Tuesday, January 4, 2011

George VI International Mail
Imperial Post
Surface Mail

(Post 16)

This post does not include mail to Europe, Canada, and the United States

1. To April 30, 1940

The Imperial post surface letter rate was 1 1/2d. for the first ounce and 1d. for each additional ounce. The Empire Air Mail Scheme ceased on September 3, 1939.


London to St Johns', Antigua, September 18, 1939
From the Private Secretary to Mrs. Chamberlain, wife of the Prime Minister

Return address

Letter from Mrs. Chamberlain's Private Secretary


West Bromwich to St. John's, April 27, 1940
1 1/2d. Imperial surface letter rate


Beaford to Haifa, September 16, 1939

Palestine censor label

2. From May 1, 1940

The Imperial surface letter rate was increased to 2 1/2d. for the first ounce and 1d. for each additional ounce.


Glasgow to St. Lucy, February 6, 1945
2 1/2d. Imperial surface letter rate

Barbados censor tape


London to Cairo, March 11, 1941
2 1/2d. Imperial surface letter rate
Egyptian censor handstamp and sealing tape

Egyptian censor tape


Upperlands, Northern Ireland to Mhow, India, March 5, 1945
India censor handstamp (Octagon C 6)


Hereford to Delgany, October 14, 1941

Taunton to Greystones, October 11, 1942
British and Irish censor sealing tapes

Irish censor tape

Re-Used Envelope

Birmingham to Carraigmhachaire, April 18, 1944
Redirected from Carraigmhachaire to Dublin, APril 21, 1944

The cover had been originally been sent from Bail Atha Cliath (Dublin) November 12, 1941.
The Irish stamp was torn off (remnant still attached) and the envelope was re-used almost three years later.


The surface post card rate increased from 1d. to 2d. on May 1, 1940.

Nottingham to Rabat, August 13, 1945
2d. surface post card rate

South Africa

Dalmally, Northern Ireland to addressee c/o Thomas Cook & Son, Natal South Africa, July 15, 1941
Forwarded to Thomas Cook & Son, Bombay
Bombay receiver September 26, 1941

India censor tape


Since the tiny volcanic island of Niauaf'ou lacked a beach and a harbour, mail was originally transferred from passing ships via tin cans to swimmers who brought the mail ashore. In the 1930s, a swimmer was killed by a shark and the mail was then collected by outrigger canoe. Walter Quesnell of Tonga arranged to provide "Tin Can Mail" covers to passing ships and philatelists world-wide. It is reported that over one-half million letters were mailed during Quesnell's 27 years on Niuafo'ou. A volcanic eruption brought Quesnell's enterprise to an end in 1947.

Newport to Niuafo'ou, Tonga, March 8, 1944
2 1/2d. Imperial surface letter rate

Walter Quesnell applied several cachets to incoming mail

The writer of the enclosed letter requested price lists for philatelic items as well as novelties, shells, etc.


Sleaford to Point a Prince, Trinidad, November 29, 1941
Forwarded to U.S. Naval station, Port of Spain
Port of Spain receiver January 5, 1942
Circular US Naval Censor handstamp (blue) applied on the stamps

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