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last update 25 September 2017 Latest News
thanks for your interest

St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society

founded 1976



 Inter-Society Collaboration



The covers from our three (principal) islands are all interesting, whether sent (or received) by an islander or philatelic. In general, most members study and have knowledge of the island specific postmarks, cachets, cancellations and other island-related postal markings.

However, many covers have markings from other countries, sometimes as transit marks, often as final destination receiving marks. A large proportion of covers also have various Paquebot markings.

In many cases, understanding these other (non-island) markings is a whole different specialist field; some of us may indeed be knowledgeable about these, but many of us are not.

Of course, many covers also have interesting stamps, and this can be a further area of study too.

Accordingly, an Inter-Society Collaboration has been proposed between our society (SHATPS) and various other specialist societies. As a starting point, the following societies have expressed an interest: The TPO & Seapost Society (Paquebot markings), The British Postmark Society, The South African Philatelic Federation the President, Alex Visser.

This end-goal is to produce a series of articles for the South Atlantic Chronicle, detailing some of these other markings. SHATPS will also co-operate in producing articles for the publications of the other societies, as requested.

In the interim, this page has been made available for members to post covers with markings that require identification … or are just of major interest. (Posting can be done via the kind auspices of our Secretary and Webmaster, Klaus Hahn). Members may of course contribute to the knowledge on this page as well, by answering any query that is posted.

I hope this new collaboration will provide all of us with greater knowledge of the covers in our collections, as well as broaden our knowledge generally.

Alan Melville - Inter-Society Collaboration Coordinator



Photo  Description                         Request                   Answer

Tristan da Cunha HMS Carlisle 2nd visit 1937

COVER: unstamped cover to Darmouth/England, taxed - 1 1/2D,

London Paquebot 30 MR 37





- who knows of other Carlisle mail with the boxed cachet?

- Where's the origin of the boxed cachet, which isn't listed in SG Catalogue of British Postmarks


Tristan da Cunha to Johannesburg 1936


Registered cover to S.A.. The South African postage was struck with the missionary handstamp type V, arrival registration datestamp Durban 8 JAN 1936 and on-line cachet

*Tristan Da Cunha*

according the literature applied in Durban


*Tristan Da Cunha*

- who knows more about the meaning of this cachet as published in G. Crabb's book?

Why was it applied?


Tristan da Cunha - undated censored WW2 cover to Cape Town

with South African Paquebot cancellation, without any information because of security reasons,

type VII Tristan missionary handstamp (not in use March 1940 - 1 May 1945)


- where in South Africa was the Paquebot marking applied?

- time of usage?


A Tristan da Cunha postal history request:

Tristan da Cunha Type X handstamp - very early usage


very early usage of the Type X handstamp 2 FE 1948.

Only 3 covers known.


- do you have a cover in your collection with that scarce usage

2 FE 1948 - 6 MR 1948 during Tristan Venture Expedition?

If yes, please send a scan to the Webmaster.


Tristan da Cunha wartime cover to England via Pitcairn Islands.

dates on the cover:

- Tristan da Cunha - undated

- Pitcairn: 10th April 1940 transit datestamp

- England: 31st May 1940 arrival datestamp

The cover was franked with 3 Canadian 1939 stamps issued at 15th May 1939. After this date of issue, only a handful of ships visited Tristan da Cunha:
16th November 1939 - LANCING, a Norwegian whaler heading for Antarctica bringing the news to Tristan that WW2 had started,
January 1940 - PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT, an American steamer
5th January 1940 - HMS CUMBERLAND
7th March 1940 - HMS DORSETSHIRE, returning to England with mail receiving the London datestamp of 24th March 1940.

The dates are according Robin Taylors new SHATPS book: Tristan da Cunha - A Listing of Ships' Visits between 1901 and 2016
With one of these ships the cover must be transported, because it received the Pitcairn Islands Agency datestamp of 10th April 1940 and the arrival datestamp of 31 May 1940 of Whitley Bay/Enland.                               


Which ship transported this cover?

According Cliff Allen the LANCING wasn't at Pitcairn - and

according the Web the HMS Cumberland and HMS Dorsetshire not too.

It remains the S/S President Roosevelt or an unknown ship.

A request went to Herbert Ford / Pitcairn Study Center                                   


Gough Island straight line cachet in red

seen on Gough Island Scientific Survey covers 1955, sometimes on the reverse

-- very rare cachet, only a handful are known --


If you have such a cachet on cover please tell me.



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