Dalkeith's unsung D-Day hero James Stagg commemorated on special 80th anniversary Royal Mail weather stamps

Midlothian hero recognised for his war efforts
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An unsung D-Day hero from Dalkeith has been recognised in a series of stamps set to be released to mark the 80th anniversary of the major turning point of World War II.

As World War II reached its crescendo, one man stood at the crossroads of history, armed not with a rifle, but with a weather forecast.

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2024 will mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, one of the largest amphibious assaults in history and a key turning point in the war.

The relatively untold story however is the involvement of local man James Stagg, a chief meteorological officer during the war, whose weather forecasts were integral in a successful landing by allied forces on mainland Europe in the push back against Adolf Hitler's army, which saw them make it all the way to Germany to win the war and rid the world of fascism.

To celebrate James Stagg, a new stamps collection is being released to honour him as part of not only the 80th anniversary commemorations but also to mark the 170th anniversary of the Met Office.

A limited edition first day cover features an original met office weather map from June 5th, 1944, and a photograph of James Stagg. The stamps are now available to pre-order ahead of their release on February 1.

Unsung D-Day hero James Stagg from Dalkeith has been recognised by the Post Office as part of a set of new stamps to mark the 80th anniversary this year.Unsung D-Day hero James Stagg from Dalkeith has been recognised by the Post Office as part of a set of new stamps to mark the 80th anniversary this year.
Unsung D-Day hero James Stagg from Dalkeith has been recognised by the Post Office as part of a set of new stamps to mark the 80th anniversary this year.
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This recognition for the former University of Edinburgh student has been warmly welcomed by local history enthusiast Sharon Mackintosh. Her campaigning saw a plaque unveiled in memory of James outside Dalkeith Library on June 6, 2019, 75 years to the day after the D-Day landings. Speaking about him being commemorated on these new stamps, she said: "James Stagg’s crucial, if often overlooked, role can be viewed as the linchpin of Operation Overlord and the eventual success of D-Day. "His role in providing accurate weather forecasts for D-Day highlighted the critical intersection of meteorology and military strategy during World War II. His contributions significantly influenced the success of one of the most pivotal moments in the war.

"Without his work, and defiance to General Eisenhower to delay the invasion by a day to June 6, the Allies may have ultimately lost many more lives due to poor weather conditions in the English Channel, and more widely for the entire war effort."

James Stagg was born in Musselburgh and grew up in Dalkeith. He studied mathematics and physics at the University of Edinburgh. A keen interest in meteorology led him to work at the Met Office in London. He became a skilled meteorologist and gained a reputation for his expertise in weather forecasting which later resulted in his appointment as the chief meteorological officer to General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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