FDC: Remarkable Lives

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.

Stamps Cover FDC UK 2014 Remarkable Lives 2014-03-25

Country: United Kingdom
Date of Issue: 25th March 2014

Stamp Details

From left to right, top to bottom

Remarkable Lives - Roy PlomleyRoy Plomley
1914-1985
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…

Remarkable Lives - Barbara WardBarbara Ward
1914-1981
Economist and Broadcaster

As an environmentalist and policy maker, Ward campaigned for sustainable development and contributed to the concept of Spaceship Earth.

Remarkable Lives - Joe MercerJoe Mercer
1914-1990
Footballer and Football Manager

Mercer won honours as a player with Everton and Arsenal, and as a manager with Aston Villa and Manchester City.

Remarkable Lives - Kenneth MoreKenneth More
1914-1982
Actor

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.

Remarkable Lives - Dylan ThomasDylan Thomas
1914-1953
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!).

Remarkable Lives - Sire Alec GuinnessSir Alec Guinness
1914-2000
Actor

Guinness was an illustrious actor, a star of stage and screen. I remember him in The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957). He also played Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars (1977), of course.

Remarkable Lives - Noorunissa Inayat KhanNoorunissa Inayat Khan
1914-1944
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.

Remarkable Lives - Maz PerutzMax Perutz
1914-2002
Molecular Biologist and Nobel Laureate

Perutz won many awards for his research in medicine, including the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1962.

Remarkable Lives - Joan LittlewoodJoan Littlewood
1914-2002
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).

Remarkable Lives - Abram GamesAbram Games
1914-1996
Graphic Designer

Games’ work reflects the social history of Britain through the 20th century (Wikipedia: Career). He created the emblem for the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Life Stories

The insert to the cover provides details of these remarkable lives. Click the image below for easier reading.
Stamps Cover FDC UK 2014 Remarkable Lives 2014-03-25 insert

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.

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