Underage Soldier of First World War to be Commemorated in Postage Stamp


Private William ‘Billie’ Tickle, who lied about his age and joined the army at just 15 years old after telling people he was 18, is to be commemorated on a stamp bearing his image as part of the five-year commemoration of the First World War, which will honour the lives of millions of ordinary citizens who gave up their lives to answer the patriotic call.

Tickle was killed in the Battle of the Somme, but his body was never recovered. The photo that will be used of him on the stamp was donated decades ago to the Imperial War Museum by his mother, Elizabeth Tickle, so that his valiant efforts would not be forgotten. It was taken just a few days before he was killed.

Along with countless other ‘boy soldiers’, Tickle’s body was swallowed by the mud of the Somme and never seen again. Elizabeth never got over her son’s death, but his image image will now appear next to the Queen’s head in a series that will also include stamps to commemorate war artists, and the role of women and civilians, among others. The stamps will be issued in each year until 2018, starting this July. To find out more about these stamps, follow this link