Northampton war hero and Cobblers player featured on Great War centenary stamps

Second Lieutenant Walter Tull will appear on a set of commemorative stamps marking 100 years since the end of the Great War.
Second Lieutenant Walter Tull will appear on a set of commemorative stamps marking 100 years since the end of the Great War.

Northampton war hero Walter Tull will appear on a set of commemorative Royal Mail stamps to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The legendary Cobblers player will be honoured in one of six special stamps marking 100 years since the Great War.

Second Lieutenant Walter Tull was the first black man to become an officer in the British Army and has a memorial outside the PTS Academy Stadium. He also lent his name to Walter Tull Way, where the stadium was built.

Walter Tull's great nieces and nephews said: “While it is a time, for us as a family, to remember respectfully the death of our great uncle in such a terrible war, like so many others, we are also proud of his accomplishments.

"Walter’s life and achievements have been acknowledged and celebrated in a variety of ways for over 20 years. Many of these activities and projects concern challenging and overcoming inequality and discrimination.

"We hope that Walter’s example will continue to encourage and promote projects that support inclusion and equality."

The other five stamps will feature an excerpt from Wilfred Owen's "Anthem for Doomed Youth" and a photograph made by layering 100 poppies.

Second Lieutenant Walter Tull was born in Folkestone in 1888 and orphaned after the death of his English mother and his Barbadian father. He became known as a professional footballer for Tottenham Hotspurs and later the Cobblers.

After the war broke out, he served in the Footballers’ Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and fought on the Somme.

After he was commissioned in May 1917, Tull became the first mixed-race Army officer to command troops in a regular unit. and fought in Italy and the Western Front.

He was killed in action on March 25, 1918. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, and is also remembered by a sculpture on Walter Tull Way and a bronze statue in the Guildhall courtyard.

The stamps and commemorative products can be pre-ordered now from the Royal Mail website and are available on general sale from 7,000 post offices nationwide from September 13.