The man who appears on the VE Day commemorative stamps was a barrow boy

The man behind the iconic VE Day stamp that captured the jubilant mood of Britain was a London market trader who pulled bodies out of blitz-damaged buildings, MailOnline can reveal.

George Sumpter was the smartly dressed man in a trilby hat photographed waving allied flags in Trafalgar Square on the afternoon of May 8 as the whole country embarked on a frenzied night of celebration.

This snapshot of joy at the end of hostilities in Europe has been immortalized in a first-class stamp entitled ‘Jubilant public 1945’ - one of a set of commemorative stamps issued to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The man behind the iconic VE Day stamp that captured the jubilant mood of Britain was London market trader who pulled bodies out of blitz-damaged buildings, MailOnline can reveal

The man behind the iconic VE Day stamp that captured the jubilant mood of Britain was London market trader who pulled bodies out of blitz-damaged buildings, MailOnline can reveal

Now MailOnline can reveal the endearing life story of the Covent Garden costermonger who joined the festivities to make a few bob selling flags. Pictured with grandchildren Clinton and Nicky

Now MailOnline can reveal the endearing life story of the Covent Garden costermonger who joined the festivities to make a few bob selling flags. Pictured with grandchildren Clinton and Nicky

‘George was out selling flags in Trafalgar square on 8 May 1945,’ said his grand-daughter Jacqui Diletti (above)

‘George was out selling flags in Trafalgar square on 8 May 1945,’ said his grand-daughter Jacqui Diletti (above)

Now MailOnline can reveal the endearing life story of the Covent Garden costermonger who joined the festivities to make a few bob selling flags.

One of seven children born in the Soho slums of Edwardian London in 1906, George worked as a barrow boy in Covent Garden market.

A hard-working family man, life was good, especially following the birth of his first child, Patricia Mary, in 1939, and a new home in the leafy suburbs of Enfield, on the outskirts of London.

When war broke out he joined the Home Guard and spent his time clearing up the devastation of the German's bombing campaign and selling supplies on the side. 

But George’s world came crashing down in 1941 when his wife Hilda ran off with the local butcher and Patricia was put in a children’s home hundreds of miles away on the south coast.

‘George was out selling flags in Trafalgar square on 8 May 1945,’ his grand-daughter Jacqui Diletti told MailOnline.

‘His wife Hilda had run off with the butcher when mum was two and she was put in a child’s home in Bournemouth

‘George, my granddad, chucked every single penny he had to get her back and won after he took on a childminder to look after her.

One of seven children born in the Soho slums of Edwardian London in 1906, George worked as a barrow boy in Covent Garden market. A hard-working family man, life was good, especially following the birth of his first child, Patricia Mary, in 1939 (pictured as an adult)

One of seven children born in the Soho slums of Edwardian London in 1906, George worked as a barrow boy in Covent Garden market. A hard-working family man, life was good, especially following the birth of his first child, Patricia Mary, in 1939 (pictured as an adult)

But George’s world came crashing down in 1941 when his wife Hilda ran off with the local butcher and Patricia was put in a children’s home hundreds of miles away on the south coast. He spent four years fighting to get Patricia (above on her wedding day) back in his care

But George’s world came crashing down in 1941 when his wife Hilda ran off with the local butcher and Patricia was put in a children’s home hundreds of miles away on the south coast. He spent four years fighting to get Patricia (above on her day) back in his care

Jacqui said George was determined to care for his only daughter. ‘Back in those days men didn’t look after children on their own. He was single parent in wartime and that was unheard of.' Once the war had ended, he stayed as a market trader

Jacqui said George was determined to care for his only daughter. ‘Back in those days men didn’t look after children on their own. He was single parent in wartime and that was unheard of.' Once the war had ended, he stayed as a market trader

‘He fought an expensive legal battle for three years to get my mum but she had to be evacuated and although he won full custody he couldn’t have her home until the children were allowed to return to London.

‘So that picture was more than a celebration of the end of the war in Europe for my granddad – he was going to get his daughter back.’  

Jacqui said George was determined to care for his only daughter.  

‘Back in those days men didn’t look after children on their own. He was single parent in wartime and that was unheard of.

‘He didn’t go to war because but he was a member of the Home Guard – Dad’s Army. He pulled bodies out of buildings.

‘And on the side, he sold stockings

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