Francis Chichester 1967

It was probably the public reaction to Francis Chichester when he reached Australia on his bid to sail around the world single-handed that persuaded the British Postmaster General (PMG), Edward Short, to issue a stamp on his return to England. Short decided this should have a 1s 9d value, and the design be dramatic in 'the grand Sir Francis Drake manner'. The commission went to Michael Goaman.

This stamp is often regarded as the first time Royal Mail issued a stamp featuring a living person other than a member of the Royal Family. Given the stamp was issued to mark Francis’ epic voyage, the silhouette that appears as an unidentifiable person on the yacht must have been Francis Chichester, as he was the only person onboard.

Sir Francis Chichester sailed into Plymouth Sound on 28 May: the stamps were issued on 24 July 1967.