List of United Kingdom Commemorative Stamps - History


Postage stamps were first used in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 6 May 1840, with the introduction of the world's first adhesive postage stamps, the Penny Black and Two Pence Blue. Until 1924, all British stamps depicted only the portrait of the reigning monarch, with the exception of the 'High Value' stamps (the so-called "Sea Horses" design) issued in 1913, which were twice the size of normal stamps with added pictorial design.

In 1924, the first commemorative stamp was issued for the British Empire Exhibition. There were then occasional issues over the next thirty years, when the frequency of new issues became more regular. From the mid-sixties, in most years, six to nine sets of commemorative stamps have been issued every year. The General Post Office introduced official First Day Covers and Presentation Packs in the mid-1960s and PHQ Cards, postcard sized reproductions of commemorative stamps, have also been issued to accompany every new set of stamps since the mid-1970s.

Issue dates of the early British Commemorative stamps, 1924–1969.
Issue Date Commemorative Issue No. in set Designer(s)
23 April 1924 British Empire Exhibition (Dated 1924) Two (1d, 1d) Harold Nelson
9 May 1925 British Empire Exhibition (Dated 1925) Two (1d, 1d) Harold Nelson
10 May 1929 9th U.P.U. Congress, London Five (d, 1d, 1d, 2d, £1) F W Farleigh, Ernest Linzell, Harold Nelson
7 May 1935 Silver Jubilee George V Four (d, 1d, 1d, 2d) Barnett Freedman
13 May 1937 Coronation of George VI One (1d)
6 May 1940 Centenary of First Adhesive Postage Stamp Six (d, 1d, 1d, 2d, 2d, 3d)
11 June 1946 Victory Two (2d, 3d)
26 April 1948 Royal Silver Wedding Two (2d, £1)
29 July 1948 Olympic Games Four (2d, 3d, 6d, 1s)
10 October 1949 75th Anniversary of Universal Postal Union Four (2d, 3d, 6d, 1s)
3 May 1951 Festival of Britain Two (2d, 4d)
3 May 1951 High Value Definitives George VII Four (2s6d, 5s, 10s, £1)
3 June 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II Four (2d, 4d, 1s3d, 1s6d)
September 1955 Castles Four (10s and £1 first issued 1 September, 2s 6d and 5s first issued 23 September)
1 August 1957 World Scout Jubilee Jamboree Three (2d, 4d, 1s3d)
12 September 1957 46th Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference One (4d)
18 July 1958 6th British Empire & Commonwealth Games Three (3d, 6d, 1s3d)
7 July 1960 Tercentenary of Establishment of General Letter Office Two (3d, 1s3d)
19 September 1960 1st Anniversary of European Postal & Telecommunications Conference Two (6d, 1s6d)
28 August 1961 Centenary of Post Office Savings Bank Three (2d, 3d, 1s6d)
18 September 1961 European Postal & Telecommunications (C.E.P.T.) Conference, Torquay Three (2d, 4d, 10d)
25 September 1961 7th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference Two (6d, 1s3d)
14 November 1962

National Productivity Year

Three (2d, 3d, 1s3d) David Gentleman
21 March 1963

Freedom From Hunger

Two (2d, 1s3d)
7 May 1963 Paris Postal Conference Centenary One (6d)
16 May 1963 National Nature Week Two (3d, 4d)
31 May 1963 9th International Lifeboat Conference, Edinburgh Three (2d, 4d, 1s6d) David Gentleman
15 August 1963 Red Cross Centenary Congress Three (3d, 1s3d, 1s6d)
3 December 1963 Opening of COMPAC (Trans-Pacific Telephone Cable) One 1s6d
23 April 1964

Shakespeare Festival

Five (3d, 6d, 1s3d, 1s6d, 2s6d)

David Gentleman
23 April 1964 Shakespeare Festival Four (3d, 6d, 1s3d, 1s6d) David Gentleman
1 July 1964 20th International Geographical Congress, London Four (2d, 4d, 8d, 1s6d)

5 August 1964 10th International Botanical Congress, Edinburgh Four (3d, 6d, 9d, 1s3d)

4 September 1964 Opening of Forth Road Bridge Two (3d, 6d) Andrew Restall
8 July 1965 Winston Churchill Commemoration Two (4d, 1s3d) David Gentleman
19 July 1965 700th Anniversary of Simon de Montfort's Parliament Two (6d, 2s6d)

Stewart Black D.A
19 July 1965 700th Anniversary of Simon de Montfort's Parliament One (6d) Stewart Black D.A
9 August 1965 Salvation Army Centenary Two (3d, 1s6d)
1 September 1965 Centenary of Joseph Lister's discovery of Antiseptic Surgery Two (4d, 1s)
1 September 1965 Commonwealth Arts Festival Two (6s, 1s6d) David Gentleman
13 September 1965 25th Anniversary of Battle of Britain Eight (6 different stamps at 4d, 9d, 1s3d)

David Gentleman and Rosalind Dease
8 October 1965 Post Office Tower Two (3d, 1s3d) Clive Abbott
25 October 1965 20th Anniversary of U.N.O. and International Co-operation Year Two (3d, 1s6d)
15 November 1965 I.T.U. Centenary Two (9d, 1s6d)
25 January 1966 Burns Commemoration Two (4d, 1s3d) Gordon F. Huntley
28 February 1966 900th Anniversary of Westminster Abbey Two (3d, 2s6d) Sheila Robinson
28 February 1966 900th Anniversary of Westminster Abbey One (3d) Sheila Robinson
2 May 1966 Landscapes Four (4d, 6d, 1s3d, 1s6d) Leonard Rosoman
1 June 1966 World Cup Football Championship Three
8 August 1966 British Birds Four J Norris Wood
18 August 1966 England's World Cup Football Victory
{4d value from the June set, overprinted 'England Winners'}
One David Gentleman
19 September 1966 British Technology Four D Gillespie
14 October 1966 900th Anniversary of Battle of Hastings Eight David Gentleman
1 December 1966 Christmas Two Tasveer Shemza and James Berry
20 February 1967 European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Two
24 April 1967 British Wild Flowers Six
10 July 1967 British Paintings Three
24 July 1967 Sir Francis Chichester's World Voyage One
19 September 1967 British Discovery and Invention Four
18 October 1967 Christmas (4d value) One
27 November 1967 Christmas (3d & 1s–6d values) Two
29 April 1968 British Bridges Four
29 May 1968 British Anniversaries Four David Gentleman
12 August 1968 British Paintings Four
25 November 1968 Christmas Three
15 January 1969 British Ships Six (5d, 3 X 9d se-tenant, 2 X 1s se-tenant) David Gentleman
3 March 1969 First flight of Concorde Three (4d, 9d, 1s6d) Michael Goaman & David Gentleman
2 April 1969 Anniversaries Five
28 May 1969 British Architecture, Cathedrals Six
1 July 1969 Investiture of HRH The Prince of Wales Five
13 August 1969 Gandhi Centenary Year One
1 October 1969 Post Office Technology Commemoration Four David Gentleman
26 November 1969 Christmas Three

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