created by Todd Ronnei during 2005 include anniversary covers and first
day covers with a Churchill theme.
Death of Churchill
Throughout the 1960s, Churchill became
increasing frail. On January 10, 1965, 90-year-old Winston Churchill
suffered a massive stroke. A few days later his condition was made
public, and the worldwide vigil began. Death finally came shortly after
8:00 in the morning on Sunday,
January 24, 1965 (the 70th anniversary of his father's death
This cover marks the 40th anniversary of Churchill's passing with a St.
Paul's, London postmark.
"enhanced" version of the
above cover, with a complete set of the Churchill Centenary stamps and
a Churchill pictorial postmark created for the 40th death anniversary.
"Let Us Go
In his first
speech as Prime Minister on May 13, 1940, Winston Churchill
famously told the House of Commons, "I have nothing to offer but blood,
toil, tears and sweat." The peroration of the speech contained this
passage: "But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure
that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I
feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, 'come then, let us go
forward together with our united strength.'" British propagandists
seized upon "go forward" phrase and turned it into a rallying cry by
way of a morale-boosting poster.
That poster is reproduced as the cachet for this cover, to accompany
the Woodstock, Oxford postmark of January 27, 2005 containing the
phrase. The purpose of the postmark was publicize new Machin stamp
booklets that contained advertising. Why the postmark's sponsor thought
anything to do with Churchill remains a mystery.
Channel Islands Liberation
Guernsey issued a series of
stamps for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Channel
Islands from German occupation. The high value of set is a
£1.50 stamp of Winston Churchill displaying his famous
V-for-Victory sign. The special Churchill first day postmark on this
cover is one not made generally available to the public.
Retires as PM
When Churchill first became
Prime Minister in 1940 his task was to win the war. When Churchill's
second stint as Prime Minister began in late 1951, his goal was to win
the peace. Throughout his second term of office Churchill repeatedly
pushed for a "summit meeting" of the former WWII allies. A meeting with
the Soviets, Churchill felt, could go a long way towards easing the
escalating Cold War tensions. But Stalin died in early 1953, and
President Eisenhower was unenthusiastic about Churchill's summit
notion. What's more, Churchill suffered health setbacks, including a
stroke that sidelined him for many months in 1953. By early 1955, the
80-year-old Churchill was ready to concede that Anthony Eden should
finally succeed him as Prime Minister. On the evening of April 4,
Churchill hosted a farewell dinner at Number 10, and the next day he
went to Buckingham Palace and tendered his resignation to Queen
Elizabeth II, effective the following day.
cover marks the 50th anniversary of Churchill's resignation, postmarked
Buckingham Palace, London on April 5, 2005.
War II neared its climax, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's health
rapidly deteriorated. Everyone close to him knew he was fading, but his
sudden death on April 12, 1945 was still a shock. Churchill later
wrote, "When I received these tidings early in the morning of Friday,
the 13th, I felt as if I had been struck by a physical blow. My
relationship with this shining personality had played so large a part
in the long, terrible years we had worked together. Now they had come
to an end, and I was overpowered by a sense of deep and irreparable
This cover marks the 60th anniversary of Roosevelt's death with a
pictorial postmark from FDR's
home, Hyde Park, NY. The cachet photo is of Churchill
standing over Roosevelt's grave in March 1946, when Churchill was in
the United States to deliver the "Iron Curtain" speech.
Blenheim Palace, World Heritage Site
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and
preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world
considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. Blenheim
Palace was named a World Heritage Site in 1987. Blenheim was
a gift from the Crown to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough,
for his victory over French and Bavarian forces in the decisive Battle
of Blenheim in 1704. 2005 marks the 300th anniversary of the start of
Blenheim's construction. Winston Churchill, born at the Palace in 1874,
loved his ancestral home and was a frequent visitor.
Britain and Australia jointly issued a set of World Heritage Site
stamps on April 21, 2005, and this first day cover for the Blenheim
stamp has a special Blenheim Palace postmark.
in Europe ended on May 7, 1945, and the next day was proclaimed
'Victory in Europe'--VE--Day. Churchill
addressed the nation by radio from the Cabinet Room at Number
10 and said, "The German war is therefore at an end." After paying
tribute to the Allies, Churchill tempered his remarks: "We may allow
ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a
moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan, with all her
treachery and greed, remains unsubdued."
This cover marks the 60th anniversary of VE Day, with a St. Paul's,
London pictorial postmark. The cachet features a photo of Churchill
taken moments before his radio address.
My second VE Day cover, with a
Whitehall, London pictorial postmark.
My third VE Day cover, with a
Dover, Kent pictorial
of nations issued memorial stamps after Churchill's death in January
1965. One of the first to do so was the United States, which issued a
stamp less than four months after Sir Winston's death (and beat Great
Britain to the punch; its memorial stamps would not appear until
July). Like so many others, the U.S. stamp was based on Yousuf Karsh's
legendary "Angry Lion" portrait. The stamp was designed by Richard
Hurd, lettered by Sam Marsh, engraved by Charles A. Brooks, and printed
the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in a quantity of 125,180,000. The
stamp had its first day of
issue at Westminster
College in Fulton, Missouri, where Churchill delivered the "Iron
Curtain" speech in 1946. The May 13 issue date was the 25th
anniversary of Churchill's "blood, toil, tears and sweat" speech.
773,580 first day covers were serviced.
This cover marks the 40th anniversary of the issuance of stamp,
postmarked in Fulton on May 13, 2005.
The Lady Soames LG
In April 2005 Queen Elizabeth II selected
Winston Churchill's daughter Mary, The Lady Soames, to receive The Most
Noble Order of the Garter. In doing so, Churchill and his daughter
became the only non-royal father and daughter in history to
receive the Order. The Order of the Garter is the oldest and highest
British order of chivalry, and its recipients are chosen personally by
the Sovereign to honor those who have held public office, who have
served the Sovereign personally or who have contributed in a particular
way to national life. The installation ceremony was held on June 13,
This cover marks the date of installation with a Buckingham Palace,
of World War II Celebration
United Kingdom formally commemorated the 60th anniversary of the end of
World War II on July 10, 2005 (approximately midway between VE Day and
VJ Day). As a prelude to the day of national remembrance, Royal Mail
issued on July 5 a souvenir
of 6 stamps; five Machin
definitives arranged in a 'V' shape, and a new first class version of a
1995 Victory stamp. Numerous postmarks were made available, and
although no postmark actually depicts Churchill, the one most
Churchill-like appears on this cover.
Churchill's First Government Post
When the Liberals came to power in late
1905, 31-year-old MP Winston Churchill (a Liberal for just 18 months)
looked to advance. Joining the Cabinet was not in the cards, but junior
office was made available to him. On December 9, new Prime Minister
Henry Campbell-Bannerman summoned Churchill and offered him the highest
junior office, Financial Secretaryship to the Treasury. Churchill
declined the post, asking instead to be Under-Secretary for the
Colonies. His request was granted. Churchill reasoned, correctly, that
the Colonies post would give him a greater voice and visibility because
Colonial Secretary Lord Elgin, being a peer, could not sit in the
House of Commons.
This cover marks the 100th anniversary of Churchill's appointment. The
cachet reproduces a political cartoon of the era, with Churchill riding
the Colonial Office horse, while Lord Elgin trails behind on foot. The
cartoon is titled "An Elgin Marble," a clever reference to Lord Elgin's
ancestor who brought the Parthenon
Marbles to Britain in 1806.
Acknowledgments: My thanks to Ian
Billings of Norfolk, England, who continues to do a great job in
servicing all my British covers, and to Richard H. Knight, Jr. of
Nashville, Tennessee, who supplied some of the stamps used in these