Sir Nicholas Winton, also known as "Britain's Schindler" for saving hundreds of children from the Holocaust, will be immortalized on a Royal Mail stamp after a petition attracted more than 105,000 supporters, the BT.com news website reported on Monday.
Campaigners had called for Winton, who arranged for eight trains to carry 669 mainly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to London in 1939, to be honored with a commemorative postage stamp.
A change.org petition, launched by Jewish News, argued the stamp would be a "fitting tribute" to Sir Nicholas, who died last month aged 106, according to BT.com. It received over 105,800 signatures, including Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Conservative ex-minister Eric Pickles and Birmingham Edgbaston Labour MP Gisela Stuart.
A spokeswoman for Royal Mail said it was "pretty clear" that Sir Nicholas was a "worthy candidate" to be featured in a commemorative stamp set, according to the news website.
"One of the purposes of Royal Mail stamps is to honor those who have made important contributions to the UK, and every year we consider hundreds of subjects for inclusion. It is clear that Sir Nicholas Winton is a worthy candidate,” the spokeswoman said.
"Now we have consulted with his family, we are delighted to confirm our intention to feature Sir Nicholas on a stamp as part of a commemorative set, subject to the appropriate approvals, in 2016. The details will be confirmed in due course."
Justin Cohen, news editor of the Jewish News, who co-authored the petition with editor Richard Ferrer, said, "Sir Nicholas shied away from the 'hero' label but we could think of no one more deserving of this rare honor.”
"His inspirational story shows that one person truly can make a difference and we hope the stamp will bring his heroic efforts to the attention of even more people,” he added.
"We would like to thank the Royal Mail for acting in almost unprecedented speed as well as each and every one of those who signed the petition without whom this triumph may not have happened."
In addition to the stamp in Britain, an initiative reported shortly after Winton’s death could see Prague’s main railway station being named after him.
The idea of renaming the station came from Prague mayoral candidate Jan Cizinsky who presented it to the Czech government.
Sir Nicholas was knighted in 2003, and in October last year he received the Order of the White Lion– the highest Czech state honor – from the country’s president in a ceremony at Prague Castle.
In 1988, the BBC surprised him during the filming of a special documentary – where he met several of the children he had saved.
Following Winton’s death, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu personally eulogized him, saying, "The Jewish people and the State of Israel owe an eternal debt to Nicholas Winton who singlehandedly saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis."
"In a world plagued by evil and indifference, Winton dedicated himself to saving the innocent and the defenseless. His exceptional moral leadership serves as an example to all humanity."
Netanyahu concluded, saying, "Nicholas Winton will forever be remembered by us with the deepest admiration and gratitude. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."