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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Great Britons’ honour as Royal Mail stamps mark their life’s work

Some of the UK’s greatest humanitarians have been honoured in a new set of stamps released by the Royal Mail.

The stamps are available from 8,000 Post Office branches and commemorate the achievements of three women and three men, including Sir Nicholas Winton, the civil servant dubbed ‘Britain’s Schindler’ for saving the lives of Jewish children during the Holocaust.

Sir Nicholas, who died last year aged 106, was visiting Prague in 1939 to help with a Jewish relief organisation when, fearing the Nazis would send them to concentration camps, he organised eight trains to carry 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to London.

He then helped to find foster families for the children once they arrived in England, but did not reveal his astonishing bravery for half a century, even to his wife.

The British Humanitarians collection also features Nobel Prize-winning scientist Lord Boyd Orr – the Ayrshire-born physician and biologist who advocated improved nutrition and global food provision – and Quaker philanthropist Joseph Rowntree, who used half his wealth to set up three trusts.

Sue Ryder, who founded care homes for those in need in the UK and Europe, Eglantyne Jebb, a social reformer and founder of the organisation that became Save the Children, and Josephine Butler, who campaigned for women’s rights and social reform, complete the collection.

“These six British individuals remain inspirational for their actions and achievements across nearly 150 years,” said Stephen Agar, from Royal Mail. “It is timely that Royal Mail pays tribute to their humanitarianism with these stamps.”

Picture caption: The new stamps show, clockwise, from top left, Nicholas Winton, Sue Ryder, John Boyd Orr, Josephine Butler, Joseph Rowntree and Eglantyne Jebb. Photo: Royal Mail