1899 “KAISER WILHELM DER GROSSE”. The North German Lloyd liner S S Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse came into service on the trans-Atlantic route in 1897 and was one of the most luxurious and fastest liners of the time. On March 14 1899 she sailed from New York to Southampton arriving there on March 20, but either en route or when unloading the mail, the water damaged the a mailbag. A violet boxed ‘DAMAGED BY IMMERSION / IN SEA WATER’ cachet was applied, probably in London. This letter that was on the ship and has the cachet was posted in Christchurch, New Zealand, on February 15th. It went to San Francisco on the RMS Alameda which sailed from Auckland on February 18th and then to New York where it was put on the S S Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse. Unfortunately the 2d stamp is damaged. It arrived in Oldham on March 22.