‘British Schindler’ Sir Nicholas Winton could be immortalised on postage stamp
PUBLISHED: 08:00 31 July 2015
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In life, Sir Nicholas Winton kept his Second World War heroics a secret for nearly 50 years but following his death earlier this month, he could now be immortalised with his very own postage stamp.
An online petition calling for Royal Mail to dedicate a special edition stamp to Sir Nicholas, dubbed ‘the British Schindler’, has attracted more than 2,000 signatures.
The petition was launched by Jewish News in the wake of Sir Nicholas’s death on July 1, aged 106.
Prime Minister David Cameron led tributes to the former Hampstead resident who famously saved the lives of hundreds of children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia at the outbreak of war.
As founder of the Czech Kindertransport operation, he organised eight trains to carry 669 children to London in 1939 and found them foster families, amid fears they would be sent to concentration camps – a fact he kept hidden from his family until 1988.
The petition is being backed by a number of high-profile figures and organisations, including the Holocaust Educational Trust and the JW3 community centre, in Finchley Road.
Adding her name to the petition, Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq said: “Honouring Sir Nicholas and his incredible efforts by featuring him on a stamp would be a fantastic way of keeping the flame of his memory burning long into the future.”
Raymond Simonson, chief executive of JW3, said: “I am proud to support the petition to commemorate the life of Sir Nicholas Winton.
“We were lucky enough to have been associated with Sir Nicholas through various projects at the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC). He was a true hero, a real role model and a genuine great Briton.”
Jewish historian Trudy Gold, a former LJCC chief executive, said: “It’s important that people know who he was and his story. I think he would have smiled and shrugged if he knew about the petition.
“I think like most heroes he didn’t know what the fuss was about; that’s what made him special to me.”
Royal Mail commissions 12 to 13 new stamps each year and considers suggestions from the public, as well as carrying out their own research, to create stamps that commemorate figures and dates deemed to be of national importance.
The process of commissioning a new stamp can take 18 to 24 months.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “While we do not currently have plans to feature Sir Nicholas on a stamp, he is definitely among the subjects for future consideration.”
To sign the stamp petition, visit the Sir Nicholas Winton page at change.org