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Posts tagged as “Australia”

Norwegian Whaling Mail – Tasmania to the Antarctic (1929)

This cover was posted on 3 December 1929 in Hobart, Tasmania.  It is an official envelope, with the return address Hobart Public Hospital.

The cover was addressed to Mr Jack R Ratten, aboard SS N T Neilsen-Alonso, in turn care of Messrs H L Tapley & Co Ltd, of Dunedin, New Zealand.  The cover was further endorsed “For transmission by SS City of New York“.  The latter was one of Admiral Byrd’s vessels for his First Antarctic Expedition, departing Dunedin on a re-supply mission to the Antarctic in January 1930. Tapley was Byrd’s agent in New Zealand. In Antarctic waters the cover was in turn passed over to SS N T Neilsen-Alonso.

Jack Ratten was one of 34 men recruited in Hobart, Tasmania in late 1929 to join the crew of Norwegian whale oil factory ship SS N T Neilsen-Alonso.  Ratten was a Tasmanian, and his father Victor Ratten was surgeon superintendent at the Hobart Public Hospital.  The cover is possibly penned by Victor Ratten to his son.

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.