Polar Postal History Society of Great Britain

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the website for the study of Polar Postal History, from both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, open to collectors from all around the world.

This is the website of the Polar Postal History Society of Great Britain, PPHSGB for short

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The Future of PPHSGB auctions! Please go to the Society Auctions Page for further information.


Please scroll down this page to see all items added. The page is arranged with the most recent dated item at the top. Items from 2013 can be found on the Archived News Page.



A WARM WELCOME to our website, from myself and all the Committee.It is very pleasing to take another step forward in promoting our Society and hobby. Not only widening its appeal, making it easier to join or find information, but most importantly perhaps, have a forum for all members, established or new, to have a 2 way communication with us and each other.I hope you will browse the site, especially the EVENTS page, and see the attractions we can add to your special area of interest – and if you do not find it, tell us. Better still, contact the POLAR POST EDITOR John Youle who is pleased to receive articles to enhance knowledge, pose questions, or simply provide an interesting philatelic story.While I personally specialise in the Scott/Shackleton Expeditions, of the Heroic Age, the rest of the Committee equally show the diverse collecting interests of members generally, from modern Indian Antarctic bases to Whaling mail and studies of cancellations and Expedition Postcards to Thematic or Social History, both North and South.Over the years this diversity has expanded the appeal to collectors from all around the World. Newer subjects such as old Photos, QSL cards, Literature, original letters and maps, now all catch members’ attention.This diversity means we are in touch with most collectors’ sphere of interest and can point enquiries in the right direction.We thus act as a broader fulcrum for collectors who may also have specialist society memberships such as Scandinavian or Thematic where we embrace such interests.If you are interested in either or both of the Polar Regions, North and South, please try us out – the Application form can be downloaded from this site.Please specify your range of interests on the Application, but whatever they are, you will receive a sample past copy of Polar Post on joining, and shared enthusiasm.Welcome again!

Latest News

The editor apologises for the 3 month delay in updating the website. There was initially very little new information to report and this was followed by a flood of new information.

PPHSGB Members should PLEASE note: The AGM on 21st February 2015 decided that, in the light of continuing increases in postage rates for Polar Post, the Membership fee for the PPHSGB from 1st January 2016 is increased to £20 for UK members and £25 for the Rest of the World (all destinations for which the Internal UK postage rates 1st and 2nd class do not apply).

ALL members paying by Standing Order from a UK Bank account are requested please to change their standing orders ASAP.

4th July 2015 (Saturday) – MIDPEX, the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, The Fosse, Fosse Way (B4455), Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1XN, England - The PPHSGB and the FIPSG will have Stands. https://midpex.wordpress.com/

21st June 2015 – New Issue – South Georgia & SSI – Viola/Dias, Last of the British Steam Trawlers:  Dias ended her life as a sealer at South Georgia and is now drawn up on the beach at Grytviken. For further details of the Stamp issue please go to:



15th June 2015 (Expected) – New Issue – The Falkland Islands – 800th Anniversary of the Sealing of the Magna Carta: An omnibus issue involving Ascension Island, The Bahamas, The British Virgin Islands, The Falkland Islands and Tristan da Cunha has been announced with stamp illustrations but without any details. Here are the Falkland Islands’ stamps.


13th June 2015 (Saturday): SWINPEX  St Joseph’s Catholic College, Ocotal Way (A313), Swindon, SN3 3LR, England - Joint PPHSGB/FIPSG Meeting 1:30pm.

26th May 2015 – New Issue – AAT – Colours of the Australian Antarctic Territory: This issue has been announced in the Australia Post Stamp Bulletin, May/June 2015 which contains all the details of the issue on pages 8 & 9.


Please note that this website is dreadfully slow to react and for downloads of publications in Europe.


13th May 2015, 12.45pm (Wednesday): Joint Meeting with the FIPSG at London 2015 Europhilex, The Business Design Centre, Islington, London, England.

12th May 2015 – New Issue – The Falkland Islands – Colour in Nature, Part IV: Details of the issue are available at:



March/April 2015 – New Issues – TAAF out of Programme Issues: There were three issues as illustrated below. The values 0.01€ to 0,04€ have the year 2015 printed on them, thus distinguishing them from previous issues of these stamps. Sadly if you do not understand French, the following link will not be of much use to you for further details: http://philatelie.polaire.free.fr/


9th March 2015 - New Issues - Argentina - “Operación 90” and “Antarctopelta oliveroi 1986”: My Spanish is not great but I found background information to these issues in English at:



It is possible that these Wikipedia articles are available in other languages, e.g. Spanish.


21st February 2015 (Saturday)The PPHSGB Annual General Meeting and Spring Meeting will be held from 12.30pm to 2.30pm in a Meeting Room at Spring Stampex, The Business Design Centre, Islington, London. The room will not be known in advance of the day and thus you will need to check details at the information desk. For further details members should go to Polar Post, December 2014, Pages 83 (location Map) and 85 (AGM Agenda). Non-Members are welcome to attend but may not vote at the AGM.

11th February 2015 – New Issue – The Falkland Islands – Birds & Young: The first F.I. issue of the year has been announced and the set of four is illustrated below. The details of the issue will appear at:



30th January 2015 - New Issue - South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands – Albatrosses: The set of four stamps is illustrated below. The details of the issue are available at: http://www.pobjoystamps.com/


5th January 2015 - New Definitive Stamp Issue - South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands - Ships, Scientists and Explorers: The Shackleton definitive issue has now been replaced but fear not, the set of 12 includes a 10p value showing Shackleton and the Endurance. The stamps are illustrated below and the details are available at: http://www.pobjoystamps.com/


2nd January 2015 – New Issues – TAAF – Various: The illustrations below depict the Annual TAAF new issues for 2015  as follows: Beryl (mineral) 0.66 € + 0.34 €; Robert Guillard 1.05 € + 0.66 €; Antarctic Tern 4.30 €; Le Radioleine (ship) 2.40 €; Krill Programme 0.66 €; Insects of l’île de la Possession (Crozet) 0.66 € + 2.00 €; New Colonies of Emperor Penguins 1.00 €; Remains of a Decauville light railway (Juan de Nova) 0.66 €; Leopard Seal (Terre Adélie) 1.05 €.


There are also two souvenir sheets: Fish of Terre Adélie 0.66 € x 2 + 1.05 € + 1.55 € and Snowmobiles in Terre Adélie 0.66 € + 1.05 €.



22nd December 2014 – New Issue – The Falkland Islands – Type 42 Destroyers 1975 to 2014: The 30p stamp depicts HMS Sheffield, sunk off East Falkland in May 1982. The remaining 3 ships shown on the stamps HMS Exeter, HMS Liverpool and HMS Edinburgh have all visited the Falkland Islands. Details of the Type 42 ships can be found at:  


8th December 2014: New Issue - The Falkland Islands – Centenary of the Battle of the Falkland Islands: The set of four stamps is illustrated. Please go to http://falklandstamps.com/ for further information.


20th November 2014 – New Issue – China – 30 Years of Chinese Polar Research: The stamps were issued in sheets of 10 vertical Se-Tenant pairs.


20th November 2014 - 2pm - Session 3 of the Grosvenor London Auction: If you would like to see or even buy some classic Antarctic material, go to:

Lots 3685 to 4199 are mainly from the collection of the late Harry Evans - amazing material! You are never likely to see such excellent material in one auction again!  There are also some great Falkland Islands lots 3535 -3684.


3946 “Fram-Expeditionen” printed envelope and rare autograph letter written on June 7 1910 at Horten, Norway by expedition leader Roald Amundsen to his brother Leon at Kristiania, sent the following day franked by 10ø. Posthorn and with June 9 machine arrival on reverse, some creasing and small tears but rare. The letter written on board the “Fram” in Bundefjorden inlet just prior to the ship’s departure, Amundsen’s brother being one of the privileged few who were aware that the true destination was not the Arctic but an attempt on the South Pole. Estimate £1,200-£1,500


4007 Autograph short letter to New Zealand schoolboy written on exhibition letterhead by expedition leader Douglas Mawson during the return voyage on the Aurora on “15th Feb. 1914”, the envelope with damage at top, bearing Australia 1d. Kangaroo (scarce franking for expedition mail) cancelled by Adelaide Feb. 26 1914 c.d.s. with “LOOSE SHIP’S LETTER/(penguin)/S.Y. AURORA/A.A.E.” cachet below. Estimate £1,000-£1,200

19th November 2014: New Issue – Ross Dependency – Penguins and Joint Issue ‘Pole to Pole’ with Greenland: The Ross Dependency has issued a set of five round penguin stamps and a souvenir sheet which has the same design as the souvenir sheet issued by Greenland on 20th October 2014.




19th November 2014 - New Issues - British Antarctic Territory: There are three commemorative sets including one souvenir sheet and Penguins airmail letter and postcard rate stamps. There will be no official FDC for the self-adhesive airmail postcard rate stamps which are issued in rolls of 120 stamps. The full details of the issues are now available at:








6th November 2014: New Issue – TAAF – Radio Ham Contacts: The souvenir sheet contains three stamps relating to amateur radio contacts between Paris and the tropical Island of Tromelin (Îles Éparses). The map does however show the location of Terre Adélie!


5th November 2014: New Issues – South Georgia and SSI – Heroes of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-1916): Three sets of four stamps are being issued on the same day. They honour Frank Hurley, Frank Worsley and Tom Crean. The date of issue coincides with the date 100 years ago on which the Endurance reached South Georgia on the way south.  Please go to http://falklandstamps.com/ for further information.


20th October 2014: New Issue – Greenland – Pole to Pole (Joint issue with The Ross Dependency): The Greenland issue comprises a single round Polar Bear stamp and a souvenir sheet incorporating the stamps and an illustration without value of one of the five Ross Dependency stamps issued on 19th November 2014.


17th October 2014: New Issue – TAAF – Gendamerie Nationale (National Police): The se-tenant pair with label relate to the police forces on Tromelin and Kerguelen.


14th October 2014: New Issue – South Georgia &SSI – History of Reindeer: The set of four stamps is illustrated. Please go to http://falklandstamps.com/ for further information.



10th October 2014: Mawson’s Huts Foundation: Centenary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-1914, Stage V, Part II: This issue comprises two overprinted souvenir/minisheets and 8 covers postmarked in Australia. Full details are available at:



Four different covers were cancelled at the GPO Adelaide with the Centenary Return commemorative AAE pictorial postmark to commemorate the Centenary of the arrival of S.Y. Aurora at The Semaphore, South Australia on 26th February 1914. One of these covers is shown here.


Four different covers were cancelled at the Port Adelaide Post Office with the Port Adelaide Lighthouse pictorial postmark to commemorate the Centenary of the arrival of S.Y. Aurora at Port Adelaide, South Australia on 26th February 1914. One of these covers is shown here.


Stage V, Part I is mainly sold out but one cover and two souvenir/minisheets are still available:


9th October 2014 – New Issue – TAAF – Green Turtle: The single €1.05 value is illustrated below. There is no connection with Antarctica.


20th September 2014 – New Issue – TAAF – 60th Anniversary of the first flight from Madagascar to the Island of Tromelin and back: The se-tenant strip of 3 is illustrated below. There is no connection with Antarctica.


16th September 2014: New Issue - The Falkland Islands - Colour In Nature: Part 3 - 2014: A set of four stamps has been issued as illustrated. Please go to  www.pobjoystamps.com for further details.


9th September 2014: New Issue – AAT – Era of the Husky: AAT has issued a set of four stamps as illustrated. A souvenir sheet, presentation pack, FDCs and maximum cards have also been issued. Full details are available in the September-October issue of the Stamp Bulletin (N°330) of Australia Post.




19th August 2014: Harry (H. E. J.) Evans, 25th July 1925 to 5th August 2014: The founding father of the PPHSGB died on 5th August at the age of 89. Harry founded the Society in December 1952 and served on the Committee as Secretary, Treasurer and Cover Sales Coordinator from 1952 to 1992. He became President in 1987, a position that he held for the rest of his life. He also continued to deal with cover sales until the end of 2006. His extensive collection of Antarctic Material including some nice little items from the Heroic Age has been consigned to Grosvenor Auctions, London, and at least part of the material is expected to be included in the Grosvenor Sale planned for 19th/20th November 2014. An obituary is included in the September 2014 issue of Polar Post.


11th August 2014: The September issue of Polar Post was finally posted to the printers!


5th August 2014: The completion of the September 2014 issue of Polar Post has been delayed by two weeks so as to ensure that members get a full 28-page issue. It is planned that the issue goes out by post during the first two weeks of September.


1st August 2014: The Falkland Islands Post Office and Philatelic Bureau were out-sourced on 1st August 2014.  Further information will be provided in due course.


17th July 2014: Ross Burden 16th December 1968 to 17th July 2014: Most people knew Ross Burden as a TV Celebrity Chef who came to fame in the UK towards the end of 1993. He was however also a philatelist and had an Exhibit called “Putting Penguin to Paper” which he presented at the PPHSGB 50th Anniversary Residential Weekend in Cambridge, England, in 2002. The photo shows Ross with his Exhibit in the background.


1st July 2014: there was no increase in postal rates for the Falkland Islands, South Georgia & SSI and BAT from 1st July but this does not rule out an increase later in the year or in early 2015.

23rd June 2014: New Issue – South Georgia and SSI – Royal Christenings: Pobjoy Mint in association with Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd have produced a Royal Omnibus issue for several Territories marking the christening of Prince George. The stamp designs show from left to right the Christenings of Princess Elizabeth 1926, Prince Charles 1948, Prince William 1982 and Prince George 2013. For further details please go to: www.pobjoystamps.com


14th  June 2014: New Issue – TAAF -  ‘Dauphin de Commerson’ and a set of pre-paid postcards relating to the islands of  St Paul and Amsterdam, Crozet and Kerguelen: These items were issued at the beginning of the  “salon philatélique Planète timbres”, which took place in the “parc floral de Paris”, from 14th to 22nd June 2014.



14th June 2014: Swinpex, St Joseph’s Catholic College, Ocotal Way, Swindon: The Polar Postal History Society of GB will hold a joint meeting with the Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group starting at 1.30 pm in a meeting room at the College.

21st May 2014: New Issue – The Falkland Islands – Royal Christenings:  Pobjoy Mint in association with Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd have produced a Royal Omnibus issue for several Territories marking the christening of Prince George. The stamp designs show from left to right the Christenings of Princess Elizabeth 1926, Prince Charles 1948, Prince William 1982 and Prince George 2013. For further details please go to: : www.pobjoystamps.com


15th April 2014: New Issue The Falkland Islands: Fungi: The set of four stamps is illustrated below. There is no souvenir sheet. For further details please go to: www.pobjoystamps.com


7th April 2014: Tristan da Cunha: Ships and Explorers: Three of the four stamps relate to explorers and ships well known to Antarctic collectors. The designs show 35p – James Weddell and ‘Jane’, 45p – George Nares and ‘HMS Challenger’, 70p – Carsten Borchgrevink and ‘SS Antarctic’ and £1.50p – Dr Alexander Macklin and ‘Quest’. For further details please go to: www.pobjoystamps.com


5th April 2014: New Issue TAAF (French Southern and Antarctic Territories) – Logo Definitive values: TAAF has issued four low value definitive stamps (0.01€ to 0.04€) and a 7.00€ stamp needed for parcels. The stamps depict logos associated with the Crozet Islands.


25th March 2014: New Issues – Argentina – 110 Years of Permanent Presence of Argentina in the Antarctic at Base Orcadas (South Orkney Islands) ($4.50 value) and 25th Meeting of the Administrators of Latin American Antarctic Programmes, Rapal (souvenir sheet): The Scottish Antarctic Expedition handed over their weather station on the South Orkney Islands to Argentina in 1904 and Argentina has continuously run the station ever since. For four days, Rapal brought together 70 scientists, experts and government officials from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador and Peru, with Venezuela and Colombia as observer nations.


25th March 2014: New Issue The Falkland Islands: King Penguins, Predators and Prey: The set of four stamps is illustrated below. There is no souvenir sheet. For further details please go to:



12th March 2014: New agents for BAT stamps: It was announced today that Pobjpoy Mint in association with Creative Direction Worldwide Ltd have been awarded the contract as the new agents for stamps of the British Antarctic Territory from 24th March 2014. This combination of firms are already responsible for the stamps of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha and several other Territories. Pobjoy Mint have a stamps website at:  http://www.pobjoystamps.com/
Please note that Pobjoy Mint are wholesalers. You will still need to order BAT stamps from your local stamp dealer or from the Philatelic Bureau in Stanley, 

1st March 2014: Outcome of the PPHSGB AGM held on 22nd February 2014: The Society has a new Treasurer from April 2014; further details will be published in the June 2014 issue of Polar Post. The current Honorary President, Chairman, Secretary, Membership Secretary, Editor of Polar Post and Auction Superintendant were all re-elected for 2014/5 through to the next AGM. The current Honorary Auditor/Accounts Examiner has decided for personal reasons to stand down and thus this post needs to be filled by someone who is a not a Committee Member before the 2014 accounts are ready for checking in early 2015.


The Society is holding Membership Subscription rates at the current levels for 2015 (£15 UK; £20 for all other countries – there is no separate European Rate). The Membership Secretary will in future accept payments by PayPal but for such payments the rates are £16 and £21 respectively to cover the Society’s additional costs. Members who have not yet paid their Subscription for 2014 should do so by 31st March 2014 to ensure the continuing delivery of Polar Post.


The AGM minutes, the Accounts for 2013 and the reports of the various committee members for 2013 will be published in the June 2014 issue of Polar Post.

28th February 2014: Mawson’s Huts Foundation (MHF) - covers commemorating the opening of the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum and other items: The MHF has produced a cover illustrated below to commemorate the opening of the replica of Mawson’s Huts which opened as a museum in Hobart, Tasmania (AU) on 2nd December.


The MHF is also selling a mint postcard showing a painting of the Huts by Wendy Sharpe as illustrated and Wendy Sharpe’s book of paintings entitled Wendy Sharpe’s Antarctica (ISBN 9780957937420).


The order form in PDF Format is now available at:


26th February 2014: Special Postmark in Adelaide, Australia, marking the Centenary of the Return of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-1914.


Saturday 22nd February 2014: the PPHSGB Annual General Meeting and Spring Meeting will take place on the Saturday of Spring Stampex at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London in Room D from 12:30 to 14:30. For further details please see Page 106 of the December 2013 issue of Polar Post. Please note that the Society only has the room for two hours. Non-members are welcome to come along and find out what makes us tick but are naturally not allowed to vote during the AGM.

18th February 2014: New Issue AAT: The Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-1914, Part 4, “Homeward Bound”: This is the final part of the series of issues and is in the same format with 3 se-tenant 60c values and 2 A$1.20 values in sheets of 50 and a souvenir sheet with all 5 stamps se-tenant.

There is also a special Combined Sheetlet pack which includes a special sheetlet with all 20 stamps of the series in a se-tenant block of 5x4 stamps. For further details please see the Australian Stamp Bulletin N°326 January-February 2014 available from the website of Australia Post at:



1st January 2014: New Issues - French Southern and Antarctic Territories TAAF: 19 stamps were issued as illustrated below. Further details are available at: http://www.taaf.fr/PhilaTAAF-presentation-de-la-collection-2014


1st January 2014: Mawson’s Huts Foundation (MHF): In December 2013 Peter Cranwell informed previous purchasers of a very limited issue of four covers (30 of each) featuring four different paintings by Wendy Sharpe who travelled to the Huts a couple of years ago on board the Aurora Australis. The covers sold out within a couple of days. One of the four covers is illustrated below.


Still available is a postcard showing one of Wendy’s paintings and her book entitled “Wendy Sharpe’s Antarctica”. The non-philatelic book illustrates in colour many of the paintings Wendy created during the voyage onboard the Aurora Australis. Please check out Peter Cranwell’s website for current MHF offers and what is still available from previous offers. http://www.petespolarplace.com/

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