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Peter McIntyre's World War Two

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In January 1941, Peter McIntyre was appointed New Zealand’s official war artist by Major General Bernard Freyberg. From 1941 to 1945, McIntyre shadowed the life of New Zealand’s Second Expeditionary Force on manoeuvres and at the front.

Issue information

Freyberg’s brief to McIntyre was to paint portraits of army officers and decorated soldiers, but the artist exceeded Freyberg’s expectations, adding to his list of subjects the life of New Zealand soldiers at rest and in battle.

Each stamp in this issue depicted a painting from a different location, showcasing the breadth of McIntyre’s service as New Zealand’s official war artist. McIntyre’s paintings depicted critical moments on the battlefield and at the rear guard in Greece, Egypt, Italy and Tunisia, as New Zealand troops followed orders.

Miniature sheet and first day covers

In McIntyre’s own words, his job was to provide an “intimate impression of the drama, the colour, the humour, and the tragedy of war”. He frequently worked close to the frontlines, drawing sketches that he’d later base his paintings on – an activity that attracted the interest of his comrades. The miniature sheet first day cover in this issue featured one sketch that wasn’t turned into a painting, ‘4th Brigade types’. The first day cover featured a painting of a crashed Stuka plane, while the miniature sheet depicted ‘Convoy under shell fire, Sidi Rezegh’, specifically dated by Archives New Zealand as depicting events of 13 March, 1942.

Presentation pack

With engaging commentary by award-winning feature writer Sarah Lang, you could learn more about the life of Peter McIntyre and his outstanding work and the iconic paintings that emerged from his time as New Zealand’s official war artist during World War Two. The presentation pack included a miniature sheet, a first day cover and a set of stamps.

Product listing for Peter McIntyre's World War Two

Image Title Description Price
Peter McIntyre's World War Two single $1.40 gummed stamp | NZ Post Collectables Single Stamp

Single $1.40 'Crete' gummed stamp.

After his appointment, McIntyre’s first commission was to paint a portrait of the King of Greece, George II, a recent evacuee to the island of Crete. McIntyre painted scenes in Crete including bombings, paratrooper invasions of the General Hospital, and airborne attacks, but many of the works were left behind.

Peter McIntyre, General Hospital Crete, 20 May 1941, Watercolour, 380 x 519mm, Crete campaign, Archives New Zealand: AAAC 898 NCWA 301.

$1.40
Peter McIntyre's World War Two single $2.70 gummed stamp | NZ Post Collectables Single Stamp

Single $2.70 'Tobruk' gummed stamp.

Tobruk, Libya was the next destination for McIntyre and the New Zealand Division after the disasters in Crete and Greece. It was near Tobruk that McIntyre would depict scenes focusing on the critical role that rail played in the supply of desert troops. This is one of a number of McIntyre’ paintings that focused on individuals’ practical efforts.

Peter McIntyre, Building the railway to Tobruk, May 1943, Oil, 648 x 900mm, North Africa, Archives New Zealand: AAAC 898 NCWA 9.

$2.70
Peter McIntyre's World War Two single $3.50 gummed stamp | NZ Post Collectables Single Stamp

Single $3.50 'El Alamein' gummed stamp.

McIntyre, who was shadowing New Zealand troops in Egypt, sketched these “Grant tanks” powering slowly but steadily forward during one of the two Battles of El Alamein (these were costly engagements for New Zealand, but also the turning point of the North African campaign in the Allies’ favour).

Peter McIntyre, The Grants go into action, El Alamein, c. November 1942, Oil, 650 x 905mm, Battle of El Alamein, North African Campaign, Archives New Zealand: AAAC 898 NCWA 24.

$3.50
Peter McIntyre's World War Two single $4.00 gummed stamp | NZ Post Collectables Single Stamp

Single $4.00 'Tunisia' gummed stamp.

In 1943, McIntyre accompanied the New Zealand Division as they fought alongside the British X Corps in Tunisia, North Africa. McIntyre illustrated the final surrender after the successful Operation Supercharge II and the eventual defeat of the Axis in Tunisia in May, depicting a medical officer attending wounded Germans among Tunisian cactuses.

Peter McIntyre, Medical Officer attending wounded Germans after final surrender in Tunisia, 1 May 1943, Watercolour, 365 x 338mm, North African campaign, Archives New Zealand: AAAC 898 NCWA 79. 

$4.00
Peter McIntyre's World War Two gummed miniature sheet | NZ Post Collectables Miniature Sheet

Mint, used or cancelled gummed miniature sheet.

$11.60
Peter McIntyre's World War Two first day cover | NZ Post Collectables First Day Cover

First day cover with four gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.

$12.10
Peter McIntrye's World War Two miniature sheet first day cover | NZ Post Collectables Miniature Sheet First Day Cover

First day cover with gummed miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.

$12.10
Peter McIntyre's World War Two presentation pack | NZ Post Collectables Presentation Pack

With engaging commentary by award-winning feature writer Sarah Lang, you learned more about the life of Peter McIntyre and his outstanding work and the iconic paintings that emerged from his time as New Zealand’s official war artist during World War Two. The presentation pack included a miniature sheet, a first day cover and a set of stamps.

$29.90

Technical information

Date of issue: 5 August 2020
Number of stamps: Four gummed stamps
Denominations: $1.40, $2.70, $3.50, $4.00
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by: Nicky Dyer, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, New Zealand by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 37.5mm x 36.95mm (square)
Miniature sheet size and format: 120mm x 95mm (horizontal)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Perforation gauge: 14.4 x 14.615
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks may be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks are available in A and B formats.
Period of sale: Unless stock is exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until 4 August 2021. First day covers will remain on sale until 30 September 2020.