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Special postbox to mark centenary of first transatlantic flight

A postbox on Harlington High Street that has been decorated to commemorate 100 years of pioneering aviators Captain John Alcock and Lieutena Photo: Royal Mail/PA

Royal Mail is to launch a special postbox, postmark and online gallery to mark the centenary of the first transatlantic flight.

Pioneering aviators Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown embarked on the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic 100 years ago, carrying with them hundreds of letters.

The journey was beset with challenges including mechanical failures, heavy snow and blinding fog.

The postbox on Harlington High Street Credit: Royal Mail/PA

They wore electrically heated clothing, overalls, fur gloves and fur-lined helmets, crash landing near Clifden in Co Galway on June 15 1919, after around 16 hours’ flying time.

Alcock and Brown were feted as heroes on completion of their flight.

Both men were knighted days later by King George V.

The commemorative postbox is being unveiled on Harlington High Street, close to Heathrow Airport, the home of Royal Mail’s Worldwide Distribution Centre.

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The postmark is appearing on stamped mail, while the online gallery marking the event will be available on the Royal Mail Group website.

David Gold, of Royal Mail, said: “Royal Mail is proud to pay tribute to the first transatlantic airmail flight.

“The bravery of Alcock and Brown in pushing these boundaries will never be forgotten and their legacy lives on in today’s postal service.”

In 1969, Royal Mail produced stamps to immortalise Alcock and Brown.