D Morrison Ltd.
British Commonwealth Postal History
Shipwreck & Train Crash Mail
Unusual Postal Incidents
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1917 Train Incident - 1917 scorched envelope to Paris from Switzerland with a 25c cancelled ZURICH 3 XI 17. The cover has been resealed with Controle Postal Militaire tape and has a two line cachet INCENDIE / WAGON POSTE. Other than the fire on the train took place between Switzerland and Paris, nothing is known of this incident. As the censor tape is Military, possibly a war related incident? A seldom seen train fire cover.
1917 Train Incident
1917 'scorched' envelope to Paris from Switzerland with a 25c cancelled ZURICH 3 XI 17. The cover has been resealed with 'Controle Postal Militaire' tape and has a two line cachet 'INCENDIE / WAGON POSTE'. Other than the fire on the train took place between Switzerland and Paris, nothing is known of this incident. As the censor tape is 'Military', possibly a war related incident? A seldom seen train fire cover.
£100.00
Reference: K2956

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1918 Train Fire - On the night of December 21/22 1918, the train from Paris to Brussels had a fire on board that damaged a considerable part of the mail. This charred picture post card of Lyon has had the stamp washed off, presumably when extinguishing the fire, and a two line handstamp applied. CORRESPONDANCE RETARDEE / PAR SUITE DUN INCENDIE.  Although not a lot is known of this incident, it does appear as though there was a considerable delay before the mail was delivered as items are known arriving only on 13 January 1919.
1918 Train Fire
On the night of December 21/22 1918, the train from Paris to Brussels had a fire on board that damaged a considerable part of the mail. This charred picture post card of Lyon has had the stamp washed off, presumably when extinguishing the fire, and a two line handstamp applied. 'CORRESPONDANCE RETARDEE / PAR SUITE D'UN INCENDIE.' Although not a lot is known of this incident, it does appear as though there was a considerable delay before the mail was delivered as items are known arriving only on 13 January 1919.
£110.00
Reference: K2715

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1905 U.S.A. Train Crash - 1905 U.S.A. A picture post card from Japan, burnt at the lower left corner, depicting a squadron of the Japanese Fleet proceeding to attack the enemy (Russia, as the Sino-Japanese War was in progress) The stamp has been removed – most probably washed off in the water at the crash site – but a Yokohama 29 MAY 05 datestamp is on the card. A label stating that the card was “damaged in the wreck of the “20th Century Limited train on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern R.R., that occurred at Mentor, Ohio, Wednesday June 21, 1905” has been affixed to the card and tied by part of a roller canceller. This was an incident in which “Foul Play” was involved. An inquiry stated that “The evidence points to a deliberate, malicious attempt, to derail the train.” Five crew and 14 passengers were killed after the train was derailed and fire broke out. Mail was burned and then wetted when water was used to try to extinguish the fierce fire.
1905 U.S.A. Train Crash
1905 U.S.A. A picture post card from Japan, burnt at the lower left corner, depicting a squadron of the Japanese Fleet proceeding to attack the enemy (Russia, as the Sino-Japanese War was in progress) The stamp has been removed – most probably washed off in the water at the crash site – but a Yokohama 29 MAY 05 datestamp is on the card. A label stating that the card was “damaged in the wreck of the “20th Century Limited train on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern R.R., that occurred at Mentor, Ohio, Wednesday June 21, 1905” has been affixed to the card and tied by part of a roller canceller. This was an incident in which “Foul Play” was involved. An inquiry stated that “The evidence points to a deliberate, malicious attempt, to derail the train.” Five crew and 14 passengers were killed after the train was derailed and fire broke out. Mail was burned and then wetted when water was used to try to extinguish the fierce fire.
£225.00
Reference: K2714

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1925 South African Train Fire - 1925 envelope from England to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, that has scorched edges after being in a fire on a train at KRUIDFONTEIN, a station between Laingsburg and Beaufort West in the Cape Province on 18 May 1925. A bilingual purple boxed DAMAGED BY FIRE / BESKADIGD DEUR BRAND. handstamp was applied to the cover after it, along with the other surviving mail was returned to Cape Town. 197 bags of mail were destroyed in this incident. A scarce item.
1925 South African Train Fire
1925 envelope from England to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, that has scorched edges after being in a fire on a train at KRUIDFONTEIN, a station between Laingsburg and Beaufort West in the Cape Province on 18 May 1925. A bilingual purple boxed 'DAMAGED BY FIRE / BESKADIGD DEUR BRAND.' handstamp was applied to the cover after it, along with the other surviving mail was returned to Cape Town. 197 bags of mail were destroyed in this incident. A scarce item.
£295.00
Reference: K2699

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1951 India train fire - Train Fire. 1951 incoming envelope from Dundee, Scotland, that has scorch marks at the edges and a magenta boxed cachet “SALVAGED FGN MAILS. / FIRE ACCIDENT – GALUDIH R. S. / 10. 12. 51.” on the front. A railway wagon carrying foreign mails for Calcutta and Dacca that had arrived at Bombay on the S.S. Corfu on December 3 was destroyed by fire at Galudih railway station on December 10. The majority of the mails were destroyed in the fire. A Calcutta 21 DEC 51 arrival datestamp is on the back of the cover. This cover, which is illustrated in Hoggarth and Gwynns Railway Disaster Mail book, is believed one of only three known from this incident. A very rare India train incident cover.
1951 India train fire
Train Fire. 1951 incoming envelope from Dundee, Scotland, that has scorch marks at the edges and a magenta boxed cachet “SALVAGED FGN MAILS. / FIRE ACCIDENT – GALUDIH R. S. / 10. 12. 51.” on the front. A railway wagon carrying foreign mails for Calcutta and Dacca that had arrived at Bombay on the S.S. Corfu on December 3 was destroyed by fire at Galudih railway station on December 10. The majority of the mails were destroyed in the fire. A Calcutta 21 DEC 51 arrival datestamp is on the back of the cover. This cover, which is illustrated in Hoggarth and Gwynn's 'Railway Disaster Mail' book, is believed one of only three known from this incident. A very rare India train incident cover.
£675.00
Reference: K2694

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1944 U.S Train crash - 1944 envelope to Vista, California, that has both fire and water damage, franked with a “Win The War” 3c cancelled BROOKLYN JAN 11 1944.  A violet two line DAMAGED BY FIRE IN TRAIN / 1. 15. 44. cachet has been applied to the front of the cover. Although a large quantity of mail is known from this train fire, it is still not known where the incident occurred, other than it was in California.
1944 U.S Train crash
1944 envelope to Vista, California, that has both fire and water damage, franked with a “Win The War” 3c cancelled BROOKLYN JAN 11 1944. A violet two line 'DAMAGED BY FIRE IN TRAIN / 1. 15. 44.' cachet has been applied to the front of the cover. Although a large quantity of mail is known from this train fire, it is still not known where the incident occurred, other than it was in California.
£95.00
Reference: G2716

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1949 Great Britain Train fire - TRAIN FIRE.  1949 charred picture post card and Official Paid “Ambulance” envelope that has a typewritten explanatory slip from the Postmaster at Wallsend, Northumberland, explaining that the card was in a train fire. On 23rd June 1949, a fire broke out in the 10th carriage on the train from Edinburgh to Kings Cross, London, whilst in the Penmanshiel Tunnel, Cockburnspath, near Berwick-on-Tweed. The fire spread quickly and 7 passengers were injured. The mail was badly damaged. This is the only item to date recorded from this incident.
1949 Great Britain Train fire
TRAIN FIRE. 1949 charred picture post card and Official Paid “Ambulance” envelope that has a typewritten explanatory slip from the Postmaster at Wallsend, Northumberland, explaining that the card was in a train fire. On 23rd June 1949, a fire broke out in the 10th carriage on the train from Edinburgh to Kings Cross, London, whilst in the Penmanshiel Tunnel, Cockburnspath, near Berwick-on-Tweed. The fire spread quickly and 7 passengers were injured. The mail was badly damaged. This is the only item to date recorded from this incident.
£295.00
Reference: G2651

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1905 Train Wreck - 1905 WRECK OF THE 20th CENTURY.  A badly charred post card from Toledo to New York that has an official Post Office, New York, N. Y.  label attached stating that The enclosure was damaged in the wreck of the “20th Century Limited” on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern R. R., that occurred at Mentor, Ohio, Wednesday June 21, 1905.  WILLIAM R. WILLCOX  Postmaster. The label has been tied by a New York arrival duplex of JUN 24.
1905 Train Wreck
1905 WRECK OF THE 20th CENTURY. A badly charred post card from Toledo to New York that has an official Post Office, New York, N. Y. label attached stating that 'The enclosure was damaged in the wreck of the “20th Century Limited” on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern R. R., that occurred at Mentor, Ohio, Wednesday June 21, 1905. WILLIAM R. WILLCOX Postmaster.' The label has been tied by a New York arrival duplex of JUN 24.
£250.00
Reference: K2044

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1951 Train Crash  -  On December 23 1951 a fire occurred in the baggage compartment on the Canadian National Railway train 9, just east of Brantford, Ontario. The train was travelling between Toronto and London, Ontario at the time of the incident. Much of the mail was damaged and received either an explanatory label or a cachet struck on the envelope in purple stating “DAMAGED IN RAILROAD FIRE”. This cover from Dorset to St. Thomas, Ontario, was posted on DE 21 51, and has had the stamp washed of when water was used to try and extinguish the fire.
1951 Train Crash
On December 23 1951 a fire occurred in the baggage compartment on the Canadian National Railway train 9, just east of Brantford, Ontario. The train was travelling between Toronto and London, Ontario at the time of the incident. Much of the mail was damaged and received either an explanatory label or a cachet struck on the envelope in purple stating “DAMAGED IN RAILROAD FIRE”. This cover from Dorset to St. Thomas, Ontario, was posted on DE 21 51, and has had the stamp washed of when water was used to try and extinguish the fire.
£190.00
Reference: K1790

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1935 German Train Fire - 1935 6pf German post card that has a label attached dated 16.1.35. that states that the card was recovered from a fire in a mail car travelling between Frankfurt and Berlin. On 12 January, when train D 45 was approaching Weissenfels, a fire was discovered in the mail car. Although staff acted quickly and threw bags of mail out of the moving train, a quantity was damaged before the fire could be extinguished. The mail car was largely burnt out. Salvaged mail was forwarded from Leipzig and various labels were applied. This label is Type 1 in Gwynn and Hoggarths Railway Disaster Mail book.
1935 German Train Fire
1935 6pf German post card that has a label attached dated 16.1.35. that states that the card was recovered from a fire in a mail car travelling between Frankfurt and Berlin. On 12 January, when train D 45 was approaching Weissenfels, a fire was discovered in the mail car. Although staff acted quickly and threw bags of mail out of the moving train, a quantity was damaged before the fire could be extinguished. The mail car was largely burnt out. Salvaged mail was forwarded from Leipzig and various labels were applied. This label is Type 1 in Gwynn and Hoggarth's 'Railway Disaster Mail' book.
£120.00
Reference: C1514

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 1900 - Germany
1900 Just before midnight on January 4 1900, the express train from Frankfurt ran into a goods wagon loaded with alcohol at Bischweiler station. An explosion and large fire ensued, killing three mail sorters in the express. Surviving mail received a two-line cachet ‘Unfolge – eines Eisenbahnunfalles – beschgaedigt’ struck in purple. This card to Basel, Switzerland, has had the stamp washed off, probably when the fire was extinguished. A rare and early German train crash item.
£170.00
Reference: T1926

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1921 - Netherlands. - NETHERLANDS TRAIN FIRE.  1921 American Express registered envelope from London to Berlin, Germany that has been badly damaged in a fire on the train D 71¯ between Veghel and Uden stations in Holland on Sunday morning 18 December 1921. The train was stopped at Uden and the fire that was in the mail car was extinguished. The mail car was completely burned out and the majority of mail destroyed. A label was applied to this damaged envelope at Oberhausen, Germany explaining the reason for the damage. Little mail has survived this incident, and the German label is rare.
1921 - Netherlands.
NETHERLANDS TRAIN FIRE. 1921 'American Express' registered envelope from London to Berlin, Germany that has been badly damaged in a fire on the train 'D 71'¯ between Veghel and Uden stations in Holland on Sunday morning 18 December 1921. The train was stopped at Uden and the fire that was in the mail car was extinguished. The mail car was completely burned out and the majority of mail destroyed. A label was applied to this damaged envelope at Oberhausen, Germany explaining the reason for the damage. Little mail has survived this incident, and the German label is rare.
£240.00
Reference: G1506

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1906 - Germany - GERMANY.  1906 envelope from Lubeck to Cronenberg which has a three line blue cachet Beschadigt beim / Eisenbahnungluck / in Ottersberg¯.  On December 30 1906 the Hamburg to Cologne express train crashed into a goods train near Ottersberg. As a result of the collision the mail coach was set on fire. There are a number of cachets known from this incident, all with fairly similar wording. An uncommon item.
1906 - Germany
GERMANY. 1906 envelope from Lubeck to Cronenberg which has a three line blue cachet 'Beschadigt beim / Eisenbahnungluck / in Ottersberg'¯. On December 30 1906 the Hamburg to Cologne express train crashed into a goods train near Ottersberg. As a result of the collision the mail coach was set on fire. There are a number of cachets known from this incident, all with fairly similar wording. An uncommon item.
£240.00
Reference: G1507

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1919 - GERMANY.  1919 badly charred postal card from Schwerin to Hannover, the stamp cancelled 14.4.19. On the reverse is a three line label stating that the item was burned in a fire in a mail car on Train 32 from Wismar on 14 April 1919, with the bottom line being Postmaster Ludwigslust¯. Presumably this is where the incident took place. As there are so few items known from this incident, further information has come to light. A rare German train crash item.
1919
GERMANY. 1919 badly charred postal card from Schwerin to Hannover, the stamp cancelled 14.4.19. On the reverse is a three line label stating that the item was burned in a fire in a mail car on Train 32 from Wismar on 14 April 1919, with the bottom line being 'Postmaster Ludwigslust'¯. Presumably this is where the incident took place. As there are so few items known from this incident, further information has come to light. A rare German train crash item.
£300.00
Reference: G1508

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1935 - Germany - 1935 envelope from Friedberg / Hessen to Berlin with a label attached explaining the cover was in a fire in a mail car on the Frankfort to Berlin railway line on 12 January. The D45 train from Frankfurt was transporting mail from the P & O steamer Ranpura¯ as well as locally posted mail to Berlin. As the train approached Weissenfels, fire was discovered in the mail. The train was stopped and the fire extinguished. The salvaged mail was handled at Leipzig and forwarded from there with the explanatory label. Fine and uncommon.
1935 - Germany
1935 envelope from Friedberg / Hessen to Berlin with a label attached explaining the cover was in a fire in a mail car on the Frankfort to Berlin railway line on 12 January. The D45 train from Frankfurt was transporting mail from the P & O steamer 'Ranpura'¯ as well as locally posted mail to Berlin. As the train approached Weissenfels, fire was discovered in the mail. The train was stopped and the fire extinguished. The salvaged mail was handled at Leipzig and forwarded from there with the explanatory label. Fine and uncommon.
£100.00
Reference: G1538

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1884 - Germany - GERMANY TRAIN CRASH.  1884 post card from Stuttgart to Berlin franked with a 5pf cancelled 19.NOV 84. The card has been damaged by fire and a purple label attached which translates as Damaged by fire on Wurttenburg mail train on 20/11.¯ A very early train incident, with less than 5 items recorded.
1884 - Germany
GERMANY TRAIN CRASH. 1884 post card from Stuttgart to Berlin franked with a 5pf cancelled 19.NOV 84. The card has been damaged by fire and a purple label attached which translates as 'Damaged by fire on Wurttenburg mail train on 20/11.'¯ A very early train incident, with less than 5 items recorded.
£325.00
Reference: G1594

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1954 - Rorvik, Sweden - 1954 MALMO TO STOCKHOLM TRAIN.  The Malmo to Stockholm train derailed at Rorvik in the early hours of Monday 6 September plunged into a marsh, killing 6 people. A number of different types of cachet were applied, this being a four line explanatory cachet.
1954 - Rorvik, Sweden
1954 MALMO TO STOCKHOLM TRAIN. The Malmo to Stockholm train derailed at Rorvik in the early hours of Monday 6 September plunged into a marsh, killing 6 people. A number of different types of cachet were applied, this being a four line explanatory cachet.
£60.00
Reference: G2124

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1954 - Rorvik, Sweden - 1954 MALMO TO STOCKHOLM TRAIN.  The Malmo to Stockholm train derailed at Rorvik in the early hours of Monday 6 September plunging into a marsh, killing 6 people. The mail van was not recovered from the marsh until Saturday 11 September. A number of different types of cachet were applied, this being a three line explanatory cachet, stating The sending was damaged at a Railway accident at Rorvik on 6.9.54¯.  This cachet is Gwynn and Hoggarth type 2, probably used by the Stockholm Post Office.0
1954 - Rorvik, Sweden
1954 MALMO TO STOCKHOLM TRAIN. The Malmo to Stockholm train derailed at Rorvik in the early hours of Monday 6 September plunging into a marsh, killing 6 people. The mail van was not recovered from the marsh until Saturday 11 September. A number of different types of cachet were applied, this being a three line explanatory cachet, stating 'The sending was damaged at a Railway accident at Rorvik on 6.9.54'¯. This cachet is Gwynn and Hoggarth type 2, probably used by the Stockholm Post Office.0
£60.00
Reference: G2125

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1984 - Great Britain - 1984 envelope from Cambridge to Sussex that has been badly damaged by fire and water (when extinguishing the fire) which has washed off the stamp. A Post Office letter states that the item has been damaged by a very serious fire in a railway coach at Cambridge Railway Station on 19 December 1984. Very little mail seems to have survived this incident and this is only the third cover recorded to date from it. A rare train incident.
1984 - Great Britain
1984 envelope from Cambridge to Sussex that has been badly damaged by fire and water (when extinguishing the fire) which has washed off the stamp. A Post Office letter states 'that the item has been damaged by a very serious fire in a railway coach at Cambridge Railway Station on 19 December 1984.' Very little mail seems to have survived this incident and this is only the third cover recorded to date from it. A rare train incident.
£275.00
Reference: G2202

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