Here is another great biographical issue from Royal Mail, marking the centenary of 10 Remarkable Lives. The people on these stamps were all born in 1914, and each went on to become a luminary in their field.
Country: United Kingdom
Date of Issue: 25th March 2014
From left to right, top to bottom
Broadcaster and Writer
Plomley created the radio show Desert Island Discs in 1941, and it is still running today – one of the longest running shows, if not the longest running. Choose 8 songs to keep you company as a castaway on a desert island…
Economist and Broadcaster
As an environmentalist and policy maker, Ward campaigned for sustainable development and contributed to the concept of Spaceship Earth.
Footballer and Football Manager
More starred in many films. The one I remember most is Reach For The Sky (1956), in which he portrayed Sir Douglas Bader. Bader was born in 1910 and he also led remarkable life. At the age of 21 he lost both legs after a flying accident, but later, with prosthetics, he flew Spitfires and Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain (1940) and became a fighter pilot ace. He crashed in France in 1941 and was captured. After several escape attempts, he was sent to the infamous Colditz Castle as a POW.
Poet and Writer
Thomas wrote about the lives of ordinary people and his work still has popular acclaim today. Under Milk Wood is probably one of his most well known dramas. It was also released as a film (1972) starring Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, and Elizabeth Taylor (what a cast!).
Sir Alec Guinness
Noorunissa Inayat Khan
SOE Agent, World War II
Inayat Khan was dropped into occupied France during World War II to assist the Resistance. She was betrayed and captured in 1943 but never broke under interrogation and inhumane treatment in confinement. She made several escape attempts, but she was executed in 1944 by the Nazi SS. In 1949 Inayat Khan was posthumously awarded the George Cross, the highest award for civilian gallantry in Britain.
Molecular Biologist and Nobel Laureate
Perutz won many awards for his research in medicine, including the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1962.
Theatre Director and Writer
In her obituary, Littlewood is referred to as the mother of modern theatre. She is known for her anti-war musical satire Oh, What A Lovely War! (1963).
Although there is no direct link described in this issue, 2014 is also the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, The Great War. The lives of these people, and of their whole generation, are indeed remarkable, considering the tumultuous century they lived through.
Appropriately, the cancellation on the cover takes a line from the work of Dylan Thomas:
Do not go gentle into that good night.