Thursday 16 April 2020

End of the Second World War details - 8 May 2020

The next stamp issue marks the End of the Second World War, timed to coincide with the end of the War in Europe and Royal Mail have started distributing the stamps to registered dealers.  Several people alerted me to its arrival on the Royal Mail website although that was only a place-holder and has since disappeared. 

This seems to be a regular thing, that the techies test the page on the live site, and either then realise their error or are told, and off it goes again until the proper embargo date. However, although they don't have a lead-in page, all the items are now available to view via the Special Stamps page.

This stamp issue reflects on the end of the war both in Europe and in the Far East, with three concepts: Celebrating, Returning and Remembering.

In the eight sheet stamps are depictions of the sense of relief and celebration by service personnel and civilians when news of the conflict’s end was announced. Also featured in these stamps are images of personnel returning from overseas, as well as the return of children evacuated from major cities.

Of an entirely different tone, four stamps in a miniature sheet will mark the concept of Remembrance, with images depicting official monuments and cemeteries to the fallen as well as a major memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

The stamp set of 8
A collection of eight Special Stamps featuring evocative photographs capturing the relief and jubilation that followed the formal end of the Second World War in 1945.

The original black and white photographs have been expertly reproduced in colour for the first time.
2nd Class A serviceman returns home to South Devon from his airbase in Lincolnshire.
2nd Class Jubilant nurses celebrate VE Day in Liverpool.
1st Class Ecstatic crowds gather in London’s Piccadilly on VE Day.
1st Class Evacuees return home to London after a wartime stay in Leicester.
£1.42 Troops march through London’s Oxford Street during a parade for the Victory Over Japan exhibition.
£1.42 Soldiers and sailors leave a demobilisation centre carrying their civilian clothes in boxes.
£1.63 Allied prisoners of war at Aomori Camp near Yokohama, Japan cheer their rescuers.
£1.63 A member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRENS) proposes a toast during VE Day celebrations in Glasgow.

The Miniature Sheet
... focuses on memorials honouring servicemen and women who gave their lives to serve their country, as well as victims of the Holocaust.


Four stamps feature memorials in Jerusalem and Rangoon, as well as Runnymede and Plymouth in the UK, on a Miniature Sheet carrier bearing the title in stone carved lettering.  A common feature is that the memorials mark the loss of men and women who have no known grave.

1st Class Yad Vashem, Jerusalem Israel’s official memorial to victims of Second World War Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews.
1st Class Runnymede Memorial, UK commemorates over 20,000 airmen and women who were lost during operations from bases in the UK and Europe during World War II and who have no known grave.
£1.63 Plymouth Naval Memorial, UK, originally erected to mark the more than 7,000 sailors who died in World War I with no known grave, and extended in the 1950s to include nearly 16,000 sailors who perished in World War II.
£1.63 Rangoon Memorial, Myanmar within the Taukkyan War Cemetary commemorates almost 27,000 dead British and Commonwealth Land Forces who fell during campaigns against the Japanese in Burma (Myanmar) and who have no known grave.

Technical specifications
The 41mm x 30mm stamps are designed by Hat-trick Design, with Photo colourisation Royston Leonard, printed in sheets of 60.   The 192 x 74 mm miniature sheet contains four 60 x 30 mm stamps.  All are printed by International Security Printers in Lithography, perforated 14½ x 14 with phosphor bands (single central band on 2nd class).

Serviceman welcomed home © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images; Evacuees return home © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images;
Navy personnel celebrate © Mirrorpix/Bridgeman Images;
Allied POWs liberated © Everett Collection/Bridgeman Images;
Nurses celebrate © Mirrorpix/Bridgeman Images;
Jubilant public © Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images;
Demobilised servicemen © photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images;
Troops parade at end of war © Mirrorpix/Bridgeman Images
MS Background image – stone carved lettering by Gary Breeze and photography by Joe Howat;
Hall of names, Holocaust History Museum, Yad Veshem, Jerusalem © Israel images/Alamy stock photo;
Plymouth Naval Memorial and Runnymede Memorial – photographs by Mike Sheil © Royal Mail Group Limited 2020;
Rangoon Memorial, Myanmar © Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Prestige Stamp Book

Yes, there's an error in the caption on this one, but this is preliminary artwork. 
The actual pane is correctly captioned.

Compared with the £19.80 selling price, the Machin pane is relatively low priced compared with some others, with one airmail (20g Worldwide letter) and two make-up values the pane provides two sets of new stamps, 5p, 50p & £1.63 which have, at last, the M20L year code and a full MPIL source code. There are two spare 5p stamps so look out for those sometime being used for postage.

The Cartor litho-printed stamps are a good colour match for the Walsall gravure stamps, which means that Cartor are getting things right.  The style of the irridescent lettering is very thin - we've had this before - but the letters are much thinner than on the gravure stamps

These aren't very good photographs but they do show (especially if you click to enlarge them) the codes at top left and top right of the stamps.


The stamps are numbered 3005P.20, 3050P.20 and 3163 in the Norvic Checklist, a new version of which will be issued very shortly, now that the latest numbers have arrived from Gibbons.  A new post will appear here in due course.

Other products
First Day Covers x 2, Stamp Cards, Presentation Pack, Limited Edition Coin Covers, Press Sheet of 14 miniature sheets, Framed Stamp Set.

Reader GI-man reports:

I received 4 x Presentation Packs yesterday. All of the stamps were fixed the the backing card. The miniature sheet was also fixed to the card.
I was expecting to use the stamps - and now I can't! Has anyone else had similar experiences? Thanks.
It would appear that Royal Mail have not learned from their mistake earlier in the year with the James Bond presentation packs and that there are two versions, one of which is should have been for sale only on Amazon.   But once again they have mixed up the two stocks.  Anybody receiving the wrong one should follow the instructions on their Despatch Note or Invoice to get a replacement.

News About Other Machins
There is still no news of reprinted booklets or business sheets.  These are typically sold at supermarkets, card shops and other small retailers as well as Post Office branches and Royal Mail online.  With so many people finding ways to communicate electronically, and small businesses such as repair garages (who send invoices & statements by post) having far less business, it may be some time before we see any evidence of new printings.  

And of course people who consistently provide me with news, as they use their free public transport passes to trawl around those outlets looking for new stamps, are wisely not now doing so.  So please look out for what appears on your letters.  You may be pleasantly surprised to receive a bill with a new printing of a 2nd class booklet stamp on!

Let us know what you find, please!


  1. Thank you for the information Ian, very helpful for me, quite a nice set of stamps I think

  2. Perfect set of stamps in this current situation, and this is where Royal Mail should suspend the rest of the 2020 program (except Christmas) all the other planned issues have no real meaning or justification for being released hold them over to next year.The postmen/women are struggling to do round's we had one delivery in 7 days last week maybe lucky to get one this week, priority is to shift the huge increase in parcels, and doing all this without any protection and support from the bigwigs far far away!!!. Instead of delisting currently available stamps from RM web page keep them so if people need stamps they can get them although looking at the shop old issues remain in abundance, even RM flood the posties with work, my Romantic poets issue and Bulletin Book arrived in 6 different envelopes when 3 could of been sufficient, SO Royal Mail have a serious think money or welfare and be like the majority just run the essentials because new issues aren't especially when definitives would do for now.

    1. It must depend on which part of the country you live, we continue to get daily deliveries (apart from when they went of strike! They wanted to stop delivering junk leaflets despite having previously had £20 a week added to their pat rate previously.)

      John Embrey

    2. We too have daily deliveries but I know my postman didn't get any sanitizer until well into the lockdown period, so I gave him a holiday spare that we had.

      But, that's the last comment on the unenvious position of Royal Mail workers in sorting offices and out on the street. Only comments about WW2 stamps now, thanks.

  3. Again it seems to be a case of "now you see them, now you don't". The "End of WW2" issue was certainly there yesterday afternoon, although most items could not be ordered (a few could, I believe). This morning they have all vanished again. I'm getting a bit old to play "peek-a-boo"...


  4. I seen them at the back of 2 this morning and as stated they have now gone.

  5. Theses are æstehtically better than expected with the clever colouring in of old photos: they are handy values for use on postage too. Unfortunately the train on the 1st class NVI ought to be maroon; not apple gree;n as St Pancras to Leicester was run by The London Midland & Scottish Railway. However this is small beer compared with the fiasco of the D-Day stamps last year showing American soldiers taking a Dutch Colony from Japan

  6. The issue looks quite a nice one. Only problem for me, I have far too many stamps stockpiled for my current snail mail usage (but I am sending more of late). So, am only "allowed" to buy the small value Machin stamps to add on to make the correct postage and I can get those at the small little post office round the corner, rather than heading into town to the main post office.

  7. Are all these stamps really necessary for this issue. Stamps AND Miniature Sheet AND a Prestige Booklet too!.
    Yet again milking the collector.....and i bet i dont see any of these commemoratives on my mail.

    1. Will you be buying any to use on mail?

  8. It seems that RM are continuing with their special stamp issues just got my order advice not for Coronation Street Issue:- stamp set, miniature sheet, & a booklet.

  9. The Prestige Stamp Book is mysteriously absent from the products on offer, although the Prestige Stamp Book definitive pane First Day Cover is there!

    1. The PSB appeared a little later in the morning - presumably finger trouble by the RM IT people?


  10. It's there now, I've just order one

  11. I received 4 x Presentation Packs yesterday. All of the stamps were fixed the the backing card. The minuture sheet was also fixed to the card.

    I was expecting to use the stamps - and now I cant! Has anyone else had similar experiences? Thanks.

    1. It would appear that you are a victim of the same sort of cock-up that they managed with the James Bond presentation packs - see

  12. Ian, just broken up a copy of the End of The Second World War PSB to find the miniature sheet page missing. Has this been reported by anyone else?
    As I have already deconstructed the booklet and it is 18 months past its first day of issue I have presumed no chance of a replacement form the Royal Mail, just wanted to make others aware there are errors out there.

    1. Oh dear, you have my sympathy. I don't think we had any errors reported on that PSB.

      I'm very pleased by the number that we have been able to report, which often get taken up by the philatelic press.

      I hope you don't mind that I've reported your mishap, on a new post as a warning to others to check and double-check everything from any source.


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