News and press releases

  • Royal Mail
    2 March 2017
    Imperial War Museums get centenary Royal Mail postmark
  • Royal Mail and Imperial War Museums (IWM) have collaborated to produce a special postmark. 
  • The postmark commemorates 100 years since the Imperial War Museum was established. 
  • It will appear on millions of items of UK stamped mail nationwide and will land on doorsteps on Saturday 4 March 2017.
  • During the First World War, the Army Postal Service handled a staggering two billion letters and 114 million parcels.
  • To cope with the influx of items, a temporary sorting office was built in Regent's Park. It covered several acres and, at its peak, saw the 2,500 staff handle in excess of 12 million letters and one million parcels a week.
Royal Mail and Imperial War Museums (IWM) have collaborated to produce a special postmark to commemorate 100 years since the War Cabinet approved the creation of a National War Museum.
 
The postmark will appear on millions of items of UK stamped mail nationwide and will land on doorsteps on Saturday 4 March 2017. It will say ‘Imperial War Museums, 100 years’.
 
Since 1917, IWM has collected - and displayed - a huge range of items that tell both civilian and military experiences and personal stories of war, and commemorate the sacrifices of all sections of society.. 
 
Diane Lees, Director General of IWM said: “We are honoured that the Royal Mail has decided to honour IWM with a postmark to commemorate our centenary. IWM was established while the First World War was still being fought. Since then, people have entrusted us with their stories of war from 1917 to the present day, in the knowledge we will continue to share these stories with future generations”.
 
The postal service provided a vital line of communication during the First and Second World Wars. During the First World War, the Army Postal Service handled a staggering two billion letters and 114 million parcels. 
 
To cope with the influx, an enormous wooden temporary sorting office was built in Regent's Park. The structure covered several acres and, at its peak, saw the 2,500 staff handle in excess of 12 million letters and one million parcels a week.
 
David Gold, director of Public Affairs at Royal Mail, said: “Since the formation of the dedicated military postal unit, the Army Post Office Corps, in 1882, the postal service has played an integral role in times of conflict. Whether it was delivering messages about the progression of battle or keeping lines of communication open with those at home, the post was a vital lifeline. 
 
“This close alliance remains as important now as it was then with this year not only marking 100 years since the creation of the War Museum but also the fourth issue in Royal Mail’s five-year series of stamps commemorating the First World War.
 
“We are pleased to be able to honour IWM with a special postmark.”
 
Ends
 
ISSUED BY 
Royal Mail press office 
Rebecca Maund
0203 338 1007
 
For any enquiries relating to the IWM centenary please contact Faye Jackson on fjackson@iwm.org.uk or 020 7416 5420 
 
Notes to editors
Royal Mail plc is the parent company of Royal Mail Group Limited, the leading provider of postal and delivery services in the UK and the UK’s designated universal postal service provider. UK Parcels, International and Letters (“UKPIL”) comprises the company’s UK and international parcels and letters delivery businesses operating under the “Royal Mail” and “Parcelforce Worldwide” brands. Through the Royal Mail Core Network, the company delivers a one-price-goes-anywhere service on a range of parcels and letters products. Royal Mail has the capability to deliver to more than 29 million addresses in the UK, six days a week (excluding UK public holidays). Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels. Royal Mail also owns General Logistics Systems (GLS) which operates one of the largest ground-based, deferred parcel delivery networks in Europe.
 
In 2016, Royal Mail today signed a new four year, £11 million deal to continue to support the postal service delivered by the British Forces Post Office. The new deal means armed forces personnel stationed all over the world will continue to take advantage of services, such as the Enduring Families Free Mail Service for personnel deployed on Operations, which allow them to receive mail from friends and loved ones in the UK. The agreement, known as the Forces Mail Settlement, also allows mail and online shopping orders going to armed forces personnel overseas to be sent at inland UK prices.
 
IWM Centenary
2017 marks Imperial War Museums (IWM) centenary. IWM was established while the First World War was still being fought. Since its establishment people have entrusted IWM with their stories of war from 1917 to the present day, in the knowledge it will continue to share these stories with future generations. IWM will commemorate its 100 years through a centenary of stories from its rich collections across its five branches (IWM London, IWM North, IWM Duxford, Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast).