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Question On Cover With Australian Stamp But Posted From Papua New Guinea To Army Base In Cyprus

 
 
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Valued Member

51 Posts
Posted 10/01/2019   11:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Prexie3c to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi all,

I have some questions regarding the following cover, and I hope the Australian professionals here would be able to shed some light

1. The cover was posted from Papua New Guinea to Cyprus using an Australian stamp. Was this common practice?

2. Would this be a 'real' commercial cover, or a philatelic creation to a stamp collector? I am not sure if the addressee (a Warrant Officer) and his address (an army base) have any bearing on this, but I thought 5 shillings is a huge sum for the postage cost of a letter to Cyprus. I do not have the postal rates for Papua New Guinea and so I am not sure if the 5 shillings stamp paid the correct rate.

3. Why are there so many postmarks (5 of them!) at the back of the cover? In my collection of Prexies 3c covers, I see this happening only for redirected covers, but this does not seem to be the case here. I can read the following (the postmarks are surprisingly very clear except for the last) :

a) Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea - 1 Sep 1949
b) GPO Sydney, NSW Australia - 5 Sep 1949
c) Registered, Nicosia, Cyprus - 12 Sep 1949
d) Registered, Famagusta, Cyprus - 13 Sep 1949
e) Field Post Office - 14 Sep 1949 (and A55? I could not make this out)

Thanks!





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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
1240 Posts
Posted 10/01/2019   6:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What a lovely cover!

My first thought that it might've been a First Day Cover but this stamp was issued on 11 April 1949 in Australia.

Gibbons says that Australian stamps were used in Papua New Guinea following Japan's defeat in 1945 and remained valid until 1 March 1953.

The backstamps are all usual for registered articles. Postal history at it's finest!!

You can't help feeling that the postage has been overpaid. The letter rate in Australia was 2d at the time. I would guess that perhaps the recipient is a stamp collector.

Hope this helps
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Australia
27483 Posts
Posted 10/01/2019   7:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fabulous cover.
I plead ignorance on the finer details, but if mine, I would assume the cover is genuine in all respects, non philatelic, genuine usage, the weight of the contents, may have driven the 5 shillings.

https://cryptome.org/2012/01/0060.pdf

It was not until June 1947 that the full potential of Cyprus as a listening post
started to be exploited, with the transfer of British personnel and equipment
from Palestine and the creation of the Ayios Nikolaos Station near
Famagusta, to house the 2 Wireless Regiment, later renamed as the 9 Signal
Regiment. Soon, another British Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) station was
moved from Iraq to the village of Pergamos, near Ayios Nikolaos, were it
operated until September 1968. Up to one thousand British radio operators
and technicians were stationed in the two sites during those first years, living ..........
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Edited by rod222 - 10/01/2019 7:48 pm
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Posted 10/01/2019   7:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Assuming a correct rate, and being registered, the franking would be driven primarily by the VALUE of the contents.
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Valued Member
51 Posts
Posted 10/02/2019   11:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Prexie3c to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks to all for the great replies.

It is interesting to know that Australian stamps were used in Papua New Guinea from 1945 to 1953.

So it remains to be seen as to whether 5 shillings paid the correct airmail rate and registration fee

A point that puzzled me is the address on the cover. The cover was mailed to a British military base in Cyprus with the name of the unit (2 Wireless Regiment) and the country (Cyprus) in clear. I thought for mail addressed to the military, the name of the unit and the country the unit is located in MUST NOT be on the cover? And that only the unit code and military address zip code is permissible? Am I missing something here?
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United States
1908 Posts
Posted 10/02/2019   2:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I thought for mail addressed to the military, the name of the unit and the country the unit is located in MUST NOT be on the cover? And that only the unit code and military address zip code is permissible?

Historically, that was only a wartime censorship rule. And despite that, there are a fair number of covers around with the unit number uncensored in the return address. Today, US military mail is anononymized, though at least some zip code locations are known.
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Valued Member
51 Posts
Posted 10/06/2019   8:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Prexie3c to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Having some time over the weekend, I did some philatelic sleuthing using the online archives of the National Library of Australia.

Apparently, after the second World War, the airmail fee from Australia to all European countries was 1/6d per half oz. This remained till 1952. The registration fee then was 6d.

Since Australian stamps were used in Papua New Guinea from 1945 to 1953 (as pointed out by Bobby), I would like to assume that the postal rates of Papua New Guinea were the same as those for Australia during that period. Then the 5 shillings could have paid the third weight-step airmail rate (1/6d x 3 = 4/6d) with 6d registration fee.

Hmmm, so there is a possibility that the 5 shillings did pay the correct rate

And just curious, is there a resource on the postal rates of Australia? I mean something along the line of the Wawrukiewicz and Beecher books for US domestic and international postal rates.
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Australia
1240 Posts
Posted 10/11/2019   5:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have some detailed information on postal rates from 1966 to the mid 1980s compiled by Allan Oliver but I only the very basic information from 1901 to 1966.
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 10/11/2019 5:14 pm
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