Prestige Philately Auction 233 CatalogueLot 2398Catalogue by themeMilitary - World War II
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Displaying 1 - 20 of 44 Lots in Category - Military - World War II
Exhibit pages with an array of mostly small photographs including WWII RAF operations & Tin Can Mail handling, plus some second-generation pics of the airfield construction etc. A very scarce & desirable lot.
1939 usage of Straits KGVI 2c Postal Card endorsed "From GA Bayley, Cocos Keeling Island" on the face & with brief telegraph message headed "Cocos 29th Sept 1939", uprated for airmail to England with 2c & 10c pair tied by Singapore cds of 30SE/1939, very fine 'PASSED BY/ 7 /CENSOR' cachet in violet. An important item, being the earliest WWII Cocos-related cover & the only one posted in the first month of the war. [David Flaat's similar uprated Postal Card from a month later sold for $1955]
1939 (Oct 5) airmail cover endorsed on flap "From Mrs Clunies-Ross/...Devon" to "JS Clunies-Ross/Keeling Cocos Islands/co Messrs Caldbeck Macgregor & Co/Singapore", boxed 'PASSED BY/ 37 /CENSOR' h/s in violet applied at Singapore.
1940 cover endorsed "From Sidney W Rayment-Acton/Keeling Cocos Islands" on the reverse, to "Governor JS Clunies Ross/co WT Lee & Co/...London", Mauritius KGVI 12c tied by GPO cds of 19SP/40 & superb oval 'PASSED BY CENSOR/MAURITIUS' cachet in violet, on arrival redirected to WT Lee's home in Sussex. An extraordinary cover. [Sidney Rayment-Acton was secretary to JS Clunies-Ross on Cocos. He had resigned his position but remained on island until January 1941. At this time Clunies-Ross was already en route from London, arriving at Cocos just before his secretary's departure. WT Lee was the family's agent in London]
On 10.6.1940, Italy declared war on the Allies. The British telegraphic cable in the north-Mediterranean was cut, making Cocos & the trans-Indian Ocean cable a vital link for Australia, Singapore & the East. In late-1940 the Admiralty established a high-frequency direction-finding facility on Direction Island, Cocos. It is expected that this cover - the only one of its type known to us - was carried to Mauritius by a naval vessel.
1940 (Dec 31) cover endorsed on the reverse "Mrs Clunies-Ross/...Devon" by sea to her husband c/- Caldbeck Macgregor, triangular 'PASSED FOR - TRANSMISSION/ 37 ' cachet in violet applied at Singapore. [It is believed that this envelope was used to forward the cover from Rayment-Acton sent via Mauritius - see previous lot - back to Cocos]
1941 (c.) undated cover with 'CALDBECK MACGREGOR & CO LTD/SINGAPORE' cachet across the flap & uncancelled 8c grey, to "JS Clunies-Ross/Keeling Cocos Is" with triangular 'PASSED FOR - TRANSMISSION/ 74 ' cachet in violet, central fold. [Our assessment is that Caldbeck MacGregor & Co handed-in their mail for censoring; because they operated the only mail service to Cocos, the covers were simply handed-back to them for carriage per TSS 'Islander' to Cocos]
1941 (c.) undated cover with 'CALDBECK MACGREGOR & CO LTD/.../SINGAPORE' imprint at upper-left & uncancelled 8c grey, to "Governor [sic] JS Clunies-Ross/Keeling Cocos Is" with triangular 'PASSED FOR - TRANSMISSION/ 67 ' cachet in violet.
1941 (Jan 3) registered cover from WT Lee to JS Clunies-Ross c/- Caldbeck Macgregor for fowarding to Cocos, superb Singapore arrival b/s of 8MR/1941 & plain brown tape tied by 'PASSED/CENSOR/ A ' h/s in violet (not recorded by Morenweiser for Singapore), minor blemishes. [In late-1940, the intensified bombing of London caued Lee to remove his London operations to Sussex]
1941 (Feb 19) cover from USA at 5c rate with Oakland, CA cancels to "Governor [sic] Ross/Cocos Islands/Indian Ocean", triangular 'PASSED FOR - TRANSMISSION/ 6 ' cachet in violet applied at Singapore on face.
1941 (May 5) registered surface mail cover from WT Lee in Sussex to JS Clunies-Ross c/- Caldbeck Macgregor for forwarding to Cocos with British '.../Opened for Customs examination and duly closed again at the Post Office' label tied by '[crown]/ CUSTOMS/AND/EXCISE' cachet in rosine, Singapore arrival b/s of late-May 1941 & triangular 'PASSED FOR - TRANSMISSION/ 67 ' cachet in violet.
1941 (June 16) airmail cover from Rose Clunies-Ross to her husband on Cocos via their Singpore agents with unusual make-up of GB KGVI 7d & 8d for the 1/3d rate, triangular 'PASSED FOR - TRANSMISSION/ 67 ' cachet in violet applied at Singapore, minor blemishes.
1941 cover (227x153mm) endorsed at upper-left "From Dr Gibson-Hill c/- Cable and Wireless Ltd Cocos-Keeling Islands" to Melbourne with Straits 4c & 5c tied by Singapore cds of 6SP/1941, resealed at left with plain brown tape tied by 'PASSED/CENSOR 6/ A ' h/s in violet (not recorded by Morenweiser for Singapore). Acquired at the Prestige auction of 29.3.2008 for $4370. [Carl Alexander Gibson-Hill was resident medical officer on Cocos from late-1940. He left for Singapore in early-1942, arriving four days before its Surrender to Japan & spent the next 3½ years as a POW. In 1956, he was appointed Director of the Raffles Museum. A keen ornithologist, he wrote articles & a book about the Cocos Birdlife. This cover almost certainly contained bird photographs]
1942 cover endorsed on the flap "JCW Jacob/co Cable & Wireless Ltd/Cocos Keeling" to London with Ceylon 15c tied by Colombo machine cancel of 25MAR42. A rare routing at this time. [Almost certainly carried per SS Kelantan which arrived at Colombo in late-March 1942 after having taken a relief garrison to Cocos & surviving a torpedo attack on the return trip]
1942 (Mar 9) surface mail cover from GB to "JCW Jacob/co Cable & Wireless Ltd/Cocos-Keeling Islands", 'COLOMBO/ 30MY/42/FOREIGN' cds on the face with boxed 'NO SERVICE/RETURNED TO SENDER' & 'RETOUR' h/s of Colombo RTO (b/s). [Singapore fell to the Japanese on 15.2.1942 & mail connections with Cocos were severed. After the Japanese shelled the cable station on Cocos & attacked SS Kelantan on its return voyage in March, civilian mail services to Cocos from Ceylon were suspended]
1943 (Aug 23) cover from Rose Clunies-Ross in Devon to "JS Clunies-Ross/co Cable & Wireless Coy/Colombo/ Ceylon", no instructional markings so presumably delivered by naval vessel (?). The latest recorded correspondence between Rose & John-Sidney, who died on Cocos on 14.8.1944. [The family had moved from London to Devon for safety reasons. Ironically, their home in Exeter was destroyed in a German air raid but the London home survived unscathed]
INWARDS MAIL: 1944 (July 29?) cover from GB with 2½d meter to "35th British General Hospital/RAMC/South East Asia Command", redirected to "Operation Wilcox", although paid for surface only it was flown to Cocos per Catalina flying boat, opened a bit roughly & stained at the top from a 'sticky' tape repair. [Following the Japanese bombardment in 1944, use of the word "Cocos" in communications was suppressed. Various coded military addresses were used including 'Operation Wilcox', 'Island X' and 'Fortress Brown'. Use of such addresses on mail is very rare & the only the examples we have seen are from Colin Riddell's collection]
INWARDS MAIL: 1944 (Nov 24) civilian 6d aerogramme from GB to "35th British Gen Hosp/RAMC/South East Asia Command", redirected to "Island X/oc tps/Brown" (= Occupying Troops) & flown to Cocos per Catalina flying boat, stained at the base from 'sticky' tape reinforcement. [NB: West Island was sometimes referred to as 'Brown's West Island']
INWARDS MAIL: 1945 (Jan 12) stampless Forces cover from Ceylon with 'UNIT CENSOR/X209' h/s used at Mount Lavinia & Indian-pattern No 9 ABPO b/s, to "13th Indian Coast Battery/Brown/SEAC", corner fault at upper-right.
INWARDS MAIL: 1945 (Apr 5) airgraph with photograph of the addressee's wife from GB to "129 Staging Post/RAF/SEAC", usual horizontal fold (which is clear of the photo). Believed to be the only recorded airgraph addressed to Cocos. [129 Staging Post was a postal unit at the West Island Airfield that processed incoming mails between -.4.1945 & -.3.1946]
129 STAGING POST: Undated Forces Air Letter with printed 'RAFPOST/AIR COMMAND/SOUTH EAST ASIA' at upper-right & instructions within for addressing mail completed with "129 Staging Post" & 'CEYLON AIR FORCES' h/s in violet, sent to GB with 'RAFPOST/ 2 /SOUTH EAST ASIA/ 2 ' cds with the dateline removed. There must have been thousands of these pro forma air letters but this is the only example we have seen from Ceylon. [In 1944, logistical & construction units of the XIVth Army were sent to Cocos for Operation 'Pharos', to construct a heavy bomber airfield on Brown's West Island. South-East Asia Command (SEAC) intended Cocos to be a Forward Strategic Operating Base for retaking Malaya & the Dutch Indies]