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British Commonwealth Postal History
Shipwreck & Train Crash Mail
Unusual Postal Incidents
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1918 Kingstonian shipwreck, ex Palestine - The steamer ‘Kingstonian’ was torpedoed by the German submarine U-68 on 11 April 1918 in the Mediterranean while sailing from Alexandria to Marseilles. Badly damaged she was towed into Sardinia where the mail, about a fortnights correspondence from Egypt and the Palestinian Front, was offloaded. On leaving Sardinia, the ‘Kingstonian’ was again torpedoed, this time by the German submarine U-48, and was sunk. Recovered mails were given either a cachet, label or a manuscript explanatory marking. In total, nineteen different ones have been recorded. This water damaged Australian Y.M.C.A. cover  has a violet boxed DAMAGED BY IMMERSION / IN SEA WATER cachet. An ARMY POST OFFICE SZ27 21 MR 18 datestamp is on the front of the cover. This A.P.O. was in GAZA, PALESTINE, at that time.
1918 Kingstonian shipwreck, ex Palestine
The steamer ‘Kingstonian’ was torpedoed by the German submarine U-68 on 11 April 1918 in the Mediterranean while sailing from Alexandria to Marseilles. Badly damaged she was towed into Sardinia where the mail, about a fortnights correspondence from Egypt and the Palestinian Front, was offloaded. On leaving Sardinia, the ‘Kingstonian’ was again torpedoed, this time by the German submarine U-48, and was sunk. Recovered mails were given either a cachet, label or a manuscript explanatory marking. In total, nineteen different ones have been recorded. This water damaged Australian Y.M.C.A. cover has a violet boxed 'DAMAGED BY IMMERSION / IN SEA WATER' cachet. An ARMY POST OFFICE SZ27 21 MR 18 datestamp is on the front of the cover. This A.P.O. was in GAZA, PALESTINE, at that time.
£250.00
Reference: K3356

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1869 Carnatic Shipwreck - The P & O steamer Carnatic struck a coral reef off Shadwan Island at the mouth of the Gulf of Suez at 1.10 a.m. on 13 September 1869. Initially there appeared to be little damage but on the morning of the 14th the ship suddenly broke in two with the loss of 29 lives. Mail was recovered over the next two months and forwarded to India. This cover from Norwich (SEP 2) received the Type 1 label Recovered from wreck of the "Carnatic." It has been tied by a Bombay 12 NO 69 datestamp. A superb red Calcutta Delivery 16 NOV 69 oval datestamp is also on the cover.
1869 'Carnatic' Shipwreck
The P & O steamer 'Carnatic' struck a coral reef off Shadwan Island at the mouth of the Gulf of Suez at 1.10 a.m. on 13 September 1869. Initially there appeared to be little damage but on the morning of the 14th the ship suddenly broke in two with the loss of 29 lives. Mail was recovered over the next two months and forwarded to India. This cover from Norwich (SEP 2) received the Type 1 label Recovered from wreck of the "Carnatic." It has been tied by a Bombay 12 NO 69 datestamp. A superb red Calcutta Delivery 16 NOV 69 oval datestamp is also on the cover.
£550.00
Reference: K3340

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1897 "ORATAVA" Shipwreck - 1897 envelope to Coolgardie, Western Australia, from England with the stamp washed off, posted at Redruth FE 11 97. A violet two line handstamp Damaged through / stranding of “Oratava”  is on the front of the cover. The 5857 ton SS Orotava, (not Oratava as in the cachet) grounded on the Scilla Shoal near Perim island in the Red Sea on the morning of 23rd February 1897. The mail, which had been damaged by sea water was taken off a few days later and taken to Aden by the P & O Ganges and the telegraph ship Amber. From Aden it went to Australia on the P & O steamer Ballarat arriving at Albany on March 27 where this letter was taken off and the cachet applied. One of only six covers recorded from this incident and one of very few covers from ship wrecks going to western Australia.
1897 "ORATAVA" Shipwreck
1897 envelope to Coolgardie, Western Australia, from England with the stamp washed off, posted at Redruth FE 11 97. A violet two line handstamp 'Damaged through / stranding of “Oratava” ' is on the front of the cover. The 5857 ton SS Orotava, (not Oratava as in the cachet) grounded on the Scilla Shoal near Perim island in the Red Sea on the morning of 23rd February 1897. The mail, which had been damaged by sea water was taken off a few days later and taken to Aden by the P & O 'Ganges' and the telegraph ship 'Amber'. From Aden it went to Australia on the P & O steamer 'Ballarat' arriving at Albany on March 27 where this letter was taken off and the cachet applied. One of only six covers recorded from this incident and one of very few covers from ship wrecks going to western Australia.
£1750.00
Reference: GW3277

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1913 Cobequid shipwreck - The Steam Ship ‘Cobequid’ was owned by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, and ran on their Canadian - West Indies service. The ports of call were Halifax, Nova Scotia, St Johns, New Brunswick, Bermuda, and then into the West Indies, stopping at St Kitts and various islands down to Barbados, Trinidad and Georgetown, British Guiana. This service was opened by the ‘Cobequid’ which sailed from Halifax on 23rd November 1913. It was on her return trip from the West Indies that, in a gale and blizzard, she ran on to the Trinity Ledges in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, on the early morning of 13th January 1914. She began to sink immediately, but fortunately the super-structure remained above water, and the passengers and crew were able to stay there until rescued the following day. Nothing is known as to when the mail was recovered, but from the few known covers it appears as though the mail must have been under water for some time as all have had stamps floated off, and all show water damage. Mail from this wreck received a straight line cachet in black ink. FROM WRECK OF S. S. ‘COBEQUID’.  This cover to Canada, which ahas had one of the stamps floated off in the incident, is also missing parts of the back The remaining stamp can be seen as having been cancelled at CHRIST CHURCH 28 DE 13.  An uncommon shipwreck with few covers known.
1913 'Cobequid' shipwreck
The Steam Ship ‘Cobequid’ was owned by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, and ran on their Canadian - West Indies service. The ports of call were Halifax, Nova Scotia, St Johns, New Brunswick, Bermuda, and then into the West Indies, stopping at St Kitts and various islands down to Barbados, Trinidad and Georgetown, British Guiana. This service was opened by the ‘Cobequid’ which sailed from Halifax on 23rd November 1913. It was on her return trip from the West Indies that, in a gale and blizzard, she ran on to the Trinity Ledges in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, on the early morning of 13th January 1914. She began to sink immediately, but fortunately the super-structure remained above water, and the passengers and crew were able to stay there until rescued the following day. Nothing is known as to when the mail was recovered, but from the few known covers it appears as though the mail must have been under water for some time as all have had stamps floated off, and all show water damage. Mail from this wreck received a straight line cachet in black ink. FROM WRECK OF S. S. ‘COBEQUID’. This cover to Canada, which ahas had one of the stamps floated off in the incident, is also missing parts of the back The remaining stamp can be seen as having been cancelled at CHRIST CHURCH 28 DE 13. An uncommon shipwreck with few covers known.
£495.00
Reference: K3213

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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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1899 Morgan City shipwreck - S. S. MORGAN CITY 1899
The Morgan City was a chartered troopship that left San Francisco on 10 August 1899, carrying 724 troops for the Spanish-American war in the Philippines. The ship struck a rock off Innosimo, Japan, near Nagasaki on 4 September and the ship was beached with all crew and troops saved. The ship was a total wreck and shortly after became covered in mud, with the upper decks being carried away in a gale. The mail was recovered by divers but much of it was very badly damaged and today, less than 10 covers are known from the 200 bags of mail the ship was carrying. This cover is an ambulance cover that must have carried one of the letters on board. It was sent to Oakland, CA then forwarded on to South Bend, Indiana, and then on to Kansas City, Kansas. It has the official cachet DAMAGED mail / off S. S. Morgan City / Manila P. I., 9-30, 99, that was applied to all the mail salvaged from this wreck. Presumably the enclosed letter had been badly damaged and the Rev Stephen Wood had already returned to the U.S. This is the only known official Philippines Department of Posts ambulance cover known with this cachet. A very rare cover from this incident.
1899 Morgan City shipwreck
S. S. MORGAN CITY 1899 The Morgan City was a chartered troopship that left San Francisco on 10 August 1899, carrying 724 troops for the Spanish-American war in the Philippines. The ship struck a rock off Innosimo, Japan, near Nagasaki on 4 September and the ship was beached with all crew and troops saved. The ship was a total wreck and shortly after became covered in mud, with the upper decks being carried away in a gale. The mail was recovered by divers but much of it was very badly damaged and today, less than 10 covers are known from the 200 bags of mail the ship was carrying. This cover is an ambulance cover that must have carried one of the letters on board. It was sent to Oakland, CA then forwarded on to South Bend, Indiana, and then on to Kansas City, Kansas. It has the official cachet 'DAMAGED mail / off S. S. Morgan City / Manila P. I., 9-30, 99,' that was applied to all the mail salvaged from this wreck. Presumably the enclosed letter had been badly damaged and the Rev Stephen Wood had already returned to the U.S. This is the only known official Philippines Department of Posts ambulance cover known with this cachet. A very rare cover from this incident.
£2950.00
Reference: A3046

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1908 "Finance" Shipwreck - “FINANCE”  On the morning of 26 November 1908, the steamer Finance of the Panama Railroad Steamship Company line was hit by the steamer “Georgic” of the White Star line off Sandy Hook in New York Harbour and sank shortly after. The Finance had been due to sail from New York on November 23 but had been delayed by dense fog for three days. Three passengers and 1 crewman drowned in the incident. All the mail on board was destined for Central America – mainly Panama and Colon. There are two different labels and a straight line handstamp that were applied to recovered mails. The handstamp was applied to a sack of mail recovered the following June, seven months after the Finance sank. This cover from Philadelphia, which has the original letter with it, was addressed to Panama, but then redirected to Costa Rica. It has a label affixed to the back which is tied by a LIMON, COSTA RICA DEC 30 1908 datestamp. Very scarce with the original contents.
1908 "Finance" Shipwreck
“FINANCE” On the morning of 26 November 1908, the steamer Finance of the Panama Railroad Steamship Company line was hit by the steamer “Georgic” of the White Star line off Sandy Hook in New York Harbour and sank shortly after. The Finance had been due to sail from New York on November 23 but had been delayed by dense fog for three days. Three passengers and 1 crewman drowned in the incident. All the mail on board was destined for Central America – mainly Panama and Colon. There are two different labels and a straight line handstamp that were applied to recovered mails. The handstamp was applied to a sack of mail recovered the following June, seven months after the Finance sank. This cover from Philadelphia, which has the original letter with it, was addressed to Panama, but then redirected to Costa Rica. It has a label affixed to the back which is tied by a LIMON, COSTA RICA DEC 30 1908 datestamp. Very scarce with the original contents.
£475.00
Reference: K2931

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1915 India ship Incident - 1915 envelope to London franked with a pair of ½ Annas, cancelled NAINI-TAL 22 JLY 15. A boxed violet two line cachet DAMAGED BY IMMERSION / IN SEA WATER has been applied to the front of the cover. On the back is a London AUG 12 15 arrival datestamp. This is one of two covers known from this incident, both being from India. The cachet would have been applied in England on arrival, but nothing is known as to what happened to warrant this cachet, particularly as it was a wartime incident. A scarce cover.
1915 India ship Incident
1915 envelope to London franked with a pair of ½ Annas, cancelled NAINI-TAL 22 JLY 15. A boxed violet two line cachet 'DAMAGED BY IMMERSION / IN SEA WATER' has been applied to the front of the cover. On the back is a London AUG 12 15 arrival datestamp. This is one of two covers known from this incident, both being from India. The cachet would have been applied in England on arrival, but nothing is known as to what happened to warrant this cachet, particularly as it was a wartime incident. A scarce cover.
£395.00
Reference: K2889

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1943 City of Baroda shipwreck - “CITY OF BARODA” 1943. The 7,129 British steamship ‘City Of Baroda’ was built in 1918 and owned by the Ellerman Lines Ltd. London. On April 2nd, 1943, she was torpedoed by a German submarine, U509, and sunk near Luderitz, South West Africa whilst sailing from England to Cape Town, South Africa, via Trinidad and Walfish Bay. One of her crew and thirteen passengers were lost. The mail, it would appear, was first burnt in the fire on board, and then damaged by sea water. This cover to Bloemfontein has a part of the back missing, but has the senders name and address on the flap. It has a two line cachet RECEIVED DAMAGED / BY SEA WATER that was presumably applied in Cape Town. The normal cachet was a bilingual one, and this cachet in English only is scarce, being one of only three known.
1943 City of Baroda shipwreck
“CITY OF BARODA” 1943. The 7,129 British steamship ‘City Of Baroda’ was built in 1918 and owned by the Ellerman Lines Ltd. London. On April 2nd, 1943, she was torpedoed by a German submarine, U509, and sunk near Luderitz, South West Africa whilst sailing from England to Cape Town, South Africa, via Trinidad and Walfish Bay. One of her crew and thirteen passengers were lost. The mail, it would appear, was first burnt in the fire on board, and then damaged by sea water. This cover to Bloemfontein has a part of the back missing, but has the senders name and address on the flap. It has a two line cachet 'RECEIVED DAMAGED / BY SEA WATER' that was presumably applied in Cape Town. The normal cachet was a bilingual one, and this cachet in English only is scarce, being one of only three known.
£95.00
Reference: G2718

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1899 Chicago shipwreck - The Pennsylvania Rail Road Ferryboat ‘Chicago’, whilst bound from Jersey City to New York, sank in the Hudson River after a collision with the steamer ‘City of Augusta’ at midnight on 30/31 October 1899. The ‘Chicago’ was subsequently raised on the 6 December. All the mail was salvaged and was delivered within a couple of days of the disaster occurring.  However, as it appeared that all the mail had been damaged by water to a greater or lesser extent and the adhesives had floated off, a label was affixed to covers by the New York Postmaster stating;
                                                                                                          
POST OFFICE, NEW YORK, N.Y.
This piece of mail was damaged
through the sinking of the Penn R.R.
ferryboat “Chicago” which occurred at
about 12.45 a.m. on October 31st 1899.                                                                                                                                 	CORNELIUS VAN COTT,                                                                                                                                                                                                 			Postmaster.

This envelope was sent from New Jersey to New York. The stamp has been washed off. This is the cover illustrated on page 104 in Maritime Disaster Mail by Hoggarth and Gwynn.
1899 'Chicago' shipwreck
The Pennsylvania Rail Road Ferryboat ‘Chicago’, whilst bound from Jersey City to New York, sank in the Hudson River after a collision with the steamer ‘City of Augusta’ at midnight on 30/31 October 1899. The ‘Chicago’ was subsequently raised on the 6 December. All the mail was salvaged and was delivered within a couple of days of the disaster occurring. However, as it appeared that all the mail had been damaged by water to a greater or lesser extent and the adhesives had floated off, a label was affixed to covers by the New York Postmaster stating; POST OFFICE, NEW YORK, N.Y. This piece of mail was damaged through the sinking of the Penn R.R. ferryboat “Chicago” which occurred at about 12.45 a.m. on October 31st 1899. CORNELIUS VAN COTT, Postmaster. This envelope was sent from New Jersey to New York. The stamp has been washed off. This is the cover illustrated on page 104 in Maritime Disaster Mail by Hoggarth and Gwynn.
£675.00
Reference: K2180

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1899 Wreck of the Chicago - 1899 WRECK OF THE CHICAGO. The Pennsylvania Rail Road Ferryboat ‘Chicago’, whilst bound from Jersey City to New York, sank in the Hudson River after a collision with the steamer ‘City of Augusta’ at midnight on 30/31 October 1899. The ‘Chicago’ was subsequently raised on the 6 December. All the mail was salvaged and was delivered within a couple of days of the disaster occurring.  However, as it appeared that all the mail had been damaged by water to a greater or lesser extent and the adhesives had floated off, labels was affixed to covers by the New York Postmaster. There were three different types of label used, this one believed locally and individually typed in Hoboken. (Hoggarth & Gwynn type 1) A fine example of this uncommon shipwreck, of which less than 20 covers are known and less than 5 with this label.
1899 Wreck of the 'Chicago'
1899 WRECK OF THE 'CHICAGO'. The Pennsylvania Rail Road Ferryboat ‘Chicago’, whilst bound from Jersey City to New York, sank in the Hudson River after a collision with the steamer ‘City of Augusta’ at midnight on 30/31 October 1899. The ‘Chicago’ was subsequently raised on the 6 December. All the mail was salvaged and was delivered within a couple of days of the disaster occurring. However, as it appeared that all the mail had been damaged by water to a greater or lesser extent and the adhesives had floated off, labels was affixed to covers by the New York Postmaster. There were three different types of label used, this one believed locally and individually typed in Hoboken. (Hoggarth & Gwynn type 1) A fine example of this uncommon shipwreck, of which less than 20 covers are known and less than 5 with this label.
£750.00
Reference: K2046

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1899 Wreck of the Chicago. - 1899 WRECK OF THE CHICAGO. The Pennsylvania Rail Road Ferryboat ‘Chicago’, whilst bound from Jersey City to New York, sank in the Hudson River after a collision with the steamer ‘City of Augusta’ at midnight on 30/31 October 1899. The ‘Chicago’ was subsequently raised on the 6 December. All the mail was salvaged and was delivered within a couple of days of the disaster occurring.  However, as it appeared that all the mail had been damaged by water to a greater or lesser extent and the adhesives had floated off, labels was affixed to covers by the New York Postmaster. There were three different types of label used, this one a stylographic printing. (Hoggarth & Gwynn type 3) A fine example of this uncommon shipwreck, of which less than 20 covers are known and less than 7 with this label.
1899 Wreck of the 'Chicago'.
1899 WRECK OF THE 'CHICAGO'. The Pennsylvania Rail Road Ferryboat ‘Chicago’, whilst bound from Jersey City to New York, sank in the Hudson River after a collision with the steamer ‘City of Augusta’ at midnight on 30/31 October 1899. The ‘Chicago’ was subsequently raised on the 6 December. All the mail was salvaged and was delivered within a couple of days of the disaster occurring. However, as it appeared that all the mail had been damaged by water to a greater or lesser extent and the adhesives had floated off, labels was affixed to covers by the New York Postmaster. There were three different types of label used, this one a stylographic printing. (Hoggarth & Gwynn type 3) A fine example of this uncommon shipwreck, of which less than 20 covers are known and less than 7 with this label.
£550.00
Reference: K2045

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1858 Ava shipwreck - ‘AVA’ 1858. The P. & O. Steamer ‘Ava’ had been chartered by the Government to take treasure from Madras, India, to Trincomalee, Ceylon. She was also carrying passengers and post. At 4 p.m.on on the 15th February she sailed from Madras, and the following afternoon, the 16th February, the captain, seeing a light and houses on the shore, believed he was approaching Trincomalee harbour. He altered course towards the land, and shortly after, without any warning, struck unseen rocks. He was in fact, seventy nine miles from Trincomalee harbour.The seventy passengers were put into boats and navigated to Trincomalee, arriving there the following afternoon. The ‘Ava’ meanwhile broke her back and sank, becoming a total loss. The mail was submerged and was only salvaged six weeks later. This battered envelope from India to Bray, Ireland, has most of the Saved from the wreck / of the Aaa. A small part is missing from the loss of the flap. It is addressed by Donald Stewart, later C-in-C in India. Ex Hopkins and described by him on page 13 of his book.
1858 Ava shipwreck
‘AVA’ 1858. The P. & O. Steamer ‘Ava’ had been chartered by the Government to take treasure from Madras, India, to Trincomalee, Ceylon. She was also carrying passengers and post. At 4 p.m.on on the 15th February she sailed from Madras, and the following afternoon, the 16th February, the captain, seeing a light and houses on the shore, believed he was approaching Trincomalee harbour. He altered course towards the land, and shortly after, without any warning, struck unseen rocks. He was in fact, seventy nine miles from Trincomalee harbour.The seventy passengers were put into boats and navigated to Trincomalee, arriving there the following afternoon. The ‘Ava’ meanwhile broke her back and sank, becoming a total loss. The mail was submerged and was only salvaged six weeks later. This battered envelope from India to Bray, Ireland, has most of the 'Saved from the wreck / of the Aaa'. A small part is missing from the loss of the flap. It is addressed by Donald Stewart, later C-in-C in India. Ex Hopkins and described by him on page 13 of his book.
£450.00
Reference: C1520

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1918 Hong Kong - 1918 censored water damaged envelope from Portugal to Macau, with the stamps washed off, and with a CENSURA No. 36 circular censor strike. A Lisboa 8. 2. 18. datestamp is on the back along with a very fine strike of the rare boxed RECEIVED DAMAGED / AT HONG KONG cachet. In all probability this letter was on the S S ANDRE LEBON which sailed from Marseille on March 3 1918. Due to increased German U Boat activity in the Mediterranean between December 1917 and March 1918, very few large merchant vessels were allowed to sail by the Allies, hence the delay from the posting in Lisbon. On 7 April she dragged her anchor during a heavy squall and grounded on a coral patch near Sultan Shoal at Singapore. It remained there until 19 April, when it was bought into port and the mails offloaded. A wonderful cover with a really rare Hong Kong cachet, which predates Prouds dates by nearly four years.
1918 Hong Kong
1918 censored water damaged envelope from Portugal to Macau, with the stamps washed off, and with a 'CENSURA No. 36' circular censor strike. A Lisboa 8. 2. 18. datestamp is on the back along with a very fine strike of the rare boxed 'RECEIVED DAMAGED / AT HONG KONG' cachet. In all probability this letter was on the S S ANDRE LEBON which sailed from Marseille on March 3 1918. Due to increased German U Boat activity in the Mediterranean between December 1917 and March 1918, very few large merchant vessels were allowed to sail by the Allies, hence the delay from the posting in Lisbon. On 7 April she dragged her anchor during a heavy squall and grounded on a coral patch near Sultan Shoal at Singapore. It remained there until 19 April, when it was bought into port and the mails offloaded. A wonderful cover with a really rare Hong Kong cachet, which predates Proud's dates by nearly four years.
£650.00
Reference: G2404

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1952 Gilbert & Ellice Islands / Ship incident - 1952 envelope to the USA bearing a 5d cancelled TARAWA that has a two line  cachet DAMAGED BY WATER that has been applied at Melbourne. Nothing is known about the incident but the cachet is identical to those used on mail passing through Melbourne where incidents have occurred in October 1951, May 1959, February 1960 (Thala Dan) and April 1961 and this same cachet was applied. A fine and scarce item.
1952 Gilbert & Ellice Islands / Ship incident
1952 envelope to the USA bearing a 5d cancelled TARAWA that has a two line cachet 'DAMAGED BY WATER' that has been applied at Melbourne. Nothing is known about the incident but the cachet is identical to those used on mail passing through Melbourne where incidents have occurred in October 1951, May 1959, February 1960 (Thala Dan) and April 1961 and this same cachet was applied. A fine and scarce item.
£290.00
Reference: K1461

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1923  S S Douglas - Early on the morning of 16 August 1923, the 774 ton Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. steamer Douglas was sailing from Liverpool to Douglas, Isle of Man, when she was in a collision with the 5731 ton Artemisia off Brunswick Dock in the River Mersea. The Douglas was badly damaged and sank, but all crew and passengers were saved. It was reported that one bag of mail had been washed up on August 18. This post card from Scarborough (15 AUG) has a straight line violet ‘DAMAGED BY SEA WATER’ cachet, applied at Liverpool. This differs from the cachet illustrated in Hoggarth & Gwynn, but as the reference they used was from Hopkins, then it is quite possible that it is wrong. This is probably the rarest of shipwrecks from around the British coast with only two or three items recorded.
1923 S S Douglas
Early on the morning of 16 August 1923, the 774 ton Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. steamer Douglas was sailing from Liverpool to Douglas, Isle of Man, when she was in a collision with the 5731 ton Artemisia off Brunswick Dock in the River Mersea. The Douglas was badly damaged and sank, but all crew and passengers were saved. It was reported that one bag of mail had been washed up on August 18. This post card from Scarborough (15 AUG) has a straight line violet ‘DAMAGED BY SEA WATER’ cachet, applied at Liverpool. This differs from the cachet illustrated in Hoggarth & Gwynn, but as the reference they used was from Hopkins, then it is quite possible that it is wrong. This is probably the rarest of shipwrecks from around the British coast with only two or three items recorded.
£950.00
Reference: A1395

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1907 - “ JEBBA ” 1907. The steam ship ‘Jebba’, a vessel of three thousand eight hundred and thirteen tons, belonging to the African Steam Ship Company, whilst on her homeward voyage from west Africa, ran ashore on Bolt Tail, a few miles west of Salcombe, Devon, in dense fog on 18th March. Although the vessel was a total loss, all the passengers and mail were taken off safely. All the mail received a two line hand stamp in violet saying   ‘SALVED FROM / S S JEBBA.’ There were a number of different hand stamps that were applied to the mail, the main difference being in the different type and the spacing of the letters. This cover from Southern Nigeria has the Hoggarth & Gwynn ‘Jebba type 2b’ cachet.
1907
“ JEBBA ” 1907. The steam ship ‘Jebba’, a vessel of three thousand eight hundred and thirteen tons, belonging to the African Steam Ship Company, whilst on her homeward voyage from west Africa, ran ashore on Bolt Tail, a few miles west of Salcombe, Devon, in dense fog on 18th March. Although the vessel was a total loss, all the passengers and mail were taken off safely. All the mail received a two line hand stamp in violet saying ‘SALVED FROM / S S JEBBA.’ There were a number of different hand stamps that were applied to the mail, the main difference being in the different type and the spacing of the letters. This cover from Southern Nigeria has the Hoggarth & Gwynn ‘Jebba type 2b’ cachet.
£295.00
Reference: A1342

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1929 - S. S. FORT VICTORIA 1929.  At 4.30 p.m. on 18 December 1929 the Bermuda and West Indies Steam Ship Company steamer Fort Victoria was rammed by the American steamer Algonquin off Sandy Hook, New York, in thick fog. She sank about 7.30 p.m. without loss of passengers or crew. Recovered mail received a label, applied to the back of the envelopes. There are two different types, the one with the number 1000 at the lower left, the other with the number 3000. This cover from Boston to Bermuda has the 3000 number label.
1929
S. S. FORT VICTORIA 1929. At 4.30 p.m. on 18 December 1929 the Bermuda and West Indies Steam Ship Company steamer Fort Victoria was rammed by the American steamer Algonquin off Sandy Hook, New York, in thick fog. She sank about 7.30 p.m. without loss of passengers or crew. Recovered mail received a label, applied to the back of the envelopes. There are two different types, the one with the number 1000 at the lower left, the other with the number 3000. This cover from Boston to Bermuda has the 3000 number label.
£475.00
Reference: K1322

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1921 - S S KALYAN 1921. A severe gale in the eastern Mediterranean around April 12 1921 caused havoc with shipping in the area. The Kalyan had a large quantity of sea water get into her holds and the mail was badly damaged, which was only noticed when it was offloaded in Marseille on April 18. Various cachets in English, French and German were applied, depending on where the letter was going to. This envelope, addressed to Switzerland, has a two line violet cachet ‘ACCIDENT en MER / COURRIER INONDE’ applied to the back of the envelope.
1921
S S KALYAN 1921. A severe gale in the eastern Mediterranean around April 12 1921 caused havoc with shipping in the area. The Kalyan had a large quantity of sea water get into her holds and the mail was badly damaged, which was only noticed when it was offloaded in Marseille on April 18. Various cachets in English, French and German were applied, depending on where the letter was going to. This envelope, addressed to Switzerland, has a two line violet cachet ‘ACCIDENT en MER / COURRIER INONDE’ applied to the back of the envelope.
£150.00
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1921 - S S KALYAN 1921 A severe gale in the eastern Mediterranean around April 12 1921 caused havoc with shipping in the area. The Kalyan had a large quantity of sea water get into her holds and the mail was badly damaged, which was only noticed when it was offloaded in Marseille on April 18. Various cachets in English, French and German were applied, depending on where the letter was going to. This envelope, addressed to Paris, has the French two line cachet ‘ACCIDENT EN MER / CORRESPONDANCE INNONDEE’
1921
S S KALYAN 1921 A severe gale in the eastern Mediterranean around April 12 1921 caused havoc with shipping in the area. The Kalyan had a large quantity of sea water get into her holds and the mail was badly damaged, which was only noticed when it was offloaded in Marseille on April 18. Various cachets in English, French and German were applied, depending on where the letter was going to. This envelope, addressed to Paris, has the French two line cachet ‘ACCIDENT EN MER / CORRESPONDANCE INNONDEE’
£150.00
Reference: G2303

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