This is a classic FDC from Royal Mail featuring some very elegant stamps: 6 vessels from the British mercantile fleet between 1813 and 1986.
The cover design features the Red Ensign, also known as the Red Duster, which was originally the emblem of the Royal Navy, but is now flown by the British Merchant Navy. Today the Royal Navy flies the White Ensign (St George’s Ensign).
Country: United Kingdom
Date of Issue: 19th September 2013
From left to right, top to bottom
- Atlas, East Indiaman, 1813
- Britannia, Royal Mail Ship, 1840
- Cutty Sark, Tea Clipper, 1870 – I think every British school kid knows this one
- Matheson, Cargo Liner, 1919
- Queen Elizabeth, Royal Mail Ship, 1940
- Lord Hinton, Bulk Carrier, 1986
The insert provides details of the history of the Merchant Navy, which played a crucial role during both world wars, with great sacrifice for victory. Merchant seaman were eligible for the Atlantic Star medal during World War II. However, it was only in 2012 that service inside the Arctic circle during that period (in which military and civilian personnel suffered terribly) was acknowledged with the Arctic Star medal. Click the image below for easier reading.