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Isle of Man Post Office stamps celebrate 300 years of The Royal Regiment of Artillery

Isle of Man Post Office in association with the Royal Artillery is pleased to present a set of six stamps celebrating 300 years of The Royal Regiment of Artillery and its remarkable achievements. The stamps are due for release on 9th May 2016.

The £2.44p stamp and the supporting material, features Major Kate Philp, a hero of modern warfare, who lost her leg in a mortar attack in Afghanistan. After her recovery Major Philp went on to train soldiers for later tours and accompanied Prince Harry on his walk to the South Pole with the charity Walking With The Wounded. A true modern day hero.

Major Philp will be visiting the Isle of Man to launch the stamps on 9th May which coincides with The Captain-General's Baton visit to the Island during its global circumnavigation.

Walking With The Wounded are the nominated charity for this event. CEO Ed Parker said: "These beautifully designed stamps mark an important historical milestone for 'The Gunners'. It's very good to see today's vulnerable veterans being supported at an event which reflects an illustrious military history."

This stunning collection, and the first stamp issue created for the Post Office by Glazier Design in London, depicts some of the uniforms worn by the gunners in the regiment's 300 year history along with a reflective background image complimenting the artillery of the time.

The 45p stamp depicts the earliest soldier of the Royal Artillery in 1716 dressed in the coat of blue and red facings, and carrying a sword and a linstock with a cannon being pulled by a horse shown in the background.

The 50p stamp shows an officer of the Royal Horse Artillery which was founded in 1793. He wears a uniform based on the Light Dragoons of the day along with a leather helmet, and the background scene shows foot artillery of the period.

The 95p stamp depicts a gunner of the 4th Mountain Artillery Battery in 1890. The unit was raised from Punjab Sikhs and the soldier is shown wearing practical khaki and Indian slippers and is against a background of officers with mules carrying screw guns.

The £1.27p stamp is based on a photograph of Major J R Drinkwater, Royal Field Artillery, a Manxman who served in the First World War. He is shown wearing a khaki service dress uniform with his rank displayed on the cuff. The background shows an 18 pounder gun, the standard field gun of the war.

The £1.69 stamp depicts Manxman Lieutenant Cowley of the 15th (Isle of Man) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery with a 40mm Bofors gun at Tobruk, a North African harbour in the background.

Finally, the £2.44 stamp depicts Major Kate Philp of the Royal Artillery in Afghanistan in 2008 wearing desert camouflage, with a Warrior fighting vehicle in the background.

Major Philp served two tours in Iraq but while on operations in Afghanistan the armoured vehicle she was commanding was damaged by an improvised explosive device and her left leg had to be amputated. Major Philp's image is used in the stamp collection as a reminder of the cost of war and consequences for veterans.

Major Kate Philp will be in the Isle of Man to help launch the stamps, coinciding with the visit of The Captain-General's Baton on 9th May, and to give a talk to local business women.

Commenting on the stamps, General Secretary of the RA Charitable Fund Lt Col Ian Vere Nicoll MBE said: "The Royal Regiment of Artillery is a famous regiment who have fought all over the world as their motto 'Ubique' indicates. We are extremely proud of our connection with the Isle of Man and in this, our 300th anniversary since our formal formation, we are extremely grateful to the Isle of Man Post Office for helping us commemorate such an important anniversary with their set of six excellent stamps depicting the gunners through the ages. They are a first rate tribute to the men and women of the Royal Regiment of Artillery who have served throughout the ages defending their Country."

Maxine Cannon, General Manager of Isle of Man Stamps & Coins said: "We are pleased to celebrate 300 years of the Royal Artillery, a significant milestone for such an illustrious regiment. The stamps capture the history of the gunners over the years in their uniforms against reflective battle landscapes, and we are grateful to Glazier Design of London who commissioned the stamp designs and the Royal Artillery's historian Frank Baldwin who helped prepare the accompanying issue text. We are also delighted that, to make it a special occasion, Major Philp, who features on our stamps, will be visiting the Island on Monday to help us launch the stamps."

Major Kate Philp said: "The 300th anniversary of the Regiment presents an opportunity for us all to reflect on our service; mine makes up a small contribution to that history, yet fills me with pride and brings a smile to my face. Joining the Gunners was an easy decision: as a female, it presented me with the best opportunity for hands-on command of soldiers and to do so in a variety of roles - truly living its motto, 'Ubique'; that was the 'head' decision. But my instinct told me that wearing this cap badge was where I fitted - the people were my people; that was a decision of the heart."

To view the stamp collection and to pre-order please click here

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