Warcovers :: Up to 1914

Up to 1914

Campaign covers, Field Post Office

1854-6 Crimea   1861-7 Franco-Mexican   1880-1 First Boer   1911-2 Italo-Turkish
1856-60 Second Opium   1870-1 Franco-Prussian   1883-5 Chinese-French   1912-3 Balkan
1857-8 Indian Mutiny   1877-8 Russo-Turkish   1894-5 Chinese-Japanese   1899-1901 Second Boer
1861-5 American Civil   1878-80 Second Afghan   1898 Spanish-American   1900-1 Boxer Rebellion



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1857 (Nov) cover + letter GB to care of 'Lt Col Gosling, Comg. 10th. Regt. M.N.I.

1857 (Nov) cover and letter from GB to care of 'Lt Col Gosling, Comg. 10th. Regt. M.N.I., Rangoon, [BURMA] via Calcutta' [Madras Native Infantry] with d/r. CAL receipt p/m. (Dec). Post Paid 9d. INDIAN MUTINY 1857-59. 10th Madras Native Infantry. From 1796 there was always a lieutenant colonel on strength, but as he often served away from the unit the list below shows the senior officer present, who actually commanded: 10th Madras Native Infantry: Lt Col Henry Charles Gosling (Maj Gen) c.1857 -1866. Ref: 312-145.

Price: £150.00
1879 (Oct) cover + letter S. AFRICA to GB. CAPE TOWN p/m. "after Zululand".

1879 (Oct) cover and letter from S. AFRICA to GB with CAPE TOWN p/m. In Cape Town "after Zululand". The Anglo-Zulu War (11 Jan.28 Aug. 1879) From '[Lieutenant (Captain) W.R.H. Crauford of the 91st Highlanders' was present at the battle of Gingindlovu, the relief of Eshowe, and commanded the convoys of the column during the advance of Crealock's Division to Port Durnford. [William Reginald Houison Crauford: 1879 ZULU WAR CAMPAIGN MEDAL. South Africa Medal 1877-79 with clasp '1879'] mss .. "no end of work to do .. A great many prisoners for one thing". Typed transcript of letter. Ref: 308-074.

Price: £150.00
1880 (7th. Dec) cover + letter S. AFRICA to GB. lead up to 1st. BOER WAR 16th. Dec.

1880 (7th. Dec) cover and letter from South AFRICA to GB with CAPE TOWN p/m. Lead up to 1st. BOER WAR starting 16th. Dec. 1880. mss .. "The 58th. wont be here for a little while & now the Boers seem to be giving trouble it may be some time longer. The Basutos continue fighting with little result on either side, but the reinforcements should decide matters".
[On 11 Nov. 1880, a hundred armed Boers disrupted an auction, for refusing to pay an illegally inflated tax and assaulted the presiding sheriff. The first shots of the war were fired when this group fought back against government troops who were sent after them. After the Transvaal formally declared independence from the United Kingdom, the war began on 16 Dec. 1880]
From '[Lieutenant (Captain) W.R.H. Crauford of the 91st Highlanders' was present at the battle of Gingindlovu, the relief of Eshowe, and commanded the convoys of the column during the advance of Crealock's Division to Port Durnford. [William Reginald Houison Crauford: 1879 ZULU WAR CAMPAIGN MEDAL. South Africa Medal 1877-79 with clasp '1879'] Ref: 314-060.

Price: £150.00
1908 cover + note SOUTH POLE to New Zealand. (HMS) "Nimrod"

1908 cover and note 'from the neighbourhood of the SOUTH POLE' to New Zealand with s/r. BRIT. ANTARCTIC EXPD. p/m. canc. 1d. adhesive with KING EDWARD VII LAND o/p. Note endorsed " 31 Dec. 1907 via South Pole per (HMS) "Nimrod". Also WELLINGTON receipt m/c. to rear [8th March 1908] Ref: 316-110.

Price: £150.00
1855 (June) cover from GB to CRIMEA. 'Capt. Charles E. Mansfield ADC, Crimea'

1855 (June) cover from GB to 'Capt. Charles E. Mansfield ADC, care of Lieut. General Sir Colin Campbell K.C.B, Crimea'. [Lieutenant Charles Edward Mansfield Joined the army in 1848 as an ensign in the 33rd Regiment of Foot. He became a lieutenant in 1831. He was aide-de-camp to Sir Colin Campbell during the Crimean War, was present at the battles of Alma and Balaclava in Sept. and Oct. 1854, was mentioned in dispatches and promoted to captain in Dec. 1854. He was present in the trenches at the attack and fall of Sevastopol in 1855 and was again mentioned in dispatches] Also cigarette card of Sir Colin Campbell. Ref: 307-045.

Price: £175.00
1900 (Dec.) cover + letter BOXER Rebellion to GB. FPO 5 p/m.

1900 (16th Dec.) cover and letter from the BOXER Rebellion to 'Craufurdland Castle' with d/r. Indian FPO 5 p/m. canc. ONE ANNA with 'CEF' o/p. [Chinese Expeditionary Force] Excellent historic letter from Shanghai by Capt. Archibald Houison-Craufurd. 7 Bo. I. Dy. Asst. Adjt. Genl. 2nd Infantry Brigade. mss .. "I was lunching today with some people called Harding he is something in Customs Service. Last night I dined at the Astor House Hotel, where the German Admirals ships band played during and after dinner. The dinner was given by Major Watson and was to have been in honour Mrs Creagh our Generals wife who came up by the last mail could not come .. the party was only Stewart, myself & Capt. Cradock of HMS Alacrity the Admirals Despatch vessel .. about 200 people there of all nationalities. The night before I was dining at the Germans Mess and had a pleasant evening. They didn't make me drink too many malts. The German officers are wonderfully nice to me. Their Colonel - Graf Schleppen-bach is very English, having had an English mother". 1906 'Craufurdland Castle' PPC. Ref: 307-108.

Price: £175.00
1901 (Feb) cover + letter CHINA to France. Marine Francaise h/s. BOXER Rebellion

1901 (Feb) cover and letter from CHINA to France endorsed 'Corps Expeditionnaire de Chine' with d/r. Marine Francaise / Service a la Mer h/s. From French Navy - 'Anchorage at Chefoo' - BOXER Rebellion: 2nd. Nov 1899 7th. Sep 1901. Refers to 'le paquebot le "Sydney" .. "Typhon" and "Brute". Ref: 320-001.

Price: £175.00
1899 cover SUDAN to 'General Sir E. Collen KCIE, Simla, India'. OMDURMAN p/m.

1899 (July) cover from SUDAN to 'General Sir E. Collen KCIE, Simla, India' with s/r. OMDURMAN p/m. canc. 1 Piastre adhesive [Officers RATE] Known correspondence from 'R.F. Meiklejohn'. MAHDIST War 1881-1899. Lt. Ronald Forbes Meiklejohn [1/R. War. R.] took part in the battles of the Atbara, Khartoum and Omdurman. The Battle of Umm Diwaykarat on Nov. 25, 1899 marked the final defeat of the Mahdist state in Sudan, when Anglo-Egyptian forces under the command of Lord Kitchener defeated what was left of the Mahdist armies. Ref: 315-012.

Price: £190.00
1902 (May) cover BOER WAR to GB. '1st. NZ Brigade'. NEW ZEALAND Contingent

1902 (May) cover from the BOER WAR to GB with d/r. ARMY POST OFFICE / POTCHEFSTROOM p/m. From 'Trooper W. Southern, 5256. 1st. NZ Brigade'. [Trooper William Southern, NZ North Island Regiment, B Squadron, 8th. Contingent embarked from North Island on SS "SURREY" on 1st. Feb. 1902] Late NEW ZEALAND Contingent. Ref: 315-044.

Price: £200.00
1890 uprated 'Uniform Penny Postage' cover GB to 'HMS Orlando, Australia'

1890 (2nd. July) uprated 'Uniform Penny Postage' cover and insert from GB to 'Capt. W. J. Eastman RMA, HMS Orlando, Australia'. Royal Marine Artillery. Penny Postage Jubilee / South Kensington p/m. [HMS Orlando 1886: Cruiser 1st Class, Armoured 1890 Flag Ship Australia Station. Includes officers borne for duties with stores at Sydney and the Victorian Naval Defence Force] Ref: 307-084.

Price: £250.00
1904 PPC GB to 'HMS "Sphinx", Persian Gulf' redirected to 'Lapwing'

1904 (June) PPC from GB to 'Mr H Phillips SBA, HMS "Sphinx", Persian Gulf' and redirected to 'Lapwing, Karachai' with s/r. MUSCAT and KARACHI p/m's.

Gunboat diplomacy: At the turn of the century the Royal Navy maintained control of the Persian Gulf with three patrol ships, only one of which - HMS Lapwing [small gunboat]- was on permanent duty. 1904 was the year of the massive Persian oil strike in neighbouring Abadan. [SBA: Sick Berth Attendant, Royal Navy] Ref: 311-114.

Price: £275.00
1911 Times of India. 'GULF ARMS TRAFFIC. The Fighting at Dabai' KOWIT

1911 Extract from the Times of India, Jan. 21st 1911: 'GULF ARMS TRAFFIC. The Fighting at Dabai'. Refers to MUSCAT and KOWIT. {Kuwait} Lieutenant Noakes was with the search party in the skirmish at DABAI, Persian Gulf and his conduct was favorably noted by the Admiralty. [Cyril John laugham Noakes RN] Includes a list of 6 British Casualties and 10 wounded. The Arabs lost at least 37 men. [THE DUBAI INCIDENT, 1910: A GUN BATTLE THAT DAMAGED BRITISH RELATIONS WITH THE TRUCIAL COAST] 210 x 350mm. Creased and faults. Ref: 318-154.

Price: £350.00
1857 cover HONG KONG to GB. Abraham Lennox Crimea VC holder

1857 cover from HONG KONG to 'Lady Arthur Lennox', GB and initialled in corner 'AL': Abraham Lennox. Also endorsed "Hong Kong 24th. Aug. '57"and s/r. 3rd. Nov. 1857 receipt p/m. to rear.

OVERSEAS INVESTITURE OF THE VC in HONG KONG by GOC Hong Kong, Lieutenant General T. Ashburton to Lieutenant Abraham LENNOX, Royal Engineers.

[Lt. Col. Wilbraham Oates Lennox (1830-1897), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour at the siege of Sebastopol]. He was the fourth son of Lieut.-Col. Lord George Lennox (1793-1873), brother of Lord Arthur Lennox. The cover was to his wife 'Lady Arthur Lennox'.

[He joined the Royal Engineers as a 2nd lieutenant on 27 June 1848. He landed in the Crimea on 30 September 1854 and served there with the army until it reembarked in June 1856. He was present throughout the seige and capture of Sebestopol, gaining the VICTORIA CROSS** for valour during the capture of some rifle pits. He subsequently served in India during the Mutiny and was present at the relief of Lucknow. Ref: 320-134.

Price: £400.00
1816 entire GIBRALTAR to 'Andrew Phair, New Brunswick'. Bombardment of Algiers

1816 (Aug. 15th) entire from GIBRALTAR to 'Andrew Phair, New Brunswick, North America' with circ. HALIFAX receipt p/m. (2nd. Nov.) Message refers to the Bombardment of Algiers on the 27th. Aug. 1816. 'BUGDEN & WILMOET / 1912' watermarked paper.
mss "Gibraltar Aug. 15th. 1816. Dear Sally,
Lord Exmouths fleet arrived here from England a few days ago, and sailed yesterday against the Algerians, he is determined to knock the town (Algiers) about their ears. I am afraid he is taking the Bull by the Horns, for the place is extreamly strong, having upwards of twelve hundred pieces of cannon mounted and surrounded by an enormus wall. Lord E's fleet consists of seven sail of the line and eleven frigates and smaller craft; the Dutch fleet consisting of five large frigates has also jioned him, there are a thousand Marines on board , part of a troop of Rockets, and a Company of Sapers and Miners , under Major Gospel of the Engineers. The Artillery offered their services, but his Lordship declined accepting them on the score of de***** the force & portion of prize money in care of .

I cannot find the postage to Gibraltar from America, as we have no Post Office here; all letters are made up at the Secretary's Office; and we pay no postage for any letter going or coming, which accounts for your letters not reaching us, as this postage must be paid by some person in England, otherwise the letter lay in the General Post Office.

Your Affet. Brother,
DH Straton.

During the Napoleonic Wars, out of necessity Britain had cooperated with the Barbary states to ensure the supply of resources to Gibraltar and the British Navy in the Mediterranean. At the end of the war, when in a position to do so, Britain exerted enormous pressure on those states to end their piracy and their enslavement of Christians. The Deys of Tunis and Tripoli bowed to the pressure, but the Dey of Algiers was more reluctant. When, perhaps as the result of a misunderstanding, Mediterranean fishermen under British protection were massacred by Algerian forces, Europe was outraged and Britain acted decisively. A modest British fleet attacked and severely damaged the port of Algiers in a battle which raged into the night until, at a point, the British fleet weighed anchor and sailed out of range of the Algerian defences. A letter was sent to the Dey explaining that the destruction of the harbour had been a display of British capabilities, that Britain held the Bey personally responsible, that he would have no peace with Britain unless he capitulated and furthermore that unless he capitulated immediately Britain would turn her forces against his city and his subjects. Some 3,000 Christian slaves were released as a result but the Dey soon replaced them with non-Christian Europeans, Jews and Africans, and the wider slave trade in Algeria continued until its colonization by France in 1830. During their heyday from the 16th to the 18th centuries Barbary slavers may have captured over a million people from as far north as Iceland, the Middle East, sub-Saharan and Western Africa, and even seafarers from the United States.

Rockets were used effectively during the Napoleonic Wars.

Lt. ANDREW PHAIR b. Co. Cork, Ireland ca. 1757, d. Fredericton, York Co., NB 9 NOV 1824 age 67 years, buried Old Burying Ground, Fredericton, Fredericton Parish, York Co., NB, m. NY 11 MAY 1782 MARGARET BARRY (b. ca. 1754 (ca, 1763), d. Fredericton, York Co., NB 27 JUL 1833 age 79 years; possibly m. 1st Lt. William Phair).
In 1802, Andrew Phair was granted administration of the estate of John Carnes, in Fredericton. He was also granted, in the same year, administration of the estate of Thomas Staples and of Isaac Hedden. This suggests that Andrew was a solicitor or public official.
His daughter, Isabella S. Phair, m. 9 SEP 1809 Lt. John M. Stratton of the Royal Artillery. A possible son was William B. Phair, at the time in the 104th New Brunswick Fencible Regiment of Foot, who m. Fredericton, 5 AUG 1816 Rebecca Hanney, d/o Andrew Rainsford. Andrew Rainsford was Assistant Barrack Master General and Andrew Phair was Barrack Master General, so the relationship ins implied. Andrew was likely married twice as a step-daughter, Sarah Barry, d. SEP 1821. Andrew Phair d. 9 NOV 1824 age 67 years. He was also Post Master for Fredericton.
Andrew is considered to have been a Loyalist in the American Revolution serving with Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold in the Loyal American Legion.

Price: £500.00
1843 entire IRELAND to 'The Earle of Haddington, First Lord of the Admiralty'

1843 (April) entire from IRELAND to 'The Earle of Haddington, First Lord of the Admiralty, London' regarding the death of seaman serving on HMS Herald, China - involved in the First Anglo-Chinese War. Mrs C. Burns requesting details of a will made by 'John Dumphey alias Murphy .. in the Military Hospital of Macoa in China and duly attested by Surgeon Allen and Mr Diamond'.

[John Dumphey, aged 44, Able Seaman belonged to HMS Herald; taken ill in Canton River; sick or hurt, intermittent fever quotidien; put on sick list 30 Aug. 1841, died 25 Oct. 1841]

Including written response drafted inside from The Earl. The original entire was from the Navy (Office of Inspectors of Seaman's Wills) dated Jan. 1843. [For margined SG8 1d. tied by very fine Cootehill Maltese Cross] The First Sino British War, or Opium War. HMS Herald was paid off at Chatham in May 1842. Ref: 313-152.

Price: £500.00