Stamp honouring ‘British Schindler’ to be issued next year after calls from 100,000
PUBLISHED: 17:09 24 August 2015 | UPDATED: 17:15 24 August 2015
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A special commemorative stamp honouring a former Hampstead resident who saved 669 children from the Nazis will be issued by Royal Mail after a campaign backed by more than 100,000 people.
Sir Nicholas Winton, dubbed ‘the British Schindler’, died last month aged 106 and will appear on a stamp to be issued next year.
Royal Mail announced the decision to honour Sir Nicholas today after an online petition calling for the stamp, which was launched by the Jewish News last month, attracted close to 106,000 signatures.
Among the signatories was Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq, JW3 chief executive Raymond Simonson and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.
Justin Cohen, news editor of the Jewish News, said: “Sir Nicholas shied away from the ‘hero’ label but we could think of no one more deserving of this rare honour.
“His inspirational story shows that one person truly can make a difference and we hope the stamp will bring his heroic efforts to the attention of even more people.”
Following Sir Nicholas’s death on July 1, Prime Minister David Cameron led tributes to the former stockbroker 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.
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.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “One of the purposes of Royal Mail stamps is to honour those who have made important contributions to the UK, and every year we consider hundreds of subjects for inclusion. It is clear that Sir Nicholas Winton is a worthy candidate.
“Now we have consulted with his family, we are delighted to confirm our intention to feature Sir Nicholas on a stamp as part of a commemorative set, subject to the appropriate approvals, in 2016.
“The details will be confirmed in due course.”