Liberation of Europe WWII honoured by Isle of Man Post in latest stamp release


14 June 2024
A new release from the Isle of Man Post Office, issued on 29th April, commemorates the 80th anniversary of D-Day on 6th June and of Operation Market Garden.

The 10 stamp set, which features 5 D-Day stamps and 5 Operation Market Garden stamps, depicts colourised imagery and stories from 2 of World War II’s most significant campaigns. The stamp set has been curated alongside Ivor Ramsden MBE, director of the Manx Aviation and Military Museum. This issue has been produced in partnership with the UK government D-Day 80 campaign.

The stamp set can be purchased directly from Isle of Man Post with prices starting from £15.50. 

D-Day 80th anniversary stamps 

The new stamp set includes 5 D-Day 80 – The Road to Paris stamps, which show the Normandy landings of June 1944 which led to the liberation of Paris. The first of the 5 features footage captured on D-Day by Manxman Norman Clague of the Army Film and Photographic Unit and this is the first time this imagery has been used on a stamp. 

5 stamps showing imagery of D-Day 6th June 1944

Above: 5 of the stamps in this 10-stamp set show imagery from D-Day on 6th June 1944

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Other imagery on the 5 D-Day 80 – The Road to Paris stamps includes Allied gliders landing on Pegasus Bridge, which was the first key objective to be captured on D-Day. During the course of the D-Day landings, 5 beaches were used in the operation and imagery of 2 are used here on the £1.28 and £.160 stamps, which feature Sword and Omaha Beach respectively. 

Two of the stamps show the aftermath of the D-Day landings, one of them (£1.60) depicts an RAF soldier reading a newspaper with the headline ‘Allies invade France’. The other shows Winston Churchill and French Resistance leader (and future French President) Charles De Gaulle as they parade down the Arc de Triomphe. 

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Operation Market Garden stamps

Operation Market Garden was the name given to an Allied military campaign to secure key bridges and establish a direct route into Germany through the Netherlands. 

The 5 stamps commemorating Operation Market Garden include images on Manx soldiers from the Manx Regiment who took part in the operation, during which paratroopers were dropped into combat from Stirling Mk IV aircraft. 

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Three of the stamps highlight the individual stories and contributions to Operation Market Garden. Flying Officer JE Clague is shown on the 85p stamp in the bottom right-hand corner. His aircraft was shot down over Arnhem which resulted in his capture and he was then a prisoner of war until it ended. The main image on this stamp is of the Waalburg Bridge at Mijmegen. The £1.28 stamp shows Major Robert Henry Cain VC who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his efforts at Arnehm. He was a member of the 1st British Airborne Divison, who along with the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade landed at Arnhem to capture a key bridge over the Rhine.

Above: Operation Market Garden is shown on 5 stamps of the 10-stamp set

Private Robert Cojeen is featured on the £1.60 stamp, he was part of a 2-inch mortart team in 12 Platoon fighting near Arnhem. The main image on this stamp is of British Sherman tanks crossing the River Meuse over the Grave Bridge on the road to Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1944. 

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The 4th stamp in this group of 5 shows land flooded by Axis forces in order to slow down the Allied advance (£1.82). Sergeant R Raitley and Private GB Ball are shown amongst the floods south of Arnhem at Elst. The final stamp (£2.31) shows residents of the liberated city of Eindhoven celebrating the arrival of the Allies as they arch on through the Netherlands.