The Royal Mail this week acknowledged Britain’s “strong desire” for Sir Nicholas Winton to be honoured with a special stamp as Jewish News’ campaign neared a staggering 90,000 supporters.
Sign our petition: https://www.change.org/p/a-stamp-for-british-hero-sir-nicholas-winton
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Sir Eric Pickles are among those backing our campaign as part of efforts to ensure the memory of the Holocaust hero’s actions live on.
Sir Nicholas, who passed away last month at the age of 106, arranged for 669 unaccompanied children to flee Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia for the safety of the UK before the outbreak of war, later organising foster families for many of the youngsters.
Without Sir Nicholas, hundreds of people would not have lived and thousands more would not have been born. He didn’t speak about his heroic actions for more than half a century.
“It is clear Sir Nicholas is a worthy candidate,” the Royal Mail said in a statement responding to our petition. “It’s clear there is a strong desire to see Sir Nicholas honoured on a stamp.
“Given the time frame we work to, it is unlikely that he would feature on a stamp in 2016, but do be assured that his name will be put forward for consideration in a stamp issue beyond then.”
But stressing that most of the programme of stamps is agreed two years ahead, the response said: “The proposals have to pass through several committees before we arrive at the final list. And finally all stamps must be approved by Her Majesty the Queen.”
The initiative has been backed by the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Association of Jewish Refugees and Sir Mick Davis, who chaired Prime Minister David Cameron’s Holocaust Commission.
Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock said: “Well done to Jewish News for launching this campaign and thank you to our brilliant supporters for embracing it wholeheartedly.
“We are delighted that so many people have signed this petition. Winton’s heroic actions have clearly struck a chord with people all over the world and this is one step towards keeping his memory – and the memory of his actions – alive.”
Sir Nicholas was inducted into the Rotary Club of Maidenhead in 1959 and was thought to be among the oldest active Rotarians in the world.
Justin Cohen, news editor of Jewish News, said: “The fact that this has become one of our best backed campaigns is testament to the impact of Sir Nicholas’ actions and the regard he continues to be held in in Britain, the Czech republic and far beyond.
“We are delighted that the number of signatories has helped to bring our call to the attention of the Royal Mail and we hope that such a special tribute will eventually come to fruition. We can think of few British heroes who are more deserving of a stamp than this great man.”