Britain Alone: Miniature Sheet


Britain Alone: Miniature Sheet Britain Alone: Miniature Sheet
The image above is shown for reference only, and is not for sale.
© Reproduced with the permission of Royal Mail Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
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13th May 2010
Stamp Type:
Stamp Details:
1st Evacuation of Soldiers ...      ▼ expand stamp details
60p The Little Fleet
88p Soldiers on Royal Navy Destroyer
97p Two Boats from Dunkirk
Reference Images:
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Royal Mail provided background information for this issue
click on titles to view details.

Reason and inspiration

After the defeat of France in 1940 up until the German invasion of Russia in June 1941, Britain and the Commonwealth stood alone against the might of the Axis powers.

In spring 1940, the German Army invaded the Low Countries and by early June the Allied armies had been split in two, leaving British – and many French – troops to evacuate through Dunkirk.

Though admirably defended by its armed services at home and abroad, Britain also came to be protected by another force – its people. Those not eligible for military service readily joined civil defence units such as the Home Guard and Air Raid Precautions, while more than 80,000 women volunteered for the Women’s Land Army.

Seventy years on, the Britain Alone stamp issue pays tribute to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who ‘did their bit’ for the war effort during Britain’s darkest hour.

In addition to the stamps there is also a Dunkirk Miniature Sheet commemorating the evacuation of 338,226 servicemen from the beaches of Normandy by the Royal Navy and a ‘mini-Armada’ of civilian vessels.

Stamp by stamp

Mint Stamps

1st Class – Churchill
Wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill is seen here inspecting Home Guard troops in Hyde Park.
1st Class – Land Girls
Essential to the war effort thousands of unmarried young women were conscripted to replace men called up for the armed services on farms.
60p – Home Guard
Local volunteers, often First World War veterans were ready to fight in the event of an enemy invasion. Shown here is ‘Doncaster’s Broomstick Army’ still awaiting their uniforms and rifles.
60p - Evacuees
Nearly three million people were relocated from big cities to be safe from Air Raids.
67p – Air Raid Wardens
A volunteer responsible for air raid safety sets the ‘black out clock’ ready for ‘Lights Out’
67p – Women in Factories
As on the farms women were conscripted to take over traditionally male roles in industry to release men for the armed services..
97p – Royal Broadcast
The future Queen Elizabeth is seen here with her sister Princess Margaret making a morale boosting broadcast to the children of the Commonwealth.
97p – Fire Service
The Fire Service was on the front line fighting blazes caused by enemy bombing Seen here are two member from

Miniature Sheet

1st Class – Evacuation of British soldiers
from the beach at Dunkirk Soldiers queue in the surf to be picked up by a Royal Navy destroyer.
60p – The Little Fleet
Vessels from the Upper Thames Patrol set off for ‘Operation Little Ships
88p – British soldiers on board a
Royal Navy destroyer Back in Dover the soldiers’ relief at being plucked from the beach is evident.
97p – Two Boats from Dunkirk
Packed with evacuees two ‘little ships’ head back to the UK.

Product portfolio

Presentation Pack No. 442

The fully illustrated presentation pack contains all eight Britain Alone Stamps along with the Dunkirk Miniature Sheet on a separate carrier. Inside Nigel Fountain takes a look at the Home Front in 1940. The pack was designed by Why Not Associates.

Prestige Stamp Book

The Prestige Stamp Book takes a more in depth look at the Home Front and the Dunkirk evacuations. Designed by Why Not Associates and written by Nigel Fountain it contains stamp panes unavailable anywhere else.

Stamp Cards

Thirteen postcards bearing enlarged images of each of the Britain Alone and the Dunkirk stamps and the Miniature Sheet stamps go on sale about a week before the stamp issue date.

Dunkirk Miniature Sheet

The Miniature Sheet is made up of four new stamps (1st, 60p, 88p and 97p) showing archive photography of the evacuation. The border features a quote taken from a Winston Churchill to the Commons from the 4 June 1940 after the evacuation.

Mint Stamps - Technical Details:

Feature Type/Detail
Number of stamps Eight
Design Why Not Associates
Acknowledgements Churchill (Home Guard inspection in Hyde Park) © PA Photos/Sport & General/Barratts; Land Girls (driving a tractor) © Science & Society/NMeM Daily Herald Archive; Home Guard (Doncaster’s ‘broomstick army’) © PA Photos/Sport & General/Barratts; Evacuees (children awaiting evacuation) © Getty Images/Hulton Archive; Air Raid Wardens (setting a blackout-time clock indicator) © PA Photos; Women in Factories (Agnes Denning photographed welding at an electrical engineering works) © Imperial War Museum (D11872)/Ministry of Information/Bryson Jack; Royal Broadcast (Children’s Hour) © PA Photos; Fire Service (Auxiliary Fireman, Richard Southern, RH Betts and M Wright) © Imperial War Museum (D2649)/Ministry of Information Photo Division
Stamp format Square
Stamp size 35mm x 35mm
Printer Cartor Security Printing, Meacé, France
Print process Lithography
Number per sheet 25/50
Perforations 14.5 x 14.5
Phosphor All Over

Miniature Sheet - Technical Details:

Feature Type/Detail
Number of stamps 4
Size of Sheet 115mm x 89mm
Design Why Not Associates
Acknowledgements evacuation of British soldiers from Dunkirk © Rex Features/CSU Archives/Everett Collection; vessels from the Upper Thames Patrol involved in ‘Operation Little Ships’ © Getty Images/Popperfoto; rescued British soldiers on board a Royal Navy destroyer at Dover © Imperial War Museum, London/War Office/Puttnam & Malindine; two boats from the Dunkirk evacuation © PA Photos/AP; Winston Churchill quotation reproduced with permission of Curtis Brown Ltd, London on behalf of The Estate of Winston Churchill. Copyright © Winston S Churchill
Stamp format Square
Stamp size 35mm x 35mm
Printer Cartor Security Printing, Meacé, France
Print process Litho
Perforations 14.5 x 14.5
Phosphor All over
Text © reproduced with the permission of Royal Mail Group Ltd. All rights reserved.