fine philately of Africa & Europe

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1902 UNION-CASTLE MAIL: Much travelled interesting registered cover franked Natal QV 2x 2½d (paying Registration and Imperial Postage) tied despatch cds AP 11, addressed "Capt. J.V. Williams / S.S. GAUL / Union Castle S S Co Ld. / Messrs. Donald Currie / Fenchurch Street / London E.C." The letter was delivered to Southampton May 3rd from the Walmer Castle which left Cape Town April 16th and one assumes that Williams was the Captain of the Gaul and on leave in England. Once again we marvel at the remarkable effort of the post office to effect delivery, two redirections supported front and back by the new addresses, "R" marks, blue crayon marks, registered ovals and arrival marks, the final being Bournemouth 6 MY. VF. See additional image below.
Whilst the subject letter was traversing England in pursuit of it's addressee the Gaul sailed from London on May 3rd for Southampton, where she picked up 150 Army Service Corps personnel and a group of Canadian teachers destined to teach Boer POW's in South Africa, sailing onward for Cape Town that afternoon.
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