature Sheets, Souvenir Sheetlets, First Day Covers and Presentation Packs can be ordered now at www.jerseystamps.com or by telephoning the Jersey Philatelic Bureau on (01534) 616320. The stamps will be available to buy from all branches of Jersey Post from Monday 11 May 2015.