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Posts published in “Postmarks”

Barbados “bootheel” obliterators

The distinctive obliterators known as “bootheel” cancellers were introduced to Barbados in 1863. They replaced earlier barred numeral obliterators. Like the original barred numeral obliterators, each of the eleven parishes was allocated a a Parish number. The Parish numbers were as follows:

  1. St. Michael (G.P.O. Bridgetown)
  2. Christ Church
  3. St. Philip
  4. St. George
  5. St. John
  6. St. Joseph
  7. St. James
  8. St. Thomas
  9. St. Andrew
  10. St. Peter
  11. St. Lucy
“Bootheel” number “11”, from St. Lucy Parish, Barbados

In 1886 new Parish datestamps were issued to replace the “bootheel” marks, whereupon these marks were returned to the G.P.O. in Bridgetown and the parish numbers removed. Known as “open bootheel” cancellations, they were used at the G.P.O. from 1887 to 1902.

Gambia ‘BATHHURST’ error

A very fine and clear example of this famous Gambia postmark error (extra ‘H’ in ‘BATHURST’). Unambiguous 6 AU 38 date. This cancellation was in use from 5 August 1938 until noon on 11 August 1938 – in use for six business days only – before being replaced by a corrected canceller.

This example is available for purchase here

Lopcombe Camp

An unusual British postmark on a British stamp, but with a strong Australian connection.

The first troops of the Australian 18th Brigade arrived in the UK on 17 June 1940, shortly after Italy’s entry into the war on 10 June 1940.  Originally intended for the Middle East, the troopships were re-routed to the UK  

Salisbury Plain became home for the troops, with most mail being processed at neighbouring civil post offices, chiefly Tidworth and Salisbury.

The HQ of 18th Brigade was established at a camp at Lopcombe Corner.  A post office was established utilising a skeleton cancel inscribed LOPCOMBE CAMP SALISBURY.

The cancellation illustrated is from the period of HQ 18th Brigade being based at Lopcombe Corner.  Dated 22 July 1940, it falls between the units arrival in June and departure in October 1940.