Ellen Knight, mother who lost three sons, featured in WW1 stamps
New Zealand Post tells the story of mother of 10 Ellen Knight, who lost three sons during the war, in its latest series of stamps commemorating the First World War.
‘1917 The Darkest Hour’ is the fourth instalment of a five-year WW1 stamp and coin programme. The ten commemorative stamps to be released on 5 April 2017 look at the effects of war both at home and abroad.
“By 1917 New Zealanders were growing weary of this great war that seemed to have no end in sight,” said Simon Allison, Head of Stamps and Coins at New Zealand Post.
“As the situation intensified on the Western Front, New Zealand would experience the deadliest day in its military history when 845 lives were lost at the Belgian town of Passchendaele on 12 October 1917.
“Ellen Knight’s heartbreaking story of losing three sons to the First World War would have been repeated many times with families across New Zealand who also lost loved ones,” says Simon Allison. “100 years on, New Zealand Post is paying tribute to the sacrifice and grief experienced by the families waiting at home.”
The Knight family have been closely involved in the development of the stamps and her granddaughter says it has been an emotional journey to discover Ellen’s story.
“The loss of my uncles Herbert, George and Douglas, had a huge effect not only on my grandmother but also on the rest of the family,” says Nancy Croad (granddaughter). “Ellen always thought of her boys as being heroes, so hopefully the acknowledgment they will get through these stamps is giving them some of this fulfilment.”
The ‘1917 The Darkest Hour’ story is told in a special commemorative booklet, which contains further information about the war as well as 12 unique miniature stamp sheets. The WW1 stamps and coins can be pre-ordered online now at www.nzpost.co.nz/stamps and will be on sale in PostShops from 5 April 2017.