MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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Country: All
Subject: Wreck/Disaster Clear

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Wreck of S.S. "WINDSOR CASTLE" (Donald Currie Line), CAPE OF GOOD HOPE postal history
1876 cover and lengthy 5-page letter headed "Kersal Rectory (Salford) Sept 16 1876" to Miss Helen Ayliffe, Greystone, Grahamstown, Cape of Good Hope marked "per first Steamer, September 22 1876" with GB QV 6d grey Plate 15 tied Manchester "498" duplex dated SP 22 1876 with CAPE TOWN O/OC 20 76 arrival alongside, reverse shows DARTMOUTH B/SP 23 76 despatch and GRAHAMSTOWN OC 25 76 arrival clear of large part flap missing which shows both albino SPIERS & SON OXFORD envelope manufacturer and sender's emblem.
The "Windsor Castle" sailed from Dartmouth on 23rd September 1876 and hit rocks between 2 and 3am on 19th October off Dassen Island while approaching Cape Town. A Lt. Melville and a Mr Searle, after a most unpleasant journey, reached Cape Town at about 9pm with the news of the wrecked mail steamer. The "Florence" was despatched to the scene of the wreck, but due strong winds was unable to get out of the harbour until 4.15am, sighted the masts of the Windsor at 7am, and cast anchor at Dassen Island at 8am where the 160 passengers had assembled taking up a Robinson Crusoe kind of existence in tents rigged up from sails amongst heaps of saved baggage, boxes, gun cases and 70 to 80 mailbags. The "Florence" left at 1pm with the first of the survivors arriving at Cape Town at 6pm. Seven or eight feet of rock had ripped through the bottom and the ship broke up in heavy swells within a week. The rescued mail was postmarked at Cape Town on 20th October 1876.
£1200



Wreck of S.S. "Emeu" to Woodford, Kensington, missent Hackney, NEW SOUTH WALES postal history
1857 entire with large part content to a Mrs. Cowell, Belgrave Villa, Woodford, near London with QV 6d slate tied barred oval cancel with fine SYNEY D/SEP 10 1857 displaying upper flap and red LONDON NL/DE 7 57 on address panel, on arrival re-directed Kensington and showing manuscript "Missent to Hackney", some smaller faults.
Sent on the S.S. "Emeu" (under charter of the Australian Royal Mail Co.) which left Sydney on September 11 bound for Suez, but stranded on October 22nd in the Red Sea, on the Guttal el Bunna, a coral reef 120 miles from Jeddah. She was refloated the following day and beached for repairs near Duber Dubb finally reaching Suez on the 3rd November, the mails however having been transferred to the P.&.O S.S. "Madras" which reached Suez on the 19th November (16 days after the "Emeu"!). Paid for delivery in Southampton the cover was sent from Alexandria on the P.&.O "Ripon" arriving December 7th.
£625
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