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Pitcairn Island - lonely islands in the South Pacific


Inspired by the film "Mutiniy on the Bounty" I collected stamps of Pitcairn for many years. Now I'm particulary interested in philatelic literature about that island.


Even if a Pacific island doesn't belong to the header of such a "South Atlantic site", it's quite an interesting topic.  


The Pitcairn Islands, officially named the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, form a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. The islands are a British Overseas Territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the Pacific. The four islands – are spread over several hundred miles of ocean and have a total land area of about 18 square miles (47 km2). Only Pitcairn, the second largest and measuring about 2 miles (3.2 km) across, is inhabited.

The islands are best known as home of the descendants of the Bounty mutineers and the Tahitians (or Polynesians) who accompanied them, an event retold in numerous books and films. This history is still apparent in the surnames of many of the islanders. With only about 50 inhabitants  (from four families as of 2010: Christian, Warren, Young, and Brown), Pitcairn is the least populous jurisdiction in the world (although it is not a sovereign nation). The United Nations Committee on Decolonisation includes the Pitcairn Islands on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories (reference: Wikipedia)


Redirected censored cover from Pitcairn to USA, 5 OCT 1942 with censor tape and violet boxed censor cahet 2/PASSED BY CENSOR/1187- the censor marks are of Australian origin

Registered cover to Switzerland with British civil censor handstamp 1944. Probably the consor handstamp was applied in New Zealand?


Incoming censored cover from Melbourne 22 JNW 1942, arrival Pitcairn datestamp 8 NOV 42, Australian censor handstamps 3 PASSED BY CENSOR 178 with tape

Incoming censored cover from Wahroonga/Australia 30 DE 1943 and Pitcairn arrival datestamp 21 AP 44 with Australian censor mark and tape

Outgoing registered and censored cover from F.P. Ward to Fiji with Pitcairn datestamp 16 JUL 43, censor tape "OPENED BY EXAMINER D.D.A./33 (USA?) and Fiji arrival datestamp 13 AUG 43

FDC with short set KGVI pictorials to Australia, with Australian censor tape and cancellation and arrival datestamp of 20 AP 41 on the reverse

1939 U.S.S. North Star visit to Pitcairn Islands. Stampless envelope to Forest Hills, U.S.A. showing special cachet & Pitcairn Islands Postal Agency c.d.s. of 14 DEC 39 initialled "REC" by the Postmaster to certify their pre-payment because the Post Office was quickly sold out of New Zealand stamps. The cover was sent by Aviation Mechanic Fred Dustin.

These both covers are among the most prized philatelic gems in polar philately and only about 15-20 covers are known >see ASPP

1939 - U.S.S. North Star visit to Rapa Island 17th DEC envelope with "Antarctic Snow Cruiser" imprint showing the double ring Pitcairn Islands Postal Agency c.d.s. of 14th December & Ahurei Rapa Island c.d.s. of 17th Dec. 39

Pitcairn handstamp proofs  and registered cover to Germany 2014


   As you can see - the Pitcairn page is still under construction.

I would appreciate any help for a tip concerning literature of the WW2 postal history of the Pitcairn Islands.



Indian Ocean

Mauritius - Rodrigues Island


Rodrigues Island is situated in the Indian Ocean about 580 km east of Mauritius, 19 x 9 km and populated with about 36.000 islanders speaking french language.

Actually there are 5 Post Offices and mail from the island is rare.

It's a new collecting interest and I'm keen to get more information about the postal history of this island beside the information provided with the book of  Peter Ibbotson - Mauritius, Postal History and Stamps, 1991, p. 119-123.


Pictured are some of the older postmarks:



 Rodrigues Island  used 1919 (see above) and 1937

 Rodrigues Island  used 1961

 Rodrigues Island  used 1976

Rodrigues Island

Post Office Port Mathurin


Rodrigues Island

Post Office Grande Montagne




Rodrigues Island

Post Office La Ferme




Rodrigues Island

Post Office Riviere Cocos



Registered Official Cover from Post Office Grande Montagne


Registered Official Cover from Rodriguez Island Post Office Riviere Cocos





Registered Official Post Office Cover from Agalega Island, on the reverse the datestamp of the Office of Exchange 12 JU 14





British Indian Ocean Territory - B.I.O.T.


- Aldabra Island, belonging to Seychelles since 1976

- Desroches Island, B.I.O.T., with airstrip and hotel


Aldabara Island - since 1976 Seychelles used 1968 - 197?

 Desroches Island

used 1968 - 197? star above center,

subtype has letter "B"


T.P.O. Nordvaer

14 July 1969 - 1976

B.I.O.T Supply Ship

special cachet Lindblad Travel Inc. Lindblad Explorer adventure cruise ship, Reconnaisance visit to Aldabra 1968

special cachet Lindblad Travel Inc. First Tourist Visit to Aldabra aboard Lindblad Explorer 1970


Copyright © 2013-2015 - Klaus Hahn - The copyright of that website remains with the author (Klaus Hahn).


Interested in more philatelic articles about similar topics? - Then join the PISG - Pitcairn Islands Study Group and/or the Mauritius Philatelic Society


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