The Royal Mint is reissuing a set of British military history 50p pieces and included among them is one to commemorate the 1066 Battle of Hastings.
In addition to the local conflict the set includes 50p coins commemorating D-Day, the Victoria Cross and the Battle of Britain – all the newly minted coins carry a 2019 date and put together in one collection several coins that were originally issued individually over a number of years.
Kevin Boorman, the manager of 1066 Country Marketing, the public private sector organisation that promotes the area to visitors, said: “The original Battle of Hastings 50p coins were issued in 2016 to mark the 950th anniversary of the battle and they proved to be very popular.
“They also helped raise awareness of this area nationally and internationally, and I am always pleased to find a ‘Battle of Hastings’ 50p in my change.”
Mr Boorman says the reissued coins are primarily aimed at collectors but is happy that the national publicity they have been receiving will help promote 1066 Country too.
“Their issue was obviously timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and that provides an interesting link to us too. The D-Day landings took place in Normandy, home of William the Conqueror. The first French town to be liberated in June 1944 was Bayeux, home of the Bayeux Tapestry, ” he says.
Mr Boorman also points out other local connections; Sidney Little, Hastings borough engineer in the 1940s and known as the ‘concrete king’ for his expertise in the use of reinforced concrete, was seconded to the admiralty during the Second World War and helped design the ‘Mulberry Harbours’ used to keep the Allied forces supply lines open after D-Day.
“It is also worth reflecting that the Norman invasion in 1066, although not on anything like the scale of D-Day, involved a similar sea crossing, but purely using oar and sail power, and was itself an incredible logistical achievement,” says Mr Boorman.
“It is therefore entirely appropriate that the Battle of Hastings 50p is reissued alongside the D-Day coin as part of the military history series, and we are very pleased that the Royal Mint has recognised this,” he concludes.