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British Commonwealth Postal History
Shipwreck & Train Crash Mail
Unusual Postal Incidents
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1871 New Zealand - 1871 envelope to Christchurch bearing a 2d, correctly paying the local rate, tied by a barred 16 oblitorator with a KAIAPOI MY 9 71 datestamp on the back. A Christchurch arrival canceller of the same date is also on the back of the cover. On the front is a very fine strike of the scarce TOO LATE handstamp of Kaiapoi. The reason for this handstamp is that although it arrived in Christchurch the same day it was posted, it had missed the first delivery. Kaiapoi is about ten miles north of Christchurch. A very fine and scarce cover.1871 New Zealand
1871 envelope to Christchurch bearing a 2d, correctly paying the local rate, tied by a barred '16' oblitorator with a KAIAPOI MY 9 71 datestamp on the back. A Christchurch arrival canceller of the same date is also on the back of the cover. On the front is a very fine strike of the scarce 'TOO LATE' handstamp of Kaiapoi. The reason for this handstamp is that although it arrived in Christchurch the same day it was posted, it had missed the first delivery. Kaiapoi is about ten miles north of Christchurch. A very fine and scarce cover.
£550.00
Reference: K3125

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1927 Tanganyika - 1927 30c registration envelope to Germany additionally franked on the back with 2 x 40c cancelled TANGA. A purple INSURED label has been affixed with Shs 100/= endorsed in manuscript, and a further deep red INSURED label has been attached at the right. A red manuscript Insured for sh: 100 (one hundred only) has been written above the label. A registration label with Tanga / 9.83 written in blue crayon is also on the front of the envelope. Fine and a very uncommon cover with two different insured labels.1927 Tanganyika - 1927 30c registration envelope to Germany additionally franked on the back with 2 x 40c cancelled TANGA. A purple INSURED label has been affixed with Shs 100/= endorsed in manuscript, and a further deep red INSURED label has been attached at the right. A red manuscript Insured for sh: 100 (one hundred only) has been written above the label. A registration label with Tanga / 9.83 written in blue crayon is also on the front of the envelope. Fine and a very uncommon cover with two different insured labels.1927 Tanganyika
1927 30c registration envelope to Germany additionally franked on the back with 2 x 40c cancelled TANGA. A purple 'INSURED' label has been affixed with Shs 100/= endorsed in manuscript, and a further deep red 'INSURED' label has been attached at the right. A red manuscript 'Insured for sh: 100 (one hundred only) has been written above the label. A registration label with 'Tanga / 9.83 written in blue crayon is also on the front of the envelope. Fine and a very uncommon cover with two different insured labels.
£275.00
Reference: K3124

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1910 Fiji / Tonga - 1910 picture post card (people on the deck of a ship playing shuffleboard) to Apia, Samoa, bearing a KE VII 1d cancelled NAUSORI 13 OCT 1910. At the lower part of the card is a good strike of the rare oval handstamp MISSENT TO TONGA. This handstamp is not recorded or listed by Proud.  Vavau OC 27 and Nukualofa OC 29 10 datestamps are on the picture side of the card. A very fine and rare card with this handstamp.  1910 Fiji / Tonga
1910 picture post card (people on the deck of a ship playing shuffleboard) to Apia, Samoa, bearing a KE VII 1d cancelled NAUSORI 13 OCT 1910. At the lower part of the card is a good strike of the rare oval handstamp 'MISSENT TO TONGA'. This handstamp is not recorded or listed by Proud. Vavau OC 27 and Nukualofa OC 29 10 datestamps are on the picture side of the card. A very fine and rare card with this handstamp.
£975.00
Reference: K3123

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1855 Great Britain / Crimea - CRIMEA WAR. 1855 small envelope to Chatham, Kent, endorsed Stamped via Marseille bearing a strip of three 1ds tied by the barred 0*0 cancellers used in Crimea. On the back of the cover is a red BRITISH ARMY POST OFFICE JU 20 1855 datestamp and a Chatham JY 10 55 arrival c.d.s.1855 Great Britain / Crimea
CRIMEA WAR. 1855 small envelope to Chatham, Kent, endorsed 'Stamped via Marseille' bearing a strip of three 1d's tied by the barred '0*0' cancellers used in Crimea. On the back of the cover is a red BRITISH ARMY POST OFFICE JU 20 1855 datestamp and a Chatham JY 10 55 arrival c.d.s.
£550.00
Reference: G2812

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1917 Rhodesia - 1917 envelope, with the original letter, from a soldier in 1 / Coy, (2 Platoon) 2nd Rhodesia Regt. to Australia endorsed On Active Service and unstamped, cancelled SALISBURY 15 AUG 17. A previously unrecorded CENSORED handstamp is at the left of the cover along with the signature of the censor. The letter says that The Regiment has the reputation of being the finest fighters in East Africa and the 130th Baluchis (an Indian Regt) will not fight with any other but us. He also says that he was suffering from dysentery and malaria, a common problem with many soldiers there. Due to these casualties and the lack of replacements from the home country, where 40% of the adult white male population was on active service, the 2nd Rhodesia Regiment returned home in April 1917 and disbanded in October.  A fine and very scarce letter from a Rhodesian soldier after his return from East Africa, who was probably originally from Australia. 1917 Rhodesia
1917 envelope, with the original letter, from a soldier in 1 / Coy, (2 Platoon) 2nd Rhodesia Regt. to Australia endorsed 'On Active Service' and unstamped, cancelled SALISBURY 15 AUG 17. A previously unrecorded 'CENSORED' handstamp is at the left of the cover along with the signature of the censor. The letter says that 'The Regiment has the reputation of being the finest fighters in East Africa and the 130th Baluchis (an Indian Regt) will not fight with any other but us.' He also says that he was suffering from dysentery and malaria, a common problem with many soldiers there. Due to these casualties and the lack of replacements from the home country, where 40% of the adult white male population was on active service, the 2nd Rhodesia Regiment returned home in April 1917 and disbanded in October. A fine and very scarce letter from a Rhodesian soldier after his return from East Africa, who was probably originally from Australia.
£550.00
Reference: K3122

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1918 Bermuda - 1918 picture post card (Watford-Somerset Bridge and Mangrove Bay) to England bearing a 1d cancelled HAMILTON 25 MAY 1918. The card has been endorsed BOAZ, BDA and has a violet oval triple ring 2/4 BTLN. EAST YORK. REGT. / C COMPANY cachet at the upper left. A single ring P.C. / BERMUDA censor handstamp is also on the card. A rare item from one of the small contingent of British troops stationed on Boaz Island during WWI. 1918 Bermuda
1918 picture post card (Watford-Somerset Bridge and Mangrove Bay) to England bearing a 1d cancelled HAMILTON 25 MAY 1918. The card has been endorsed 'BOAZ, B'DA' and has a violet oval triple ring '2/4 BTLN. EAST YORK. REGT. / C COMPANY' cachet at the upper left. A single ring P.C. / BERMUDA censor handstamp is also on the card. A rare item from one of the small contingent of British troops stationed on Boaz Island during WWI.
£75.00
Reference: K3120

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 1944 Basutoland - 1944 cover to Johannesburg bearing a 2d cancelled SEKAKES 27 JUN 44. Situated in the south eastern part of Basutoland, Sekakes was a postal agency that opened in 1930 under Qachasnek. It was named after Chief Sekake. Slight damage at the upper right of the cover when opening but a fine strike of this uncommon cancellation. 1944 Basutoland
1944 cover to Johannesburg bearing a 2d cancelled SEKAKES 27 JUN 44. Situated in the south eastern part of Basutoland, Sekakes was a postal agency that opened in 1930 under Qachasnek. It was named after Chief Sekake. Slight damage at the upper right of the cover when opening but a fine strike of this uncommon cancellation.
£32.00
Reference: K3118

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1863 Ship Incident - A cover from Salisbury, England, posted on December 18 1863 to Hobart, Tasmania, that was delayed due to a broken shaft in the Indian Ocean near Galle, Ceylon. The cover was on the Poonah, that sailed from Southampton on 20 December arriving Alexandria 3 January 1864. From there it went on the Candia which had engine failure 120 miles from Galle. Initially it travelled by oar and sail but was taken in tow by the Emeu and arrived at Galle on 22 January. The mail was transferred to the Northam that sailed on 22 January, arriving Melbourne 12 February 1864. A red  boxed SHIP – LETTER – INWARDS, FREE 15 FE 1864 handstamp was applied to the front of the cover. An interesting cover to Tasmania.1863 Ship Incident
A cover from Salisbury, England, posted on December 18 1863 to Hobart, Tasmania, that was delayed due to a broken shaft in the Indian Ocean near Galle, Ceylon. The cover was on the 'Poonah', that sailed from Southampton on 20 December arriving Alexandria 3 January 1864. From there it went on the 'Candia' which had engine failure 120 miles from Galle. Initially it travelled by oar and sail but was taken in tow by the 'Emeu' and arrived at Galle on 22 January. The mail was transferred to the 'Northam' that sailed on 22 January, arriving Melbourne 12 February 1864. A red boxed 'SHIP – LETTER – INWARDS, FREE 15 FE 1864' handstamp was applied to the front of the cover. An interesting cover to Tasmania.
£190.00
Reference: K3117

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1948 Swaziland - 1948 cover to the USA from the Church of the Nazarene Mission at Stegi bearing a ½d, paying the unsealed letter rate, cancelled STEGI 2 IV 48.  An uncommon ½d unsealed letter rate cover to the USA. 1948 Swaziland
1948 cover to the USA from the Church of the Nazarene Mission at Stegi bearing a ½d, paying the unsealed letter rate, cancelled STEGI 2 IV 48. An uncommon ½d unsealed letter rate cover to the USA.
£35.00
Reference: K3113

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1943 Sarawak - Japanese Occupation. - JAPANESE OCCUPATION.  1943 cover from SIBU, addressed in Japanese, bearing a General Occupation Issue 4c and 8c along with Brunei overprinted 3c blue-green and 5c chocolate, the 5c having the “5c retouch” variety (SG J6a)  The stamps have been cancelled by a violet 18 6 11 canceller. At the upper left is a violet circular military censor chop and to the right of the stamps is a red boxed censor strike. A very fine and most attractive cover, probably unique bearing the 5c variety. 1943 Sarawak - Japanese Occupation.
JAPANESE OCCUPATION. 1943 cover from SIBU, addressed in Japanese, bearing a General Occupation Issue 4c and 8c along with Brunei overprinted 3c blue-green and 5c chocolate, the 5c having the “5c retouch” variety (SG J6a) The stamps have been cancelled by a violet 18 6 11 canceller. At the upper left is a violet circular military censor chop and to the right of the stamps is a red boxed censor strike. A very fine and most attractive cover, probably unique bearing the 5c variety.
£2500.00
Reference: K3100

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1864 Cape of Good Hope - 1864 outer wrapper to Middelburg bearing a 4d very lightly tied by a triangular barred oblitorator. On the back is a UITENHAGE JU 14 1864 double oval canceller. The inside of the wrapper has a printed notice from the Commercial Bank of Port Elizabeth. The stamp has large margins virtually all round but just touches the frame line at the lower right corner. A fine inter bank item.1864 Cape of Good Hope
1864 outer wrapper to Middelburg bearing a 4d very lightly tied by a triangular barred oblitorator. On the back is a UITENHAGE JU 14 1864 double oval canceller. The inside of the wrapper has a printed notice from the Commercial Bank of Port Elizabeth. The stamp has large margins virtually all round but just touches the frame line at the lower right corner. A fine inter bank item.
£155.00
Reference: K3104

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1931 Kenya - 1931 envelope to South Africa, sent air mail and franked with a vertical strip of four 15c and a 5c, cancelled KISUMU 17 DE 31. Accompanying the cover is an enclosure stating “The usual air mail from Europe, due to arrive at Kisumu (Air Port) on 16th December 1931 was delayed owing to bad weather at Mediterranean Sea, the first mail for South Africa was therefore closed at Kisumu on 17th December, 1931, at 12 P.M.” On the back are Johannesburg  and Cape Town 21 DEC cancels. A very unusual delayed cover, the first I have seen with this enclosure.1931 Kenya
1931 envelope to South Africa, sent air mail and franked with a vertical strip of four 15c and a 5c, cancelled KISUMU 17 DE 31. Accompanying the cover is an enclosure stating “The usual air mail from Europe, due to arrive at Kisumu (Air Port) on 16th December 1931 was delayed owing to bad weather at Mediterranean Sea, the first mail for South Africa was therefore closed at Kisumu on 17th December, 1931, at 12 P.M.” On the back are Johannesburg and Cape Town 21 DEC cancels. A very unusual delayed cover, the first I have seen with this enclosure.
£75.00
Reference: K3102

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1906 Ascension - 1906 picture post card (View from foot of Green Mountain) to Glasgow, bearing a G.B. KE VII 1d tied by an ASCENSION MR 7 06 datestamp. 1906 Ascension - 1906 picture post card (View from foot of Green Mountain) to Glasgow, bearing a G.B. KE VII 1d tied by an ASCENSION MR 7 06 datestamp. 1906 Ascension
1906 picture post card (View from foot of Green Mountain) to Glasgow, bearing a G.B. KE VII 1d tied by an ASCENSION MR 7 06 datestamp.
£110.00
Reference: G2810

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1922 Tanganyika - 1922 picture post card (Church of England, Dar-es-Salaam) to London, bearing a Giraffe 15c cancelled  DAR ES SALAAM 9 AU 1922. Fine. 1922 Tanganyika
1922 picture post card (Church of England, Dar-es-Salaam) to London, bearing a 'Giraffe' 15c cancelled DAR ES SALAAM 9 AU 1922. Fine.
£28.00
Reference: G2811

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1901c Boer War, St. Helena - Picture post card of Washdag in het kamp (Wash day in the camp) at Deadwood Camp, St. Helena, sent locally in Holland, bearing a Netherlands 1c cancelled 26 JAN 04. This is part of a series of post cards produced in Holland on the St Helena Camps. A fine and very scarce post card. 1901c Boer War, St. Helena
Picture post card of ''Washdag in het kamp' (Wash day in the camp) at Deadwood Camp, St. Helena, sent locally in Holland, bearing a Netherlands 1c cancelled 26 JAN 04. This is part of a series of post cards produced in Holland on the St Helena Camps. A fine and very scarce post card.
£75.00
Reference: G2807

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1901 Boer War, St Helena - Picture post card of Boeren aan den arbeid (Boers at work) Deadwood Camp, St. Helena, sent locally in Holland, bearing a Netherlands 1c cancelled Rotterdam 18 NOV 01 This is part of a series of post cards produced in Holland on the St Helena Camps. A very uncommon camp scene. 1901 Boer War, St Helena
Picture post card of ''Boeren aan den arbeid' (Boers at work) Deadwood Camp, St. Helena, sent locally in Holland, bearing a Netherlands 1c cancelled Rotterdam 18 NOV 01 This is part of a series of post cards produced in Holland on the St Helena Camps. A very uncommon camp scene.
£75.00
Reference: G2808

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1902c Boer War, St Helena - Picture post card of Deadwood Blikkendorp (Deadwood Tin Shack Village) St. Helena, Addressed, but no postage applied, to Utrecht, Holland. This is part of a series of post cards produced in Holland on the St Helena Camps. A very uncommon camp scene. 1902c Boer War, St Helena
Picture post card of 'Deadwood Blikkendorp' (Deadwood Tin Shack Village) St. Helena, Addressed, but no postage applied, to Utrecht, Holland. This is part of a series of post cards produced in Holland on the St Helena Camps. A very uncommon camp scene.
£80.00
Reference: G2806

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1927 Mauritius - 1927 mourning envelope to Cambridge, England, franked with a 10c cancelled PILLAR BOX, GENERAL POST OFFICE, 22 AU 27. An additional strike of this cancellation is alongside.1927 Mauritius
1927 mourning envelope to Cambridge, England, franked with a 10c cancelled PILLAR BOX, GENERAL POST OFFICE, 22 AU 27. An additional strike of this cancellation is alongside.
£45.00
Reference: K3109

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1898 German South west Africa - 1898 post card to Germany bearing a top marginal 10pf tied by a provisional datestamp from Wanderstempel type 1 (with Otjimbingwe removed) dated 3/12/98.  Written above in manuscript is KHANRIVIER. A Neustadt 5.1.99 arrival cancel is on the front of the card. Khanrivier was a short lived post office, opening on 10 August 1898 and closed on 28 April 1899. A fine example of this scarce Wanderstempel.1898 German South west Africa
1898 post card to Germany bearing a top marginal 10pf tied by a provisional datestamp from Wanderstempel type 1 (with Otjimbingwe removed) dated 3/12/98. Written above in manuscript is 'KHANRIVIER'. A Neustadt 5.1.99 arrival cancel is on the front of the card. Khanrivier was a short lived post office, opening on 10 August 1898 and closed on 28 April 1899. A fine example of this scarce 'Wanderstempel'.
£195.00
Reference: K3099

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1869 Carnatic shipwreck  - “CARNATIC” 1869. The P. & O. steamer ‘Carnatic’ left Suez on her way to Bombay on Sunday, September 12th, 1869 with two hundred and thirty passengers and crew on board. At one o’clock on the morning of the 13th, the ship struck on a coral reef off the Island of Shadwan, at the mouth of the Gulf of Suez. At daybreak it was seen that the ship was about three miles from the island, and the reef on which she lay was about four feet under water at high tide. It was decided that a second night would be spent on board by the passengers. The following morning, the 14th, boats were lowered with women and children on board. At 10.50 a.m. the ship suddenly broke in two, and in the confusion twenty seven people were drowned. The survivors managed to drag the ship’s boats across the reef and made it to the island, from where they were rescued by another P. & O. liner, the Sumatra. The ‘Carnatic’ was carrying a large consignment of specie, to the value of forty thousand pounds. Divers managed to salvage the majority of this. The mail was salvaged by divers on the 24th October, having been under water for six weeks. The mail, all of which had been extensively damaged, received a cachet on a printed label ‘Recovered from wreck of the “Carnatic”.’ This cover from London dated AU 28 69 has various transit cancels before arriving on November 15 1869.1869 Carnatic shipwreck
“CARNATIC” 1869. The P. & O. steamer ‘Carnatic’ left Suez on her way to Bombay on Sunday, September 12th, 1869 with two hundred and thirty passengers and crew on board. At one o’clock on the morning of the 13th, the ship struck on a coral reef off the Island of Shadwan, at the mouth of the Gulf of Suez. At daybreak it was seen that the ship was about three miles from the island, and the reef on which she lay was about four feet under water at high tide. It was decided that a second night would be spent on board by the passengers. The following morning, the 14th, boats were lowered with women and children on board. At 10.50 a.m. the ship suddenly broke in two, and in the confusion twenty seven people were drowned. The survivors managed to drag the ship’s boats across the reef and made it to the island, from where they were rescued by another P. & O. liner, the Sumatra. The ‘Carnatic’ was carrying a large consignment of specie, to the value of forty thousand pounds. Divers managed to salvage the majority of this. The mail was salvaged by divers on the 24th October, having been under water for six weeks. The mail, all of which had been extensively damaged, received a cachet on a printed label ‘Recovered from wreck of the “Carnatic”.’ This cover from London dated AU 28 69 has various transit cancels before arriving on November 15 1869.
£595.00
Reference: K3111

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