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British Commonwealth Postal History
Shipwreck & Train Crash Mail
Unusual Postal Incidents
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1901 Boer war - 1901 censored cover to India, written by an Indian serving in the British Forces, with a 1d cancelled BARBERTON 15 NOV 01. Barberton and Pretoria censor cachets are on the front of the cover, on the back are Pretoria 19 NOV, Durban NO 22, Tuticorin 19 DE and Shastara 28 DE 01 transit and arrival cancels. 1901 Boer war
1901 censored cover to India, written by an Indian serving in the British Forces, with a 1d cancelled BARBERTON 15 NOV 01. Barberton and Pretoria censor cachets are on the front of the cover, on the back are Pretoria 19 NOV, Durban NO 22, Tuticorin 19 DE and Shastara 28 DE 01 transit and arrival cancels.
£325.00
Reference: A3409

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1902 Boer War - 1902 censored envelope to Kroonstad, O.F.S. from a Boer P.O.W. at the Peniche Camp, with five 5R stamps cancelled PENICHE 9 JAN 02. A Vredefort Road FE 8 02 cancel is on the back of the cover. A scarce cover from this P.O.W. Camp in Portugal. An original picture of Boer Prisoners at Peniche accompanies the cover.1902 Boer War
1902 censored envelope to Kroonstad, O.F.S. from a Boer P.O.W. at the Peniche Camp, with five 5R stamps cancelled PENICHE 9 JAN 02. A Vredefort Road FE 8 02 cancel is on the back of the cover. A scarce cover from this P.O.W. Camp in Portugal. An original picture of Boer Prisoners at Peniche accompanies the cover.
£775.00
Reference: A3408

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1947 Dubai - 1947 cover to India, endorsed on the front By air mail with five India ½ Anna overprinted PAKISTAN on the back. These have all been cancelled DUBAI 6 NOV 1947. A Bombay 3 DEC 47 arrival cancel rather implies that it didnt go air mail. A scarce cover with these stamps. 1947 Dubai
1947 cover to India, endorsed on the front 'By air mail' with five India ½ Anna overprinted PAKISTAN on the back. These have all been cancelled DUBAI 6 NOV 1947. A Bombay 3 DEC 47 arrival cancel rather implies that it didn't go air mail. A scarce cover with these stamps.
£1275.00
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1961 Northern Rhodesia - 1961 reused cover to Salisbury with a Rhodesia and Nyasaland 3d cancelled by the scarce MUMBWA NORTHERN RHODESIA 8 APR 61 datestamp. A small village in the central part of Northern Rhodesia, the post office fell under the Broken Hill administration, a little over 120 miles to the north east. A scarce and seldom seen cancellation.1961 Northern Rhodesia
1961 'reused' cover to Salisbury with a Rhodesia and Nyasaland 3d cancelled by the scarce MUMBWA NORTHERN RHODESIA 8 APR 61 datestamp. A small village in the central part of Northern Rhodesia, the post office fell under the Broken Hill administration, a little over 120 miles to the north east. A scarce and seldom seen cancellation.
£28.00
Reference: G3017

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1925 Canada - 1925 inter bank High Value Packet label from the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto to the Royal Bank of Canada Montreal with eight $1, two 10c and a 1c, an $8.21 franking! The stamps have been cancelled by R registration handstamps. A Toronto JUL 20 1925 datestamp is on the face of the label. A very scarce HVP label with this high franking1925 Canada
1925 inter bank High Value Packet label from the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto to the Royal Bank of Canada Montreal with eight $1, two 10c and a 1c, an $8.21 franking! The stamps have been cancelled by 'R' registration handstamps. A Toronto JUL 20 1925 datestamp is on the face of the label. A very scarce HVP label with this high franking
£150.00
Reference: G3016

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1956 Canada - 1956 parcel label to Calgary, Alberta, with a pairs of K.G. VI $1 and 20c and two 1c, all overprinted “G” (S.G.0178, 0187 & 0195) and all cancelled LETHBRIDGE 27. 1. 56. A Calgary JAN 28 1956 arrival cancel is on the face. A scarce usage of these Official stamps on a parcel label.1956 Canada
1956 parcel label to Calgary, Alberta, with a pairs of K.G. VI $1 and 20c and two 1c, all overprinted “G” (S.G.0178, 0187 & 0195) and all cancelled LETHBRIDGE 27. 1. 56. A Calgary JAN 28 1956 arrival cancel is on the face. A scarce usage of these Official stamps on a parcel label.
£38.00
Reference: G3015

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1956 Canada - 1956 parcel label to Calgary, Alberta, with five 1950 50c, overprinted “G” and five 1952 20c overprinted “G” (S.G. 0187 & 0188) all cancelled LETHBRIDGE 16. 1. 56. A Calgary JAN 17 1956 arrival cancel is on the face. A scarce $3.50 Official rate. (The stamps catalogued £145 as used stamps!)  1956 Canada - 1956 parcel label to Calgary, Alberta, with five 1950 50c, overprinted “G” and five 1952 20c overprinted “G” (S.G. 0187 & 0188) all cancelled LETHBRIDGE 16. 1. 56. A Calgary JAN 17 1956 arrival cancel is on the face. A scarce $3.50 Official rate. (The stamps catalogued £145 as used stamps!)  1956 Canada
1956 parcel label to Calgary, Alberta, with five 1950 50c, overprinted “G” and five 1952 20c overprinted “G” (S.G. 0187 & 0188) all cancelled LETHBRIDGE 16. 1. 56. A Calgary JAN 17 1956 arrival cancel is on the face. A scarce $3.50 Official rate. (The stamps catalogued £145 as used stamps!)
£75.00
Reference: G3014

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1944 Falkland Islands - 1944 Operation Tabarin cover to Port Stanley with Falkland Island Dependencies ½d and 1d cancelled SOUTH SHETLANDS 16 AP 1944. A Port Stanley 25 AP 44 arrival cancel is on the back. George W. J. Bowles was the Customs Officer and represented the Governor visiting the bases at Deception Island and Port Lockroy in March and April 1944. The role of Operation Tabarin was ostensibly to deny safe anchorages to enemy raiding vessels and to gather meteorological data for allied shipping in the South Atlantic. It was set up in 1943 and continued throughout the war years.   1944 Falkland Islands
1944 Operation Tabarin cover to Port Stanley with Falkland Island Dependencies ½d and 1d cancelled SOUTH SHETLANDS 16 AP 1944. A Port Stanley 25 AP 44 arrival cancel is on the back. George W. J. Bowles was the Customs Officer and represented the Governor visiting the bases at Deception Island and Port Lockroy in March and April 1944. The role of Operation Tabarin was ostensibly to deny safe anchorages to enemy raiding vessels and to gather meteorological data for allied shipping in the South Atlantic. It was set up in 1943 and continued throughout the war years.
£140.00
Reference: K3400

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1945 Falkland Islands - 1945 Operation Tabarin registered cover to the USA with a Falkland Island Dependencies 9d cancelled GRAHAM LAND 3 FEB 1945. A Port Stanley 16 FE 45 transit cancel is on the back. The cover was carried on the “Fitzroy” and “William Scoresby”. The role of Operation Tabarin was ostensibly to deny safe anchorages to enemy raiding vessels and to gather meteorological data for allied shipping in the South Atlantic. It was set up in 1943 and continued throughout the war years.   1945 Falkland Islands
1945 Operation Tabarin registered cover to the USA with a Falkland Island Dependencies 9d cancelled GRAHAM LAND 3 FEB 1945. A Port Stanley 16 FE 45 transit cancel is on the back. The cover was carried on the “Fitzroy” and “William Scoresby”. The role of Operation Tabarin was ostensibly to deny safe anchorages to enemy raiding vessels and to gather meteorological data for allied shipping in the South Atlantic. It was set up in 1943 and continued throughout the war years.
£130.00
Reference: K3399

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1916 South Africa - 1916 illustrated piano advertising cover to Switzerland, censored and resealed by tape at the top with a 3d cancelled CAPE TOWN JY 1 16. A Berne 24 VII 1916 arrival cancel is on the back. A scarce piano advertising cover. 1916 South Africa
1916 illustrated piano advertising cover to Switzerland, censored and resealed by tape at the top with a 3d cancelled CAPE TOWN JY 1 16. A Berne 24 VII 1916 arrival cancel is on the back. A scarce piano advertising cover.
£75.00
Reference: G3011

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1861 Gambia - 1861 mourning envelope to France, endorsed p “Ethiope” with a green oval cachet “BARRÈRE FRÈRES BATHURST RIVIÈRE DE GAMBIE” and a red BATHURST GAMBIA PAID OC 25 1861 datestamp. A red P.D. and London NO 11 and Calais 11 NOV 61 transit cancels are on the front of the cover as well as a “7” in red for the 7d out of 8d prepaid due to the London Post Office for a ¼ oz letter rate. A rare early cover, ex Sacher. 1861 Gambia
1861 mourning envelope to France, endorsed 'p “Ethiope” with a green oval cachet “BARRÈRE FRÈRES BATHURST RIVIÈRE DE GAMBIE” and a red BATHURST GAMBIA PAID OC 25 1861 datestamp. A red 'P.D.' and London NO 11 and Calais 11 NOV 61 transit cancels are on the front of the cover as well as a “7” in red for the 7d out of 8d prepaid due to the London Post Office for a ¼ oz letter rate. A rare early cover, ex Sacher.
£1350.00
Reference: G3010

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1901 Seychelles - 1901 15c envelope sent registered to Budapest with a block of four 3c on 10c paying the 12c registration. These have all been cancelled SEYCHELLES OC 24 01. A London 25 NOV 01 transit cancel is on the front of the cover. Fine. 1901 Seychelles
1901 15c envelope sent registered to Budapest with a block of four 3c on 10c paying the 12c registration. These have all been cancelled SEYCHELLES OC 24 01. A London 25 NOV 01 transit cancel is on the front of the cover. Fine.
£225.00
Reference: G3003

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1896 Seychelles - 1896 18c on 30c envelope overprinted SPECIMEN. Fine.  1896 Seychelles
1896 18c on 30c envelope overprinted 'SPECIMEN'. Fine.
£38.00
Reference: G3002

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1968 Irelnd - 1968 High Value Packet label, that was used for inter-bank money transfers, with a 5/-, 2/6d, 6d and 1d, paying an 8/1d rate, cancelled CORCAIDH 11 IX 68. A Cork registration etiquette is on the label which has been sent from the National Bank in Cork to the National Bank in Dublin. A  scarce H.V.P. Label.1968 Irelnd - 1968 High Value Packet label, that was used for inter-bank money transfers, with a 5/-, 2/6d, 6d and 1d, paying an 8/1d rate, cancelled CORCAIDH 11 IX 68. A Cork registration etiquette is on the label which has been sent from the National Bank in Cork to the National Bank in Dublin. A  scarce H.V.P. Label.1968 Irelnd
1968 High Value Packet label, that was used for inter-bank money transfers, with a 5/-, 2/6d, 6d and 1d, paying an 8/1d rate, cancelled CORCAIDH 11 IX 68. A Cork registration etiquette is on the label which has been sent from the National Bank in Cork to the National Bank in Dublin. A scarce H.V.P. Label.
£35.00
Reference: G3001

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1968 Ireland - 1968 High Value Packet label, that was used for inter-bank money transfers, with a 2/6d and pair 1/- cancelled TIOBRAID ARANN 10 IX 68. A Tipperary registration label is on the card which has been sent from the National Bank there to the National Bank in Dublin. A scarce H.V.P. Label.1968 Ireland - 1968 High Value Packet label, that was used for inter-bank money transfers, with a 2/6d and pair 1/- cancelled TIOBRAID ARANN 10 IX 68. A Tipperary registration label is on the card which has been sent from the National Bank there to the National Bank in Dublin. A scarce H.V.P. Label.1968 Ireland
1968 High Value Packet label, that was used for inter-bank money transfers, with a 2/6d and pair 1/- cancelled TIOBRAID ARANN 10 IX 68. A Tipperary registration label is on the card which has been sent from the National Bank there to the National Bank in Dublin. A scarce H.V.P. Label.
£25.00
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1876 New South Wales / Victoria - 1876 cover to London with a New South Wales 2d and a Victoria 6d, cancelled by   49 obliterators of WAGGA WAGGA. On the back of the cover are Wagga Wagga JA 23 76 and Melbourne JA 25 76 datestamps. A few minor cover faults, but a scarce New South Wales / Victoria combination cover. 1876 New South Wales / Victoria
1876 cover to London with a New South Wales 2d and a Victoria 6d, cancelled by '49' obliterators of WAGGA WAGGA. On the back of the cover are Wagga Wagga JA 23 76 and Melbourne JA 25 76 datestamps. A few minor cover faults, but a scarce New South Wales / Victoria combination cover.
£850.00
Reference: K3398

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1856 Mauritius - 1858 outer wrapper to Cape Town, Cape Colony, endorsed Pr Emily Smith, via Algoa Bay, franked with a 4d surcharge stamp, with good to enormous margins, tied by a concentric circle canceller. A PORT LOUIS SP 1 1858 departure cancel is on the back along with a Port Elizabeth SP 28 and Cape Town OC 2 1858 transit and arrival cancels. Minor mount soils are on the front of the wrapper, but a fine and rare example of this stamp used on a folded cover.1856 Mauritius
1858 outer wrapper to Cape Town, Cape Colony, endorsed 'Pr Emily Smith, via Algoa Bay', franked with a 4d surcharge stamp, with good to enormous margins, tied by a concentric circle canceller. A PORT LOUIS SP 1 1858 departure cancel is on the back along with a Port Elizabeth SP 28 and Cape Town OC 2 1858 transit and arrival cancels. Minor mount soils are on the front of the wrapper, but a fine and rare example of this stamp used on a folded cover.
£4000.00
Reference: K3397

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1819 Mauritius -  1819 (15 July) folded letter to Caen, France, with a fine strike of the oval PORT LOUIS / POST PAID handstamp. A COLONIES PAR / BREST handstamp is at the upper left. A fine example of this Port Louis strike. 1819 Mauritius
1819 (15 July) folded letter to Caen, France, with a fine strike of the oval 'PORT LOUIS / POST PAID' handstamp. A 'COLONIES PAR / BREST' handstamp is at the upper left. A fine example of this Port Louis strike.
£650.00
Reference: K3396

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1862 Colombo Shipwreck - ‘COLOMBO’ 1862. The P.& O. Steamer ‘Colombo, whilst on a voyage between Australia and England, struck on Minicoy Island, the most southern of the Laccadives, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean three hundred miles due west of the southern tip of India, at four o’clock in the morning of 19th November while encountering very heavy monsoon rain. Within a short time the ship was flooded, but all the passengers were safely transferred by lifeboats to the island. They were subsequently rescued by the ‘Ottawa’ on the 30th November. 530 boxes of mail were recovered by divers, mostly over the next 5 weeks, but some were under water for 2 months. Covers emanating from this shipwreck are usually found in very poor condition. Many were so badly damaged that they had to be put in ‘ambulance’ covers and then forwarded to the recipient. All the mail received a boxed two line cachet “Saved from the wreck of / the Colombo” either in red or black ink. This is the first recorded cachet applied to Australasian wreck mail. There appeared to be four different handstamps used, with small variances between them. This cover to Scotland has been cancelled MELBOURNE OC 25 62. The stamp, as usually found on this wreck mail, has been washed off. The cachet applied here is the Type 3. A very fine strike of this cachet.1862 Colombo Shipwreck - ‘COLOMBO’ 1862. The P.& O. Steamer ‘Colombo, whilst on a voyage between Australia and England, struck on Minicoy Island, the most southern of the Laccadives, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean three hundred miles due west of the southern tip of India, at four o’clock in the morning of 19th November while encountering very heavy monsoon rain. Within a short time the ship was flooded, but all the passengers were safely transferred by lifeboats to the island. They were subsequently rescued by the ‘Ottawa’ on the 30th November. 530 boxes of mail were recovered by divers, mostly over the next 5 weeks, but some were under water for 2 months. Covers emanating from this shipwreck are usually found in very poor condition. Many were so badly damaged that they had to be put in ‘ambulance’ covers and then forwarded to the recipient. All the mail received a boxed two line cachet “Saved from the wreck of / the Colombo” either in red or black ink. This is the first recorded cachet applied to Australasian wreck mail. There appeared to be four different handstamps used, with small variances between them. This cover to Scotland has been cancelled MELBOURNE OC 25 62. The stamp, as usually found on this wreck mail, has been washed off. The cachet applied here is the Type 3. A very fine strike of this cachet.1862 Colombo Shipwreck
‘COLOMBO’ 1862. The P.& O. Steamer ‘Colombo, whilst on a voyage between Australia and England, struck on Minicoy Island, the most southern of the Laccadives, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean three hundred miles due west of the southern tip of India, at four o’clock in the morning of 19th November while encountering very heavy monsoon rain. Within a short time the ship was flooded, but all the passengers were safely transferred by lifeboats to the island. They were subsequently rescued by the ‘Ottawa’ on the 30th November. 530 boxes of mail were recovered by divers, mostly over the next 5 weeks, but some were under water for 2 months. Covers emanating from this shipwreck are usually found in very poor condition. Many were so badly damaged that they had to be put in ‘ambulance’ covers and then forwarded to the recipient. All the mail received a boxed two line cachet “Saved from the wreck of / the Colombo” either in red or black ink. This is the first recorded cachet applied to Australasian wreck mail. There appeared to be four different handstamps used, with small variances between them. This cover to Scotland has been cancelled MELBOURNE OC 25 62. The stamp, as usually found on this wreck mail, has been washed off. The cachet applied here is the 'Type 3'. A very fine strike of this cachet.
£350.00
Reference: K3395

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1892 Gold Coast - 1892 envelope to Dessau, Germany, endorsed per Ella Woermann, via Liverpool, with a 1d, 2½d and ½d, correctly paying the 4d rate, each cancelled ADA JA 29 92.  A boxed TOO LATE handstamp (Proud I 2) is on the front of the cover, along with a Paid Liverpool Br. Packet 25 FEB 92 datestamp. Accra JA 31 and Dessau 29.2.92. transit and arrival cancels are on the back. Fine. Ex John Sacher collection. 1892 Gold Coast
1892 envelope to Dessau, Germany, endorsed 'per Ella Woermann, via Liverpool', with a 1d, 2½d and ½d, correctly paying the 4d rate, each cancelled ADA JA 29 92. A boxed 'TOO LATE' handstamp (Proud I 2) is on the front of the cover, along with a Paid Liverpool Br. Packet 25 FEB 92 datestamp. Accra JA 31 and Dessau 29.2.92. transit and arrival cancels are on the back. Fine. Ex John Sacher collection.
£425.00
Reference: K3394

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