Annie Rose Saunders (nee Titford)

An Appreciation (BWISC Bulletin March 1988)

It is with considerable sadness to have to record the death of Rose Saunders (nee Titford) who passed away suddenly on Wednesday, 13th January 1988, at the age of 80 years.

Rose was born in Cricklewood, north-west London, and was interested in philately from a very early age. She acquired her first stamp album when 11 years old and from then onwards her whole life revolved around stamps. Her main stamp interests were the issues of Austria (Lombardy-Venezia) and Brazil but she also formed collections of Bahamas, Canada, Orange Free State, St. Christopher, Shanghai and numerous others as side-lines.

Rose joined the staff of the Royal Philatelic Society, London, as a junior clerk on 18th November 1921 and took over the secretarial duties of the late Mr. A. Churchill Emerson when he retired in December 1928. She was appointed Chief Assistant in April 1929, then undertaking the duties of Secretary to the Expert Committee, the post she held for thirty-six years. During this period she worked with many famous philatelists of the “Old School” - Sir Edward Bacon, W. Dorning Beckton, T.W. Hall and Sir John Wilson, curator of the Royal Philatelic Collections. It was here at the “Royal” that Rose gained her wonderful knowledge of the classics, handling and recording thousands of rare stamps from all over the world.

A member of numerous Philatelic Societies over many years, Rose was Hon. Secretary of the City of London P.S. from 1948 for fourteen years and later became President. She was a Committee member of the Hammersmith and District P.S. for several years and was also Vice-President of the Bradford P.S. Rose also acted as Hostess to the “Congress” Executive in 1948 and 1949.

She judged many competitions and contributed displays from her collections to Societies throughout Great Britain. At the International Philatelic Exhibitions in New York and Copenhagen in 1947, and London and Melbourne in 1950, Rose exhibited “hors concours,”

She was awarded the Brandt Prize of the City of London P.S. in 1938 for her research study of the Austrian 1867 and 1880 issues.

However, so far as the British West Indies Study Circle was concerned, Rose gave great support to her husband Philip who founded the Study Circ1e.

Her vast experience was always available not only in the early days, but also during the crucial years of the Study Circle’s rapid expansion. Rose also formed the Library of the Study Circle and was Hon. Librarian for many years: when she retired from this office the Library was very comprehensive and already covered West Indies philately in a most satisfactory and useful manner. She ultimately became an Hon. Life Member of the Study Circle.