Telephone: +44 (0)203 014 5103
Post Office & Philatelic Bureau
Tristan de Cunha
South Atlantic Ocean
(via Cape Town, Soth Africa)


(Please cut and paste required STAMP ITEM NUMBERS in the order form)


Tristan da Cunha is a remote group of volcanic islands in the south Atlantic Ocean and the main island of that group. It is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world. 

The territory consists of the main island of Tristan da Cunha itself, along with the smaller, uninhabited Nightingale Islands and the wildlife reserves of Inaccessible and Gough Islands.

The island which has a permanent population of around 300 people is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.


The Coronation of King Charles III, Due For Release 7th September 2023

On 6 May 2023, at the age of 73, King Charles III became the oldest monarch to be crowned in British history.
Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace on 14 November 1948 and became heir apparent (next in line to the throne) at the age of 3 in 1952. He was the first heir to see his mother crowned as Sovereign and went on to become the longest serving Prince of Wales.
He was also the first heir to the throne to earn a university degree. He studied archaeology and anthropology in his first year at the University of Cambridge, switching to history for the remainder of his degree. He also spent a term at the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth (April to June 1969) learning Welsh.
His Majesty obtained his RAF wings as Flight Lieutenant Wales in August 1971 and commanded HMS Bronington in 1976, while serving in the Royal Navy.
As Prince of Wales, His Majesty became President or Patron of over 800 charities and initiatives including more than 20 charities that he established himself. Perhaps the most well-known of these is The Prince’s Trust which he started with his Navy severance pay of just over £7000 in 1976. The charity has now supported over one million young people.
He has been a champion of environmental issues for over 50 years, first speaking publicly about his concerns on pollution and plastics and their impact on the natural world in 1970.
His Majesty is an author and a keen painter; having had a watercolour displayed in the Royal Academy's 1987 summer exhibition, after it was submitted anonymously. In 1975, His Majesty became a member of the Magic Circle, and has been a keen equestrian throughout his life, playing polo until 2005.
Her Majesty The Queen Consort, Camilla Rosemary Shand, was born on 17 July 1947. The King and The Queen Consort married in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor on 9 April 2005. Following her marriage to The King, The Queen Consort has become Patron or President of over 100 charities.
King Charles III succeeded to the Throne on 8 September 2022 upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch. He was crowned on 6 May 2023 in Westminster Abbey, with The Queen Consort being crowned beside him. Westminster Abbey has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066, when William the Conqueror was crowned on Christmas Day. His Majesty was the 40th Sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey. It was the first time since 1937 that the coronation included the crowning of a Queen Consort.
Whilst the setting for the Coronation has remained unchanged for nearly 1000 years, the form of the Coronation ceremony has varied slightly through the ages. The contemporary form dates from 1902, when King Edward VII was crowned. The main events of the day included a procession from Buckingham Palace (aboard the Diamond Jubilee State Coach) to Westminster Abbey, the Coronation
service itself, a procession back to Buckingham Palace, and an appearance by the King and Queen, with other members of the royal family, on the palace balcony for a flypast by the Royal Air Force.
The King was crowned in St Edward's Chair, made in 1300 for Edward I and used at every Coronation since that time. Equally steeped in history and tradition, the St. Edward's Crown, made in 1661 for the Coronation of Charles II and used at every coronation since, was placed on the head of The King. It weighs about 2.2kg, and is made of solid gold.
The King and Queen returned to Buckingham Palace in procession aboard The Gold State Coach, an enclosed eight-horse-drawn carriage used by the Royal Family on grand state occasions, such as coronations, royal weddings, and the jubilees of a monarch. It has been used at the coronation of every British monarch since George IV.
Inaugurated by Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902, the finale of Coronation Day has been a balcony appearance from the new monarch and other members of the Royal Family.
“We now rededicate our lives to serving the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and Commonwealth.” A Coronation message from His Majesty The King 8 May, 2023


45p King Charles III and Queen Camilla are carried in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach as the King's Procession passes along The Mall to their Coronation ceremony. PA Images / Alamy.
70p King Charles III is crowned with the St Edward's Crown and surrounded by faith leaders during his Coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey. PA Images / Alamy.
£1.30 King Charles III, wearing the Imperial State Crown, leaves Westminster Abbey in central London following his Coronation ceremony. PA Images / Alamy.
£2.50 The King and Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Coronation. Abaca Press / Alamy.
£3 S/S King Charles III holds the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross and the Sovereign's Sceptre with the Dove during his Coronation ceremony. PA Images / Alamy. The background shows the largest military procession since the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, making its way down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace following the Coronation. MB Media Solutions/Alamy.
Technical details:
Designer Bee Design
Printer Cartor
Process Stochastic lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size 42 x 28mm
Sheet layout 10
Release date 7 September, 2023
Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd
ST012548      Coronation of King Charles II   Mint Set
ST012549       Coronation of King Charles II   Souvenir Sheet
ST012550       Coronation of King Charles II   CTO Set
ST012551       Coronation of King Charles II   Souvenir Sheet CTO 
ST012552       Coronation of King Charles II    FDC
ST012553       Coronation of King Charles II    Souvenir Sheet FDC


100th Anniversary of St Mary’s Church. Released 7th July 2023

On 8th July 2023 we celebrate 100 years since Tristan’s Anglican Church was dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin.


In the beginning William Glass instituted daily prayer and Sunday public worship. Later services were held in Andrew Hagan’s house, as it was the largest in the settlement.
The first priest to be sent to the island, by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) was Rev. William Taylor, who arrived on 5th September 1851.
After Taylor came Edward Dodgson, brother of Lewis Carroll, who was determined to build a church. He gathered stones and started to build, but the progress was so slow he decided to use the stones for a cemetery wall instead. Dodgson’s successor, Graham Barrow, marked out a site, which was not used. It was not until the arrival of Rev. Martyn Rogers, the fourth priest, that the church was finally built.
Rev. Rogers called all the men for a meeting in June 1922 and they decided to start building as soon as winter was over. The foundations were laid for a church 50 feet x 14 feet by the end of October. Under the foundation stone a small box of silver coins was buried. Dodgson’s stones were fetched from the cemetery to be used on the church. HMS Dublin visit made it possible to complete the church as amongst the stores they sent were timber, roofing, window glass, ironmongery and tools – Mrs. Rogers (Lonely Island).
By 5th July 1923 the church was finally completed and was solemnly dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin on 8th July. “Everyone felt a personal pride in it,” says Mrs Rogers, “because everyone had done his share to get it completed.”
The Lectern Bible and harmonium had been bought by Rev. Barrow. The altar had seasonal frontals and a crucifix from Oberammergau (given by a lady in England). Stations of the Cross were framed and hung on the church walls.
The tiny stone font that washed ashore when Rev. Dodgson arrived is still used in the church today. Two ship’s bells were recovered from the wreck of the Mabel Clark (1878). They were initially hung at either end of the settlement, but were transferred to St. Mary’s Church when she was built.
The first baby to be baptized in the new church was Wilson Glass and sisters Violet and Dorothy Glass, who married Willie Lavarello and Ned Green in July 1924, were the first couples to be married in it.
Over the years there have been further developments. In March 1929 a harmonium arrived aboard the tourist ship Duchess of Atholl, a gift from Queen Mary. Rev. Partridge (1927-33) lengthened the church and painted the East End in bright colours, still a feature of the church today and Rev. Dennis Wilkinson (1949-52) extended the church on the south side, using cement pillars to support the roof.
More recently, a wooden bell tower was added during the chaplaincy of Keith Flint (1963-66), a new corrugated aluminium roof was put on in 1970, the church was extended and redecorated in1990/91 and the vestry extension was completed in 2002. The ships bell that hung in the bell tower was damaged in the 2001 hurricane and was replaced with a new bell in August 2003.
In 1952 Tristan was transferred from the Diocese of St Helena to the Diocese of Cape Town, although its priests continued to be sponsored by SPG until 1981. Islander Lorna Lavarello-Smith was ordained into priesthood in 2013 and assisted with services during her visit to the island in 2017.
In 2019 Rev. Margaret Van den Berg was the first women to take up full time ministry at St. Mary’s Church.
45p - Rev. R. C. Pooley standing outside St Mary's Church, 1929 (from image distributed by SPG).
50p - St Mary's Church pictured in 1929 (from image distributed by SPG).
£1.60 - St Mary's Church pictured in 2023
£2 - The altar pictured in 2023
FDC - The stone font that was washed ashore from the schooner Edward Vittery, which ran aground after the Rev. E.H. Dodgson had been landed.
Technical details:
Design Andrew Robinson
Printer Cartor
Process Stochastic lithography
Perforation 13 x 13 ¼ per 2cms
Stamp size 30.6 x 38mm
Sheet layout 10
Release date 7 July, 2023
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



ST012515    100th Anniversary of St Mary's Church     Mint Set
ST012516    100th Anniversary of St Mary's Church     CTO Set
ST012517    100th Anniversary of St Mary's Church     FDC

Visiting US Liberty Ships (1943). Released 6th April 2023.

During the Second World War, Tristan was commissioned by the Royal Navy as a top-secret naval station code-named Job 9 and later renamed HMS Atlantic Isle. Its role was to monitor U Boats (which were required to maintain radio contact) and shipping in the South Atlantic Ocean.
In early May the island was assaulted by an easterly gale lasting four days. A week later four American liberty ships, all eastward bound, put to the island one after the other. They had suffered damage to their cargos and radio equipment.
Liberty ships were a class of cargo ship built in the United States during WWII. They have been described as the ships that won the war.
In 1939 the German Navy launched submarine warfare in the North Atlantic Ocean to enforce a naval blockade against Great Britain. The submarines sank great numbers of merchant ships approaching the British Isles.
If the United States entered the war cargo ships would be needed to ferry supplies to allies and the United States decided to modify the English design being used for the Lend-Lease ships as they could be mass produced and relatively cheaply meet the United States WWII maritime transport needs.
The new emergency cargo ships came to be known as the Liberty ships. Between 1939 and 1940 only 82 vessels were constructed but the Ship Warrants Act in 1941 gave the Maritime Commission power to allot ship construction priorities.
The Maritime Commission established 18 new shipyards to work on these identical merchant ships and between 1941 – 1945 2710 Liberty ships were built (an average of three ships every two days). By 1944, the average time to build a Liberty ship was less than forty-two days. During the course of the war Liberty ships carried around two-thirds of all United States cargo.
The Liberty ships were usually named after famous Americans, starting with the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Those that visited Tristan in 1943 all have fascinating stories:
Clara Barton 85p/£1.15 (Clarissa Harlowe Barton 1821 – 1912) is one of the most honoured women in American history. Barton was a pioneering American nurse who risked her life to bring supplies and support to soldiers in the field during the American Civil War. Nursing education was not very formalised at that time and she did not attend nursing school, so she provided self-taught nursing care. She founded the American Red Cross in 1881, aged 59, and led it for the next 23 years. Barton is especially noteworthy for doing humanitarian work and civil rights advocacy at a time before women had the right to vote. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1973.
Louis D. Brandeis 85p/£1.15 (1856-1941) was a lawyer who served as an associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. He attended Harvard Law School, graduating at the age of 20 with what is widely rumoured to be the highest-grade average in the law school's history. He gained a reputation as a formidable defender and advocate for everyday
Americans through his many crusading cases, which included exposing corruption in the Ballinger-Pinchot Affair, fighting railroad trusts, and defending laws restricting women's working hours. Brandeis championed open inquiry and civic engagement. During his tenure on the high court (1916-1941), Justice Brandeis established the legal concept of a right to privacy, fiercely defended civil liberties, and helped define the modern understanding of free speech.
William Moultrie 85p/£1.15 (1730-1805) was a South Carolina planter and politician who became a general in the American War of Independence (the last man appointed by Congress to that rank). After independence, Moultrie advanced as a politician. He was the Governor of South Carolina 1785-1787 and again 1792-1794.
James McHenry 85p/£1.15 (1753 – 1816) was a Scotch-Irish American military surgeon, statesman, and a Founding Father of the United States. He was elected by the legislature to the Maryland Senate on September 17, 1781, and as delegate to Congress on December 2, 1784. McHenry initiated the recommendation for congress to form the Navy. In 1787, he was a Maryland delegate to and secretary of the Constitutional Convention, which drafted the United States Constitution. He served as United States Secretary of War from 1796 to 1800. Upon his death his wife wrote “… He was not a great man, but participated in great events and great men loved him, while all men appreciated his goodness and purity of soul.”
Technical details:
Design Andrew Robinson
Printer Cartor
Process Stochastic lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 per 2cms
Stamp size 38 x 30.6mm se-tenant pairs
Sheet layout 10
Release date 6 April, 2023
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd
ST012479     Visiting US Liberty Ships (1943)     Mint Set
ST012480     Visiting US Liberty Ships (1943)     CTO Set
ST012481     Visiting US Liberty Ships (1943)      FDC


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022. Released 15th February 2023.

On 8 September 2022 Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms died peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She will be sorely missed on both sides of the Atlantic and across the free world.


Everyone knew that this day would come but still her sudden passing at the age of 96 was a shock to the British nation, and particularly heart-breaking for the millions of Britons who had spent their entire lives in the second Elizabethan Age. For many in the United Kingdom and the UK Overseas Territories, a world without the Queen is simply unimaginable. Such was her constant presence in the hearts and minds of the British people since she ascended to the throne in 1952, when Winston Churchill was prime minister.
Until the age of 10, when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated and her father George VI reluctantly acceded to the throne, Princess Elizabeth had not expected to become Queen. However, she accepted her role and dedicated herself to a life of service. On her 21st birthday she was with her parents and younger sister on a tour of South Africa from where she made perhaps her most famous broadcast, welcoming the opportunity “to speak to all the peoples of the British Commonwealth and Empire, wherever they live, whatever race they come from, and whatever language they speak.” It is from this speech that the quotation that appears on the souvenir sheet has been taken. “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” This was a profound personal commitment that defined her whole life.
Queen Elizabeth II was the last monarch to have known the British Empire and for most, the only monarch they had ever known. At the time of her coronation in 1953 she ruled over seven independent countries, which grew to 32 nations during her 70-year reign. Over the course of those 70 years, 15 British premierships and 14 U.S. presidencies, the Queen has been a unifying force and a titan on the world stage. She will be revered as one of the greatest leaders of the modern era, and her life of selfless duty and service has left the world a better place. Her leadership over seven decades has also left the British Monarchy in great health.
As we move forward with our new King, we cherish the memory of a truly great leader who lived her life for the sake of her nation with a tremendous sense of dedication, public service, and sacrifice. The Queen will continue to inspire future generations. She will be remembered as a monarch who admirably led her nation through decades of tremendous change on many fronts, from the end of Empire in the 1950s and 1960s through to the Brexit era of the 2020s.


She will be remembered for her calm dignity, her sense of both humour and duty. She brought the monarchy into the public eye with her first televised coronation, her broadcasts over the years and finally her funeral. She was a female head of state and a working mother when for many the ideal was to still be a housewife. She was always traditional, yet open to change. Her approach made her a role model to many women.
In the words of King Charles III during his first address to the Nation and the Commonwealth 9 September 2022: “Queen Elizabeth's was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.”
£3 Princess Elizabeth at the Warner Theatre, Leicester Square, as she attends the premiere of the new British film, 'The Lady with the Lamp', 22 September 1951. PA Images/Alamy.
£3 Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the new Highland Spring factory building in Blackford, Perthshire in July 2017. Andrew Milligan/PA Images/Alamy.
£6 Souvenir Sheet of both stamps with quote
FDC Queen Elizabeth II meeting artists who performed at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool 8 December 2009. Leon Neal/PA Images/Alamy.


Technical details:
Design Bee Design
Printer Cartor
Process Stochastic lithography
Perforation 13 x 13 ¼ per 2cms
Stamp size 30.6 x 38mm
Sheet layout 10
Souvenir Sheet size 110 x 75mm
Release date 15 February, 2023
Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd
ST012471      Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022   Mint SetST012472      Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022   Souvenir SheetST012473      Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022    CTO Set
ST012474      Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022    Souvenir Sheet CTO 
ST012475      Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022    FDC
ST012476      Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022    Souvenir Sheet FDC

Vagrant Species Part 3. Released 6th October 2022.

Tristan da Cunha lies in the middle of the South Atlantictic Ocean, just east of the mid-Atlantic ridge, 2800 km from the continental shores of South Africa, and 3360 km from South America. It is the most remote island in the world with a resident human population, with St Helena, the nearest island some 2,400 km away. Vagrants might seem to be a curiosity, but all of the native animals on Tristan arose from individuals that wandered far from their usual haunts.


45p - Salvin's Albatross (Thalassarche salvini)

Salvin's Albatross or Salvin's Mollymawk, is a large seabird about 90 cm (35 in) long and with a wingspan of 2.5 m (9 feet). It is closely related to the White-capped Albatross, which is a more regular visitor to Tristan’s waters. 

Salvin’s Albatrosses mainly breed on the Bounties and Snares, groups of small rocky islands with little vegetation south of New Zealand. At sea they mostly range across the South Pacific to winter in the Humboldt Current off the west coast of South America, but some birds wander more widely, occasionally reaching South Africa. The species has not been recorded at sea around Tristan or Gough, but there are a couple of records of adults ashore in Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross colonies on Gough Island. They might be prospecting for new breeding opportunities because a few pairs breed among other mollymawk colonies on two islands in the Crozet Archipelago, southeast of Africa.

The nest is a pedestal made of mud, feathers, and bird bones. A single egg is laid in September, and incubated by both parents until early November. The chicks fledge after about 4 months. They mainly feed on fish and cephalopods, and often scavenge scraps from fishing boats.

60p - Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)
The Eastern Kingbird is a large tyrant flycatcher native to the Americas. Adults are dark grey above with a blackish head and white underparts. They have a long blackish tail with a broad white tip and long, pointed wings. Eastern Kingbirds breed across much of North America in the northern summer, then migrate south to winter in Central and northern South America. Some travel farther south to Uruguay and northern Argentina, and a few stragglers reach Patagonia and the Falkland Islands.
There has been only one record from Tristan, and it remains the only songbird (passerine) confirmed to have reached the islands. Other possible songbirds have been sighted, but not identified.
Eastern Kingbirds are largely insectivorous, but they also eat berries and fruit, mainly in their wintering areas. Most insects are caught in flight; the Kingbirds wait on an exposed perch for insects to fly past, then sally out to catch them. They sometimes hover to pick prey off vegetation before returning to their perch. Eastern Kingbirds usually lay 3 eggs in an open cup nest built by the female on a horizontal branch in a tree canopy. The chicks leave the nest 2.5 weeks after hatching, but continue to be fed by the parents for 3-4 weeks after fledging.

£1.00 - Great Egret (Ardea alba)

The Great Egret is a large, white heron with an impressive wingspan, much larger than the more common vagrant Cattle Egrets that regularly arrive on Tristan.
They are sometimes known as White Herons, because although their white plumage makes them look like egrets, they are in the same genus as the Ardea herons, and only slightly smaller and more graceful than Grey or Great Blue Herons.
Great Egrets hunt in classic heron fashion, standing immobile or wading through wetlands to capture fish with a deadly jab of their yellow bill.
These majestic birds are one of the most widespread herons in the world, with populations in the Americas, Africa, Eurasia and Australasia. The Great Egrets spotted on Tristan probably are young birds, dispersing from its natal colony. They could come from either Africa or South America, but given the prevailing westerly winds they are more likely to have been blown off course from South America. Like most vagrants that reach Tristan, they probably eventually fly out to sea in the hope of finding a more suitable home.
Great Egrets fly slowly but powerfully: with just two wingbeats per second their cruising speed is around 25 miles an hour. They breed in colonies called heronries, often in association with other herons, egrets and other waterbirds such as ibises and cormorants. Aggression among nestlings is common and large chicks frequently kill their smaller siblings. Great Egrets were hunted nearly to extinction for their plumes in the late nineteenth century, sparking conservation movements and some of the first laws to protect birds.


£2.00 - Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)
The Spotted Sandpiper is a small shorebird that breeds in North America and migrates to Central and South America in the northern winter. It is closely related to the Common Sandpiper, which replaces it in Eurasia. Adults have short yellowish legs and an orange bill with a dark tip. The body is brown on top and white underneath with black spots.

Unlike the Common Sandpiper, it is usually polyandrous; most females mate with and lay clutches for more than one male, leaving incubation to them. As a result, their eggs are smaller than those of the Common Sandpiper. Male Spotted Sandpipers incubate the eggs for about 20–23 days, and care for the chicks once the eggs hatch. Adults forage on insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates as well as small fish and carrion, which they pick from the ground or in shallow water. Vagrants have been recorded from the main island of Tristan on several occasions, usually feeding along the coast near Edinburgh of the Seven Seas.

FDC Cover - Antarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus gazella)

The Antarctic Fur Seal is one of eight fur seals in the genus Arctocephalus, and is closely related to the common, resident Subantarctic Fur Seal A. tropicalis that breeds at Tristan and Gough Island. As its name suggests, the Antarctic Fur Seal has a more southerly distribution, breeding at islands off the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia as well as sub-Antarctic islands east to Macquarie, south of New Zealand. The two species breed together on the Prince Edwards, Crozets and Macquarie. Only occasional young Antarctic Fur Seals reach Tristan and Gough, although they also wander to South Africa.

Antarctic fur seal females grow to ∼1.45 m long and weigh up to 50 kg. Adult males are considerably larger, up to 2 m long and 230 kg. Uniformly dark brown to charcoal, the neck and chest are silvery-grey with longer guard hairs on the mane. Females and juveniles are grey dorsally with creamy throat and chest, with a light blaze on the flanks. Pups are black at birth, and moult to silver-grey colouring when they are 2 to 3 months old. Antarctic fur seals have a wide distribution near the Antarctic Convergence in the Southern Ocean. Most of them breed on South Georgia but they also breed on other sub-Antarctic islands. When at sea they disperse widely, spending much time in the ocean hunting for food. On land, they haul out on beaches which vary from sand, shingle and cobbles to vegetated areas, depending on the island locality.
Technical details:
Designer Andrew Robinson
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Process Stochastic Lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size 30.6 x 38mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 6 October, 2022
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd


ST012426    Vagrant Species Part 3   Mint Set
ST012427    Vagrant Species Part 3   CTO Set
ST012428    Vagrant Species Part 3    FDC



The Legacy of Jacques Cousteau 1910 – 1997. Due for release 3rd October 2022

Jacques Cousteau was a French naval officer, oceanographer, author and filmmaker.


In 1942-3, as a Naval Lieutenant, Cousteau and a French engineer Émile Gagnan invented the Aqua-Lung. Cousteau improved the Aqua-Lung design which led to the first open-circuit, self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (or SCUBA). This invention revolutionised underwater diving and was a major factor in the rapid development of recreational and professional scuba diving throughout the world. For Cousteau and Gagnan it allowed them to film and explore the underwater world more easily and to share their discoveries with the world.
When Cousteau set off aboard his ship Calypso to explore the world, the problems of pollution and over-exploitation were unheard of. After several decades of exploration and documentaries, households throughout the world had become informed and concerned for the fragility of the world and the need to protect the oceans and the environment for future generations.



Jacques-Yves Cousteau died of a heart attack on 25 June 1997 in Paris, two weeks after his 87th birthday. Cousteau's legacy includes more than 115 television documentaries, 50 books, and an environmental protection foundation. Cousteau liked to call himself an "oceanographic technician". He was a sophisticated showman, teacher and lover of nature. His work permitted many people to explore the resources of the oceans whilst his television series, in particular, informed, thrilled and inspired millions.

The Government of Tristan da Cunha has chosen to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of Jacques Cousteau with the release of this special stamp issue.

As the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, we recognise and have benefitted significantly from the inspiration and lead of Jacques Cousteau in the field of marine exploration. Tristan now has the largest Marine Protected Area in the South Atlantic, the fourth largest in the world. Of the other islands in the Tristan Archipelago (that are uninhabited), Gough Island and Inaccessible Island form a UNESCO World Heritage Site while Nightingale Island, Stoltenhoff and Alex Island also have globally significant biodiversity.
The legacy of Scuba diving from Cousteau was experienced by the first Tristanians diving at Gough in 2014 (FDC cover pic) and we even had the first diver certification at Inaccessible in 2021. Scuba diving at Tristan has been the portal for exploring and understating Tristan’s unique underwater world.

These stamps celebrate the innovations of Jacques Cousteau who, through his pioneering writing and filmmaking inspired a generation of divers and scientists that have been able to teach us so much about the oceans that surround us. 

The FDC cover depicts a Tristan islander on a diving survey at Gough Island.


Technical details:
Designer Andrew Robinson
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Process Stochastic Lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size 42 x 28mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 3 October, 2022
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd


ST012429    The Legacy of Jacques Cousteau 1910 - 1997  Mint SetST012430      The Legacy of Jacques Cousteau 1910 - 1997   CTO SetST012431      The Legacy of Jacques Cousteau 1910 - 1997     FDC



Centenary of the Death of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Released 25th May 2022

The great polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) rose to fame in 1915 when his vessel, the Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and sank. Against all the odds, Shackleton succeeded in getting all his men back to safety, a tale of resolve and selfless leadership that is celebrated as one of the greatest stories of human endeavour from an era that has come to be known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Fittingly the Shackleton family’s motto reads ‘Fortitudine vincimus’. By endurance we conquer.



Shackleton’s first journey south was in 1901, on the Antarctic expedition ship Discovery. Led by British naval officer Robert Falcon Scott, Shackleton and Edward Wilson trekked in pursuit of the South Pole in extremely difficult conditions. They got closer to the Pole than anyone previously.

In 1908, Shackleton returned to the Antarctic as the leader of his own expedition, on the ship Nimrod. They made many important scientific and geographical discoveries and set a new record by getting even closer to the South Pole. He was knighted on his return to Britain.

The race for the South Pole ended in 1911 with Amundsen’s conquest and in 1914 Shackleton made his third, now well-known expedition, with the ship Endurance.

In 1921, Shackleton returned to the sub-Antarctic on the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition, John Quiller Rowett was a friend of Shackleton’s (they had known each other since their school days at Dulwich College) and the expedition’s sole financier.

More commonly known as the Quest expedition, this was to be Shackleton’s fourth and final expedition. Large crowds gathered as the ship, Quest, left St Katherine Docks in London on 17th September 1921.

After arriving at the quiet waters of King Edward Cove in South Georgia, Shackleton unexpectedly died in the early hours of the morning on the 5th January 1922. His final diary entry reads: ‘A wonderful evening. In the darkening twilight I saw a lone star hover, gem-like above the bay.’

The Quest ship doctor, Alexander Macklin recorded in his diary, ‘I think this is as the boss would have had it himself, standing lonely on an island far from civilization, surrounded by a stormy tempestuous sea, and in the vicinity of one of his greatest exploits.’



Shackleton’s body was taken ashore for embalming for its return to England and, accompanied by Leonard Hussey, was placed aboard a steamer bound for Montevideo where a message awaited from Emily Shackleton requesting that the body be returned to South Georgia for burial. Shackleton was buried on 5th March at the whaling station, Grytviken, a ceremony attended by the managers of the five stations on South Georgia and a hundred whalers and seamen. By then Quest had left South Georgia and so, of his former comrades, only Hussey was present at his internment.
The Quest expedition continued under the leadership of Frank Wild, but generally its achievements were overshadowed by Shackleton's untimely death. They returned to South Georgia on 6th April, where the crew erected a memorial cairn to their former leader, on a headland overlooking the entrance to Grytviken harbour. After a month at South Georgia, the Quest sailed for Cape Town for a refit as Frank Wild was hoping for a second season in the ice. The first port of call was Tristan, but sadly without “The Boss”. Among the final letters written by Shackleton is one dated “19th Nov. 1921/off the Coast of Brazil” and written on Quest RYS (Royal Yacht Squadron) headed paper. Shackleton was advising a Mr George Tripcorny in London that he would deliver the latter’s letter to islander Harry Swain on Tristan da Cunha as “I expect to see all the islanders when we arrive at Tristan”.
Technical Details


Design Bee Design
Photographs Jan Chojecki - "Rowett-Chojecki Family Collection" except
£ 1.60 Scott Polar Research Institute
Printer Cartor
Process Stochastic lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 per 2cms
Stamp size 38 x 30.6mm
Sheet layout 10
Release date 25 May, 2022
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd
ST012397    Centenary of the Death of Sir Ernest Shackleton  Mint Set
ST012398    Centenary of the Death of Sir Ernest Shackleton  CTO Set
ST012399    Centenary of the Death of Sir Ernest Shackleton   FDC



40th Anniversary of Falklands Liberation

Released 16th May 2022

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands.
On 2 April 1982, Argentine forces invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands.
The British Government, with the overwhelming support of the British people, made immediate preparations to reclaim the Islands. Three days later, on 5 April, a UK Task Force was assembling and setting sail for Ascension Island. Over 100 ships were mobilised while efforts for a peaceful resolution looked increasingly doubtful.



Following several weeks of intense fighting, Argentine forces surrendered on 14 June 1982, a date that has since been known in the Falkland Islands as ‘Liberation Day’.


25,948 UK Armed Forces personnel, alongside around 3,000 civilian crew from the Merchant Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Chinese civilian crew, formed the Task Force. A total of 255 British Servicemen, 3 civilians and 649 Argentinians died during the 74 days of the occupation and conflict.


This special issue from Tristan depicts 3 of the Tugs that were among the “Ships Taken Up from Trade” to assist the Task Force. They each visited Tristan immediately before heading south to the Falklands and South Georgia. The 3 Tugs were all part of the TRALA group. North east of the Total Exclusion Zone (TEZ) that the British government had declared around the Falkland Islands, the Royal Navy designated a Tug, Repair and Logistics Area (TRALA) where ships could receive and transfer supplies, and conduct repairs of battle damage under the protection of the carrier battle group.


An ocean-going motor tug requisitioned from United Towing on 7 April, MT Irishman contained a Naval Party from the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service. She had two sister ships, MT Yorkshireman and MT Salvageman, also requisitioned tugs. On 10 April both MT Irishman and MT Salvageman left Portsmouth for Ascension Island, loaded with towing and salvage gear. The MT Irishman stayed at Ascension but the MT Salvageman soon headed for Tristan da Cunha and then on to South Georgia. The MT Irishman headed to Tristan with the MT Yorkshireman early May.
She was called to the stricken SS Atlantic Conveyor for work after the latter was struck by an Exocet missile on 25 May. She took the burnt-out hulk in tow, but "Atlantic Conveyor" soon sank, taking with her six Wessex, three Chinooks and a spare Lynx.


After her requisition MT Salvageman sailed for Ascension with the MT Irishman and then on to Tristan da Cunha, arriving the 2nd May. Having received the call from the R.N. she then sailed on to South Georgia. On 4 May the Task Force suffered the shocking casualty of HMS Sheffield being hit by an Exocet missile. MT Salvageman had just arrived in South Georgia to support HMS Endurance but soon sailed to assist Sheffield, but without success and moved on to the TRALA area to the east of Falklands with MT Irishman and MT Yorkshireman.
Later, on 20 June, she and RFA Olmeda supported HMS Endurance and HMS Yarmouth on Operation Keyhole. Forces were successfully landed on Southern Thule in the South Sandwich Islands where the small Argentinian garrison surrendered without a shot being fired.


The MT Yorkshireman was a highly manoeuvrable tug that had been delivered to its owners in 1978.
During the Falkland War in 1982 she was requisitioned by the British Royal Navy on 07 April 1982 when working in the North Sea. She arrived at Portsmouth on the 12th, and after bunkering and loading of towing and salvage gear sailed on the 13th for Ascension, where she arrived the 27th. She was used there until 3 May and sailed that day bound for Tristan da Cunha. During that voyage she received a replacement radio transmitter dropped by a Hercules aeroplane, when her radio equipment failed. She arrived at Tristan on 10 May with the sister tug MT Irishman. They both stayed there for 6 days before heading off to the TRALA in Falklands.
She arrived east of the Falkland Islands 24 May and was sometimes used to pick up dropped men and stores parachuted in the sea. She sailed on 5 June together with another tug the MT Salvageman to South Georgia, where she assisted ships during berthing and transferring stores. She also took part in the re-floating of the Argentinian submarine Santa Fe in South Georgia.
FDC RMS St Helena


The RMS St Helena was used by the Royal Navy during the Falklands War as a minesweeper support ship. Alterations were made on the deck to include a flight deck and hanger for a Wasp helicopter fitted with AS12 missiles. Extra fuel tanks were converted from some of the ship’s water tanks and four 20mm Oerlikon guns added.
Before she left Ascension two Tristanians had made the long journey up to Ascension and signed on as crew. For the next 9 months the ship carried troops and essential supplies to Falklands and South Georgia.
The two brave Tristanians were awarded the South Atlantic Medal in 2015.
Technical details:


Designer Andrew Robinson
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Process Stochastic Lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 per 2cms
Stamp size 38 x 30.6mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 16 May 2022
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



ST012400     40th Anniversary of Falklands Liberation   Mint Set
ST012401     40th Anniversary of Falklands Liberation    CTO Set
ST012402     40th Anniversary of Falklands Liberation    FDC


Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Released 24th March 2022

On 6th February 2022 Her Majesty The Queen became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.



When she acceded to the throne she was just 25 years of age and enjoying a short break from royal duties with her husband of five years, Prince Philip. They were standing in for George VI, who was too ill to travel, on a long-planned international tour. Relaxing at the now famous Treetops Hotel, a game viewing lodge in Kenya, The Princess had spent the day filming elephants before retiring to her cabin high up in the trees.


As a fellow guest at Treetops later wrote in the visitors' log book. "For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a Princess and …… climbed down from the tree next day a Queen."
At the time, however, Elizabeth had no knowledge of the event that was to change her life. It fell to her husband, Prince Philip, to break the dreadful news of the death of her beloved father later in the day. The Queen immediately returned to the UK.


In 1952 The Queen assumed the role of Head of the Commonwealth from her late father, the first to hold the title. The Commonwealth was then an association of just 8 members. Today there are 53. Her Majesty has always attached considerable importance to this role and at the time of her accession said: “The Commonwealth bears no resemblance to the empires of the past. It is an entirely new conception built on the highest qualities of the spirit of man: friendship, loyalty, and the desire for freedom and peace. To that new conception of an equal partnership of nations and races I shall give myself heart and soul every day of my life.”


Indeed, her reign commenced with her longest ever Commonwealth tour, lasting from November 1953 to May 1954.
Since ascending to the throne, Her Majesty has gone on to reign longer than any other British Monarch in history, a title she has held since 2015. The previous record-holder, Queen Victoria – who died at age 81, had been monarch for nearly 64 years.


The Platinum Jubilee will be Elizabeth II's first Jubilee without her husband, Prince Philip, by her side. The Royal couple were married in November 1947 and had been inseparable for 73 years. The Duke of Edinburgh died on April 9, 2021.


The seven decades of her reign have seen extraordinary social and technological progress and The Queen has become a much respected and beloved figure around the world.


In her Platinum Jubilee message Her Majesty marked the anniversary by renewing the pledge that she gave in 1947, “that my life will always be devoted to your service”.


This unprecedented anniversary is celebrated on a special stamp series released by the Bahamas and the Overseas Territories of Ascension Island, the British Antarctic Territory, Falkland Islands, South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands and Tristan da Cunha.


£2 A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II from shortly after her wedding. Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy
£2 Queen Elizabeth II in July 2021, during a visit to the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute at the University of Edinburgh, as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week. PA Images / Alamy


S/S Queen Elizabeth II photographed at Buckingham Palace in 1956. Everett Collection Inc / Alamy


Technical details:
Design Bee Design
Printer Cartor
Process Stochastic lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 per 2cms
Stamp size 38 x 30.6mm
Sheet layout 10
Souvenir Sheet size 55 x 90mm
Souvenir Sheet stamp 29 x 48mm
Souvenir Sheet Perforation 13 x 13 ¼ per 2cms
Release date 24 March, 2022
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



ST012388    Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II     Mint Set
ST012389    Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II     Mint S/S
ST012390    Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II     CTO Set
ST012391    Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II     CTO S/S
ST012392    Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II     FDC
ST012393    Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II     FDC S/S



60th Anniversary of Tristan's 1961 Volcanic Eruption : Part 2 Royal Society Expedition, 1962.

Due For Release 21st March 2022 

Arrangements to organise a Royal Society Expedition (RSE) were made very swiftly after the eruption started, as on 14th October 1961, before the islanders arrived in Cape Town, Martin Holdgate wrote to the Colonial Office to suggest a RSE be planned as soon as possible. The RS responded positively and by November a team was organised, led by Dr Ian Gass of Leeds University, and including fellow geologist Dr Roger Le Maitre, who, like Martin, was a member of the 1955-56 Gough Island Scientific Survey and so knew Tristan well. Allan Crawford was chosen to join the expedition as a Tristan expert, and he was able to coordinate arrangements for supplies in Cape Town. Two young single islanders, Adam Swain and Joseph Glass were chosen by Chief Willie Repetto to act as local guides, partly to ensure married men could continue to earn money to support their families.


On 16th December 1961 HMS Jaguar brought RSE geologists Roger Le Maitre and Peter Harris to make an initial assessment, but the erupting volcano prevented a landing. The full RSE arrived at Tristan on 27th January from Cape Town aboard the frigate SAS Transvaal. In the meantime, islanders moved from Pendell Camp to Calshot in Hampshire on 23rd January to live in houses vacated by the Air Ministry who operated flying-boats on Southampton Water during World War II. It should be noted that Calshot was regarded at that time to be the new permanent home for island families to settle in the UK unless they wished to move elsewhere in the country.
The team made a detailed survey of the new volcanic eruptive centre, and although they were unable to risk climbing to the main crater until 8th March, their timing was perfect as volcanic activity ceased during the expedition and so a complete study of the new cone was possible. The RE also made a topographical and geological map of the whole island which remains the most detailed Tristan map ever published. Studies of flora and fauna plotted significant, but limited, damage to plant and animal life along the Settlement Plain and up to the edge of the cliffs above.
The RSE was taken off the island by HMS Protector, using its helicopter, on 20th March, and the team’s report was keenly awaited by officials and islanders alike. Adam Swain and Joseph Glass returned to Southampton aboard RMS Windsor Castle on 13th April. They reported that the village had been spared damage and ‘There is nothing to stop us going back.’ This led to an immediate clamour for the islanders to return home.
A meeting that evening was planned to enable Dr Gass to report the RSE findings, which he carried out, but he had no authority to speculate on the possibility of re-settlement. Islanders, buoyed by the positive reports from Adam and Joseph, and led by a determined Chief Willie Repetto, now, almost as one, chanted ‘We want to go back to our island’. The meeting became unruly, Dr Gass and Administrator Peter Wheeler left early, and the entire mood of the refugees had changed in a day. There were many difficulties, twists and turns all described in the book “Nothing Can Stop Us”, but it was the RSE which proved the turning point that led to re-settlement of Tristan da Cunha over the next 18 months.
The stamps all show one of the ships associated with the expedition alongside scenes showing various activities that took place during the RSE.
45p HMS Jaguar is shown together with an image of its motor whaler edging towards the lava flow with Roger Le Maitre and Peter Harris aboard, to study the erupting volcano on 17th January 1961. They estimated the lava to be 20m thick at the water’s edge and the local sea temperature 27C.
60p HMSAS Transvaal with a scene showing a survey of the volcano being carried out.
£1.10 MV Tristania with the dinghy Vulcan moored alongside. Also shown is the Vulcan dinghy being drawn up the beach at the landing site by Garden Gate by Allan Crawford, Jim Dickson, Joseph Glass and Roger Le Maitre. Photograph from Donald Baird.
£1.80 HMS Protector with its helicopter taking off the RSE team from Tristan on 20th March 1962.
The First Day Cover illustration shows part of a photograph taken by RSE team member Donald Baird from the cliffs behind the 1961 volcano showing the peripheral crater emitting sulphurous gases.
Technical details:
Designer Andrew Robinson
Based on original images:
45p HMS Jaguar Survey Team F. C. G. Vesty (Allan Crawford Collection)
60p HMSAS Transvaal Scientist Allan Crawford.
£1.10 MV Tristania with Vulcan Donald Baird.
£1.80 HMS Protector Helicopter Allan Crawford.
FDC Volcano Donald Baird.
Printer Cartor
Process Lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size 42 x 28mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 21 March, 2022
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

The Tristan Post Office would like to acknowledge the kind help and assistance of Mike Faulds and Richard Grundy.


ST012355     Volcano Part 2 Royal Society Expedition   Mint Set
ST012356     Volcano Part  2 Royal Society Expedition  CTO Set
ST012357    Volcano Part  2 Royal Society Expedition   FDC


Blue Belt  Programme - November 2021

This special issue is a collaboration between postal administrations which sees Ascension Island, British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, and Tristan da Cunha celebrate and highlight their Marine Protected Areas.

Tristan da Cunha: The Blue Belt Programme
The UK Overseas Territories (OTs) are home to globally significant biodiversity. The UK Blue Belt Programme recognises this, and since 2016 has worked with the Governments of these Territories to enhance the protection and management of these precious marine environments.
The Blue Belt enhances marine protection by supporting work in five key areas:
• understanding and protecting biodiversity
• strengthening governance
• managing human impacts
• supporting sustainable fisheries management
• supporting compliance and enforcement.
The Blue Belt Programme helps UK OTs and the UK work together to improve understanding of the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and how to improve them. This work is supported by two world leading organisations – the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
The Tristan da Cunha Marine Protection Zone (MPZ) is the largest no-take zone in the Atlantic Ocean and the world's fourth-largest marine protected zone. The 687,247km2 Marine Protection Zone is almost three times the size of the UK. It is a biodiversity hotspot home to millions of seabirds, including the Tristan Albatross and the Northern Rockhopper Penguin, the rarely seen Shepherd's beaked whales, and 80% of the world's Sub-Antarctic Fur Seals.
The Tristan community set a high standard in marine protection to ban bottom trawling and other extractive practices and has established the Guardians of the Atlantic program to support the management of the MPZ.
It was announced in November 2020 and gazetted in August 2021. As Chief Islander James Glass said, "Our life on Tristan da Cunha has always been based around our relationship with the sea, and that continues today. The Tristan community is deeply committed to conservation: on land, we've already declared protected status for more than half our territory. But the sea is our vital resource, for our economy and ultimately for our long-term survival. That's why we're fully protecting 90% of our waters - and we're proud that we can play a key role in preserving the health of the oceans."
These stamps highlight and celebrate some of the key elements of Tristan da Cunha's MPZ:
Lobster: Tristan Rock Lobster (Janus tristani) is found in the coastal waters throughout the Tristan da Cunha archipelago in rocky areas less than 200 meters. They feed mainly on seaweeds but also on both other plants and animal species. The prolific kelp beds that surround all of Tristan's islands are essential nursery grounds for the lobster. Tristan's Fisheries Department and partners from the RSPB are studying potential climate change
impacts of increasing sea temperatures on the lobster populations. The Rock Lobster fishery is the mainstay of Tristan da Cunha's economy, and since 2011 the Marine Stewardship Council has certified this small pot fishery as sustainable. It is locally known as "crawfish" and part of the community's culture as it takes pride of place at any dinner party celebration.
Wave Dancer: The Wave Dancer is the Tristan da Cunha's Fisheries Department's patrol vessel. During the first phase of the Blue Belt program, the Wave Dancer was sent back to the UK for refurbishment and maintenance. In addition, members of the Fisheries department received at-sea survival training and fisheries management training. The Wave Dancer patrol vessel is an integral part of the Fisheries Department management of the MPZ.
Blue Shark: Blue Sharks are one of the great ocean wanderers. These slim, graceful sharks, up to 2.5m (8ft) long with large eyes and brilliant blue backs, are known to make journeys of up to 9,200 km (5,700 miles) with some individuals making multiple trans-Atlantic crossings. Research suggests that the waters of Tristan da Cunha may provide a refuge for these gentle giants. Large females and small juveniles occur, suggesting that the waters around Tristan da Cunha are a blue shark nursery ground with large females travelling here to give birth. The lack of intense fishing effort seen in other parts of the world hopefully provides a sanctuary for the pups to grow in peace before undertaking their own migrations. Despite occurring through most of the world's oceans, their numbers are decreasing due to fishing pressure, and the species is listed as near-threatened globally.
Coral Species: Demosphyllum pertusumis, a species of cold-water coral, that typically lives hundreds of metres below the surface. This species is abundant around the islands and offshore seamounts of Tristan da Cunha, sometimes forming large reef structures. Cold-water coral reefs support healthy ecosystems by providing essential habitats for many other animals, including fish and crustaceans. However, these fragile structures can be ancient and take a long time to form, which means protecting them from physical damage is essential. Members of the Tristan community joined the Blue Belt Discovery 100 research cruise and helped collect data that contributed to the Marine Protection Zone declaration in 2020. One critical decision was to ban future bottom trawling fisheries and help protect these Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems where these corals live.
Technical Details


Design Andrew Robinson
Printer Cartor
Process Stochastic lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size 42 x 28mm
Souvenir Sheet size 110 x 80mm
Sheet layout 10
Release date 29 November, 2021
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



ST012316    Blue Belt Programme     Mint Set
ST012317    Blue Belt Programme     Mint S/S
ST012318    Blue Belt Programme     CTO Set
ST012319    Blue Belt Programme     CTO S/S
ST012320    Blue Belt Programme     FDC
ST012321    Blue Belt Programme     FDC S/S


60th Anniversary of Tristan's 1961 Volcanic Eruption : Part 1 Eruption and Evacuation - November 2021

Commemorating the islanders’ arrival in Southampton aboard RMS Stirling Castle on that day in 1961

The volcanic eruption on Tristan da Cunha in October 1961 was the defining event in the island’s history as the entire community was forced to evacuate their island. After two months of worrying earth tremors, the entire population sought shelter at the Potato Patches as a threatening mound grew and threatened to erupt immediately above the village on 9th October.

Overnight the mound displayed volcanic activity, pushing up hot cinders and emitting sulphurous gases. On the following fateful day, Tuesday 10th October, the entire population of 264 islanders and 31 expatriates were miraculously evacuated safely in calm conditions off the island. Longboats ferried them to the fishing vessels, Tristania and Frances Repetto, which took them to Nightingale Island for another uncomfortable night. By now HMS Leopard was speeding from South Africa, but the community did not have to wait for its arrival, as the Dutch liner, Tjisadane, due to call to pick up passengers that day and with plenty of spare berths, loaded all aboard to complete the evacuation of the islands on 11th October.



Administrator Peter Wheeler stayed behind and with crew members from the fishing boats went back ashore on Tristan the following day to secure valuables, including cash, firearms, and stamps. HMS Leopard completed a salvage operation over the next two days. Tjisadane arrived in Cape Town to be welcomed by the world’s media on Monday 16th October. Islanders were treated to generous hospitality and showered with gifts from locals anxious to befriend and assist the refugees who were now international celebrities. Soon islanders and expats boarded the RMS Stirling Castle which departed Cape Town on Friday 20th October for the next stage of an epic journey that would take 24 days and cover 15,408 kms or 9578 miles.

Hasty temporary arrangements were made for the refugees to stay at the disused Pendell army camp in Surrey. By the end of October lava had destroyed the fishing factory and the island’s main landing beach. It was assumed when RMS Stirling Castle docked in Southampton on 3rd November that Tristan da Cunha would be abandoned as a home for the islanders and that their future lay in the UK. It would take another five months for this to be challenged, and so there was a sombre mood as a procession of coaches transported the Tristan refugees to Surrey as they feared their way of life in the South Atlantic was lost forever.
45p - A second photograph by Geoffrey Dominy shows evacuees being carefully offloaded from aboard the Frances Repetto to an awaiting Tristan longboat off Nightingale Island on 11th October 1961 prior to being transferred to the Dutch liner Tjisadane.
60p - The photograph taken by Geoffrey Dominy, captain of the Frances Repetto on 10th October 1961 shows the volcanic cone above the Tristan village emitting sulphurous smoke behind a grass-covered mound which arose the previous day. Superimposed on the photograph is an image of the Tristania captained by Morris Scott.
£1.10 - A British Pathé photograph shows Tristan islanders Sophie Green and Edith Repetto on the deck of the RMS Stirling Castle as it arrives in Southampton on 3rd November 1961.
£1.80 - Arrival at Pendell Camp, Surrey on 3rd November 1961 showing in front the Rogers family.

First Day Cover Envelope - A third photograph from Geoffrey Dominy from aboard the Frances Repetto taken on 10th October 1961 and showing loaded longboats full of evacuees being ferried from Little Beach to the awaiting fishing boats. Behind is the newly formed volcanic cone emitting smoke situated above the Settlement to the right and the fishing factory just visible on Big Beach far left.

This third Dominy photograph forms part of the cover of the book: ‘Nothing Can Stop Us - Tristan da Cunha’s volcanic eruption and how its people handled their future’ to be published by the Tristan da Cunha Association later this month. The book also tells the wider story of the island community, including background geographical information and history to the present day.

Details of the stamps and the book will be available on the joint Tristan Government and Tristan Association Website:


Technical details: 

Designer Bee Design


45p Longboat Courtesy Joan Umpleby

60p Volcanic Background Courtesy Joan Umpleby

£1.10 Arrival at Southampton British Pathé

£1.80 Pendell Camp Courtesy Mike Faulds

FDC Longboats leaving Tristan Courtesy of Joan Umpleby

Printer Cartor

Process Lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 42 x 28mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release date 3rd November 2021

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

The Tristan Post Office would like to acknowledge the kind help and assistance of Mike Faulds and Richard Grundy.



ST012286     Volcano Part 1 Eruption and Evacuation   Mint Set
ST012287     Volcano Part 1 Eruption and Evacuation   CTO Set
ST012288     Volcano Part 1 Eruption and Evacuation   FDC



His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 – 2021 - September 2021

The Tristan da Cunha community were saddened to learn of the death of Prince Philip on 9th April 2021 and sent their sincere condolences to HM Queen Elizabeth and other members of the Royal Family.

The Chief Islander of Tristan da Cunha, Councillor James Glass, led tributes from the British south Atlantic archipelago:

"Prince Philip visited Tristan da Cunha in 1957. He steered the boat that brought him ashore, and islanders still recall the energy and generosity with which he engaged in activities in our village. He showed interest in our crafts and took part in a traditional dance. He unveiled the plaque that named our community centre the Prince Philip Hall.

His Royal Highness took a continuing interest in Tristan, which is the remotest settlement on earth. From across the miles, we send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty”.



His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh's visit to Tristan da Cunha on 17th January 1957 was the single most important social event in the island's history. Ever since then he showed a constant interest in the island and made a special contribution as a royal and loyal friend.

To this day his visit still holds a place in the hearts and memories of those who witnessed it.

Islanders recall his informality and his easy way of talking to people, as well as the efforts that the islanders went to in order to make HRH feel welcome.

HRH arrived on HM Royal Yacht Britannia during a long journey back from the 1956 Olympic Games that he had opened in Melbourne. He visited a thriving Tristan community which had been planning for this great day for many months. Despite recent wet weather the village was spruced up in his honour, houses were painted, welcome arch ways erected, and a full programme organised.

Five newly painted Tristan longboats put out to sea to welcome HM Yacht Britannia and Prince Philip to the island. As can be seen on the FDC, HRH took the tiller of the leading boat to arrive at the beach where he was welcomed by islanders in their Sunday best, women and girls gathered in bright printed dresses and headscarves on the plateau above whilst, on the beach below, the men in dark suits and ties were ready to haul the boats ashore. Cheers greeted His Royal Highness as he came ashore for a day which included visits to the Big Beach fishing factory and island homes to view knitwear being made and a display of local handicrafts.

At St Mary’s Church the Duke saw the organ given by Queen Mary and the White Ensign laid up from HMS Magpie (a frigate once under his command). The centrepiece of the day was the ceremony at the site of a new community hall, then a steel frame fixed to concrete foundations. After speeches of welcome from Administrator Pat Forsyth-Thompson and Chief Islander Willie Repetto, the Duke laid the first stone, (with a shilling under it, for luck) and accepted the gifts from the Island: for the Queen a beautiful model longboat, for Prince Philip, a knitted

island wool cardigan and an album of photographs, for Prince Charles, a model boat and blue fish-eye marbles, for Princess Anne a model spinning wheel, and for all of them pairs of colourful island socks. After the naming of the building 'Prince Philip Hall' there were visits to the hospital and island store.

A cheerful football match on the sloping cattle pasture ended with the score: Islanders 2 Britannia Crew 2. The Tristan football team has never had an away fixture! After tea, the Yacht's band played for an adults' dance, and His Royal Highness took part in the famous Tristan Pillow Dance.

Islanders were nervous and apprehensive prior to the Duke's visit, but his cheery interest and informality at once put everyone at ease.

 45p, 80p, £1.05, £2.30


Technical Details:-

Photographs 45p Courtesy of HRH Prince Philip and Reverend Philip Bell
80p, £1.05, £2.30 Getty Images
Designer Bee Design
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Process Stochastic Lithography
Perforation 13 ½ x 13 ¼ per 2cms
Stamp size 28 x 42mm
Sheet layout 10
Release date 23 September, 2021
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



ST012277    His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 - 2021   Mint Set
ST012278    His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 - 2021   CTO Set
ST012279    His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh 1921 - 2021   FDC


Sharks Part 2 - July 2021


45p - Bluntnose Sixgilled Shark - (Hexanchus griseus)

The Bluntnose Sixgill shark is the largest of the hexanchoid sharks growing to 20 ft (6m) in length and is often called cow shark. It is of ancient lineage, with more of its closest relatives being fossil sharks from the Triassic period than living today. It is found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide. This stout shark with six-gill slits has a short blunt snout, a broadly rounded mouth and its single dorsal fin is set far back near the caudal fin. It has small green eyes and broad comb-like teeth, brown to dark grey above fading to greyish-white on its belly, and its fins have thin white trailing edges.

Adults generally stay deeper than 330ft (100m), while juveniles can often be found in shallower water. The diet of Bluntnose Sixgill sharks varies widely with region, feeding on a wide range of marine species, including other sharks, rays, chimaeras, bony fish, squids, crabs, shrimps, carrion and even seals. Although they have been reported as being sluggish in nature, their body structure enables them to reach remarkable speeds for chasing and effectively capturing prey.

They are probably nocturnal hunters, and are usually seen near the surface only at night. In 1989 an immature male was caught at Gough Island. Bluntnose Sixgill sharks were seen on 30% of camera drops from 190-1027m by the National Geographic Pristine Seas expedition to Tristan in 2017. This species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.


70p - Great Lanternshark - (Etmopterus princeps)

Lanternsharks are a difficult to identify species, and one caught at Inaccessible in 1993 by Capt. E. Stoffberg, of the M/V HEKLA, was provisionally identified as Great Lanternshark (Etmopterus princeps). This is a relatively small deepwater shark of the family Etmopterida and is normally found in the North and Eastern Central Atlantic.

This species of shark is small and stout, growing up to 30 in (75cm), and is uniformly dark blackish brown. It has a moderately long, broad tail and long gill slits. The dorsal fins have an associated spine but it lacks an anal fin. Great Lanternsharks can be found in waters over 4000 m deep, but they typically swim between 300 to over 2000 m deep. Lanternsharks (Etmopterus - not identified to species level) were seen on 56% of camera drops from 714-1404m by the National Geographic Pristine Seas expedition to Tristan in 2017. Listed as Least Concern very little is known about the life and habits of this deepwater shark.


£1.10 - Shortfin Mako - (Isurus oxyrinchus)

The world’s fastest shark, the Shortfin Mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), commonly referred to as the mako shark, blue pointer or bonito shark, is a large mackerel shark, which can reach a size of 13ft (4 m) in length. It can be found worldwide in tropical and temperate waters, both inshore and in the open ocean. It is cylindrical in shape, with a vertically elongated tail.

This species exhibits countershading, with brilliant metallic blue coloration dorsally and white ventrally, which helps to camouflage it from both above and below in the open ocean. The shortfin mako is highly migratory and is known to travel long distances. It inhabits depths from the surface down to 490ft (150m) feeding mainly upon cephalopods and bony fish including mackerels, tunas, bonitos, and swordfish, but it may also eat other sharks, porpoises, sea turtles, and seabirds.

Makos are said to be common in Tristan waters, although seldom landed; they are occasionally seen leaping from the water, and are known 

to display aggressive behaviour towards boats. The National Geographic Pristine Seas expedition in 2017 tagged a Shortfin mako shark, and another was tagged by the Tristan Fisheries and Conservation Departments. Mako sharks are globally endangered due to their being heavily targeted for their fins.


£1.50 - Great White Shark - (Carcharodon carcharias)

The Great White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is the largest predatory fish in the world, occurring worldwide in tropical and temperate seas. It has an extremely muscular body, capable of chasing down some of the fastest swimmers in the ocean. Reaching lengths of up to 20 feet (6 m) and weights of several tons, the great white’s body is perfectly adapted to a life of predation. It has a conical snout, pitch black eyes, a heavy, torpedo-shaped body, and a crescent-shaped, nearly equal-lobed tail fin that is supported on each side by a keel.

The great white swims in a stiff-bodied, tuna-like fashion, unlike the sinuous whole-bodied swimming stroke of most sharks. As they grow, they can take larger prey, and the largest, mature individuals prefer to eat marine mammals, like seals and sea lions. Great whites are known to take very deep dives, probably to feed on slow-moving fishes and squids in the cold waters of the deep sea. They are known to be highly migratory, with some individuals making migrations as long as 12,000 miles (20,000 km) in under a year.

A 16ft (4.9 m) long great white shark was caught at Gough Island in a depth of 51 m on July 1, 1993 by Captain Ben Herwig and Mike Saunders of the MFV TRISTANIA 11 According to Captain Herwig, the stomach of this shark contained seals and 7 “bluefish" [Hyperoglyphe antarctica]. The Great White is listed as Vulnerable with its two biggest threats being overfishing and being accidentally caught in fishing nets.


Technical details:

Designer Andrew Robinson

Printer Cartor

Process Stochastic Lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 42 x 28mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release date 14 July, 2021

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



ST012265   Sharks Part 2  Mint Set
ST012266   Sharks Part 2  CTO Set
ST012267   Sharks Part 2   FDC



60th & 50th Anniversaries of Decimalisation on Tristan - May 2021

If it was not already unique enough, Tristan da Cunha is the only territory to have dedecimalised its currency, although this move was forced on it by circumstances rather than being a deliberate choice. And yet, for nearly a hundred years, Tristanians used no money at all.

Early Trade

The aim of Tristan’s original settlers in the 1810s was to make money by sealing and supplying passing vessels with fresh water and provisions. This trade involved some barter and whatever currencies ships’ captains had to hand – mainly British pounds and US dollars.



Trade thrived while southbound American whalers and eastbound British sailing clippers called at the island, but once the whaling grounds were fished out and steamers could take a shortcut through the Suez Canal the business failed. Although some cash changed hands, barter became the main form of commence, and imported goods were often in short supply.

There was virtually no money on the island by the end of the 19th century. Tristan became reliant in the early 20th century on supplies and materials sent by well-wishers, including Douglas & Sir Irving Gane’s Tristan da Cunha Fund. The current ‘governor’ or SPG missionary ensured that donations were distributed fairly.

Tristanians had no use for money among themselves. Each family was expected to grow, rear, fish and hunt for its own food. If they didn’t or couldn’t, no one would be allowed to starve, but food could not be bought and would not be sold. Whenever labour was required, for instance for building or thatching, the beneficiary simply provided the gang with three meals during the work day, which still happens. 

Royal Navy Chits

When the Royal Navy station was established on the island in 1942, they needed the help of the local population with construction and housekeeping. After some teething troubles, a system of payment for work using typed paper chits to the value of one shilling (1/-) and two shillings (2/-) was set up at the first Island Council meeting on 2nd December 1943, as was a Savings Bank. Chits could be exchanged for stores, materials, shoes, boots and timber at the station canteen. Islanders could also use South African or British cash, which were interchangeable, as they were both sterling currencies. A proper supply of cash did not reach Tristan until 1944, but as the first Colonial Office Administrator Hugh Elliott later discovered,
“...even the George IV crown piece and the ancient Dutch and American cents returned to circulation from the toe of their respective stockings.”

So unfamiliar was the concept of money, lectures were held for the islanders on “currency” at the school.

Potatoes As Currency 

The potato as a unit of currency came to represent Tristan’s barter economy during World War II, largely thanks to Allan Crawford. He was an old friend of Tristan, who was brought in to liaise with the islanders, and who published the first Tristan Times on 6th March 1943. This was a single typed foolscap sheet of world and island news. In the absence of cash, the Tristan Times bore the unusual price “3 cigarettes or 4 big potatoes”.

There was still precious little cash around in the late 1940s, when Allan Crawford was helping the island petition for the introduction of postage stamps. He famously printed promotional essays priced in potatoes and pence – 4 potatoes to the penny. One cannot help but imagine people wandering around with pockets stuffed with potatoes as loose change!

Real Cash And First Decimalisation

Apparently, islanders abandoned money after the Navy left in 1947, although savings remained in the savings bank. However, money returned to the island with the inauguration of the crawfish industry. When HMSAS Transvaal carried South African factory personnel to Tristan in 1949, it also brought bags of South African money in the ship’s safe – the first appreciable amount of cash to be introduced to the island.

Like today, the work was seasonal and not a full time occupation, but with regular supply ships and the opening of the store, there was a range of foods, household goods and material to spend money on.

At some point in the 1950s, South African money was withdrawn, leaving just British currency. However, the Cape Town-based fishing company's finances and most purchases for the island store were still in South African currency.

South Africa decided to decimalise its currency in 1961, the Rand of 100 cents being pegged at 2 Rand to the Pound Sterling. It was therefore decided to align Tristan's currency to South Africa for ease of administration.

Administrator Peter Day reissued Tristan’s postage stamps on 15th April 1961, reprinted with the values in Rand and cents, while his successor Peter Wheeler oversaw the replacement of British pounds, shillings and pence with 4,000 Rand in South African notes and coins. Wheeler led a briefing session in the Prince Philip Hall and remembered the islanders taking to the new system “like ducks to water”.

Second Decimalisation

Tristan da Cunha’s brush with decimal currency only lasted a few months, because the volcanic eruption of October 1961 caused everyone to be evacuated to England and back to pounds, shillings and pence. 

To complicate matters, South Africa left the British Commonwealth on 31st May 1961 because of Apartheid. The move to the Rand could therefore have become a problem for Tristan had the volcano not intervened. The political situation was unresolved in 1963 when the islanders returned to Tristan, so when they resettled, they continued using English money.

Peter Day says that when he returned as Administrator during resettlement in April 1963, he carried ashore £2,000 in cash, which kept the island going for the next two years!

The United Kingdom subsequently decimalised the British pound in 1971 – 100 New Pence to the pound. Tristan da Cunha therefore went through a second decimalisation exercise at the same time, using British coins and notes. The existing stamps were overprinted and re-issued with new decimal values.

Money on Tristan Today

Although Tristan da Cunha is part of the British Overseas Territory of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, it does not use St Helena notes and coins, but continues to use English currency. The savings bank still operates, and international banking is done through Crown Agents. There are no credit or debit card facilities on Tristan, because the customer base is too small for this to be viable.

Islanders still have little use for money among themselves, although nowadays islanders will sell beef to each other when an animal is slaughtered, and crisps, eggs, vegetables and meat as well as cooked food are sold, mainly in the shop and pub.

Collectible Tristan Coins

While Tristan does not issue its own coins for daily use, it is allowed to issue commemorative coins for collectors and investors. A steady stream of issues are produced and marketed under contract with The Commonwealth Mint, making a significant contribution to the island’s revenue. These coins are mostly gold and silver, and with some occasional exceptional pieces such as the Wedgwood Jasperware £5 coin issued in 2018, and the dome shaped Moon coin issued in 2019. All the coins are legal tender on the island; although as limited edition commemorative coins, their face value is lower than their bullion value or their value to collectors.

Peter Millington

Description of the Stamps 

50p – Early Trade with Ships – Featuring a British gold sovereign and a United States dollar of the 19th century period when the islanders sold goods and produce to passing ships, and bought (when they could not barter) necessaries such as tea, sugar and flour. The background shows a sailing ship off the coast of Tristan. 

90p – WWII Navy Station: Potatoes & Chits – Featuring one of the typed two shilling chits, redeemable at the canteen, used to pay the Tristanians who helped to build the Royal Navy Station, and a South African pound note of the period. Potatoes could also be used to pay for some items. The background is an aerial view of station buildings taken after the war.

£1.15 – First Decimalisation 1961 – Featuring a South African pound note and two shilling piece as paid by the fishing company, and the corresponding two Rand note and 20 cent piece when decimalised currency was introduced in 1961. The background shows the first fishing factory at Big Beach, which was swept away by the volcano.

£2.00 – Second Decimalisation 1971 – Featuring a Bank of England pound note from the 1960s & 70s, along with a British two shilling piece and the corresponding ten new pence piece from when the UK decimalised in 1971 – also the smaller 10p piece used today. The background shows Calshot Harbour (built after the resettlement), the current fishing factory and the settlement’s “central business district”.

FDC – Collectible Tristan Coins – Featuring a selection of commemorative coins (to scale) issued for collectors and investors, including the Wedgwood Jasperware five pounds coin, a cupro-nickel five pound coin issued to commemorate the queen’s birthday in 2006, a gold square quarter sovereign issued in 2019, and a silver pound coin issued in 2020.


Technical details:

Designer Bee Design

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Stochastic Lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ¼ per 2cms

Stamp size 36 x 36mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release Date 26 May 2021

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



ST012262   60th and 50th Anniversaries of the Decimalisation of Tristan     Mint Set
ST012263   60th and 50th Anniversaries of the Decimalisation of Tristan     CTO Set
ST012264    60th and 50th Anniversaries of the Decimalisation of Tristan    FDC

95th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Tristan da Cunha Post Offic takes great pleasure in releasing a set of six stamps in celebration of The Queen’s 95th birthday.

The stamps will be released on Her Majesty’s actual birthday, 21 April. Each of the stamps depict key aspects of Her Majesty’s life, from a young Princess, to her Coronation and Marriage as well as managing to enjoy some Leisure time and Pageantry, out and about fulfilling her Royal Duties.



On her twenty-first birthday, 21 April 1947, Princess Elizabeth was with her parents and younger sister, Princess Margaret, on a tour of South Africa. In a speech broadcast on the radio from Cape Town, the Princess dedicated her life to the service of the Commonwealth. The theme of the stamp issue, “Devoted to your service”, is taken from that speech: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

This special issue is a collaboration between 11 postal administrations which sees the three Crown Dependencies, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, join The Bahamas and seven UK Overseas Territories, Ascension Island, British Antarctic Territory, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, and Tristan da Cunha to mark the birthday of the world’s longest reigning monarch.


  • 35p Princess. A beautiful portrait by Cecil Beaton of Princess Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, 1946. (Photo by PA Archive/PA Images).
  • 45p Coronation. A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial State Crown, after her Coronation 2 June 1953 in Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Sport and General/Barratts/EMPICS Archive via PA Images).
  • 50p Marriage. The Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh stand next to a display of Spanish items from the Royal Collection during the state visit of Spanish King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at Buckingham Palace in central London on July 12, 2017. (Photo by NEIL HALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images).
  • 70p Leisure. The Queen watching Highland Horses in the Copper Horse Arena during the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle in 2009. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/PA Images).
  • £1.10 Pageantry. Queen Elizabeth II, wearing the Imperial Crown, walks in procession through The Royal Gallery on her way to give her speech during the ceremonial state opening of Parliament in London 13 November 2002. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP WPA POOL/AFP via Getty Images).
  • £1.50 Royal Duty. Queen Elizabeth II arrives to unveil a memorial to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on the Mall, in central London, on February 24, 2009. Prince Charles paid a heartfelt tribute to his "darling grandmother" as the Queen unveiled the national memorial. (Photo by KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images).
  • The FDC features two images of Her Majesty; a contemporary picture of the Queen who is fondly known throughout the world and a beautiful portrait, circa 1929, of the young Princess Elizabeth before it was realised that she would be acceding to the throne. (Photos via Getty Images).

Technical details:

Designer Bee Design
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Process Lithography
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ¼ per 2cms
Stamp size 36 x 36mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 21 April, 2021
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd


ST012259  TDC  Queen's 95th Birthday Mint
ST012260  TDC  Queen's 95th Birthday CTO
ST012261  TDC  Queen's 95th Birthday FDC



The Sword Of Peace - December 2020

The Sword of Peace is a prestigious award conveying a very positive message. It was established by the British sword maker Wilkinson Sword in 1966 with the company presenting ceremonial swords to units of the Royal Navy (including the Royal Fleet Auxiliary), British Army, and Royal Air Force that had made the most outstanding contributions to good and friendly relations with communities at home or overseas. After Wilkinson stopped the production of swords in 2005, Firmin & Sons began sponsoring the award.

As part of the Naval Service, Royal Fleet Auxiliaries have received a number of these awards and Tristan is proud to be associated with the very first Royal Fleet Auxiliary to receive this award.



In 1969, RFA Ennerdale, a Dale-class mobile reserve tanker launched in 1962, was diverted from her normal tasking to refuel the South African destroyer SAS Simon van Der Stel which was en route to Gough Island, in the South Atlantic, to search for two missing South African meteorologists from the weather station there who had gone on a hike hours before the island was hit by a violent and unexpected storm. The SAS Simon van Der Stel’s journey took almost two weeks as she endured high seas and foul winds. 

Once the South African ship had reached Gough Island, RFA Ennerdale steamed to Tristan da Cunha to collect a 12-man volunteer search party to assist in the search. Although the South African Navy had had many men ashore, searching Gough’s unforgiving terrain, before the return of the Ennerdale, they had not managed to locate the missing men.

The Tristanians moved off in a different direction from that taken by the original search party and quickly located the bodies of the two meteorologists by noon of the same day. They had died of exposure several days before. The island volunteers sailed to Cape Town with the SAS Simon van Der Stel, returning to Tristan on the MV R.S.A. She sailed on to Gough Island collecting the two bodies to take back to Cape Town thus ending a tragic operation. 


The Sword of Peace was presented to RFA Ennerdale in 1970, shortly before the ship was lost on an uncharted reef in the Seychelles. 


At the time, the SAS Simon Van Der Stel was the only helicopter equipped vessel in the South African Navy. Prior to its sale to South Africa along with its Wessex Helicopter, the Simon Van Der Stel saw active service in the Royal Navy as HMS Whelp. 

As a new Fleet Destroyer, HMS Whelp sailed to the Indian ocean to join the British Pacific Fleet in 1944 with her newly appointed First Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten (now Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh). She was to be the last warship that he served on and was present at the Japanese surrender of Hong Kong (arriving with Admiral Fraser onboard) and at Tokyo for the formal Japanese surrender. 

The First Day Cover shows the meteorological base on Gough Island together with a special 1969 commemorative cover signed by all 12 members of the Tristan Volunteer Search Team.


Technical details:


Designer Andrew Robinson
Printer Cartor
Process Lithography
Perforation 13¼ x 13½ per 2cms
Stamp size 42 x 28mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 8 December, 2020
Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



       ST012232    The Sword of Peace    Mint Set
       ST012233    The Sword of Peace    CTO Set
ST012234    The Sword of Peace    FDC



Modern Mailships – New Definitive Issue - December 2020

Tristan da Cunha is the most remote inhabited island in the world lying some 2,430km from St. Helena and over 2,800km from Africa. The island was discovered in 1506 by the Portuguese navigator Tristão da Cunha. In 1816 a British garrison was established, and when it was disbanded a year later, Corporal William Glass chose to stay on the island. He can be regarded as the founder of the present community.



Mail from and to the island became very important as it was their only opportunity to communicate with the outside world. Quite often, this could take years, as they were dependent on passing ships, like whalers, to carry the mail. Eventually, after numerous requests, British war ships would call annually but even this waned. Since the fishing concession started around 1950, fishing vessels now call regularly and usually carry mail to and from Tristan, from Cape Town.

This definitive stamp issue, following on from the 2015 Early Mailships Definitive, depicts ships that called at the island between 1957 and 2020. Of course, most of the ships calling at Tristan would carry mail or produce special covers, and as such not all of the ships from this period are included.

1p - RRS JOHN BISCOE (2) (1957)

The second of two ships bearing this name, it was built by Fleming and Ferguson Ltd, Paisley, for the Falkland Island Dependencies Survey (FIDS) and launched in 1956. On her maiden voyage, passengers included HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, visiting some of the FIDS research stations during the 1956/57 season. Initially the RRS John Biscoe (2) operated as a cargo vessel to resupply FIDS (later BAS) research stations. Increasingly she supported hydrographic and marine biology surveys, and geological landings. Following a major refit in 1979, her role became that of a platform for marine science, particularly the Offshore Biology Programme.

She called at Tristan on 13th May for a few hours, and again on 11th November 1957, with 4 bags of mail, passengers Miss Rhoda Downer, a schoolteacher and Mr Dennis Simpson (Agricultural Officer), Mrs Simpson and their three boys. The John Biscoe lost her motorboat and her barge was washed up on the beach. Some crew was stranded on the island until the storm blew itself out and the islanders were able to use their craft. Miss Downer’s luggage had to be repacked so they could get it ashore. RRS John Biscoe brought a lot of cargo for the island including a new X-ray machine presented by the Government for the island hospital.

2p - SS BRASIL (1960-1965)

An American cruise liner owned and operated by Moore-McCormack Lines. She first visited on 13th April 1960. Some of the island’s two dozen Roman Catholics were able to receive the ministries of a priest of their Church who was a passenger on-board. On her, second visit on 21st February 1964 heavy seas prevented landings. However, the day before the island mail was taken on-board MV Tristania. This was then transferred to SS Brasil and mail from her was handed over to Captain Scott of MV Tristania for posting ashore when weather improved. Her last visit was on 13th February 1965. The beach was rough and only one boat made it to the ship for bartering.

5p – MFV GILLIAN GAGGINS (1965-1973)

This 1180-ton crayfish-processing vessel was built by Barship in Bayhead (Durban) shipyards in 1965, especially for the South Atlantic Development Cooperation, for rock lobster fishing in Tristan waters. This floating factory and refrigerator vessel replaced the Francis Repetto, which worked

alongside the MV Tristania. Her maiden voyage was made in November 1965. After offloading cargo and mail, she took on dinghies for the fishing crew to catch crayfish. By 1970 the dinghies were replaced with a long-line-traps method used by MV Tristania and two small catchers. MFV Gillian Gaggins was altered to a full-time processing, packing and freezing ship to act as a mother ship for the catcher vessels. By 1973, the method of fishing had changed and she was considered outdated and replaced by MV Tristania II who then became the number-one ship. 

10p - MV RSA (1963-1977)

The 1573-tonne R.S.A. was South Africa’s first Antarctic supply vessel. She was built in Osaka, Japan, and launched in September 1961. Its first visit was on 15th April 1963 bound for Gough Island with meteorology staff. The first ship to call after the Settlement Survey Period bringing mail for 66 islanders and officials. The courageous collection, by dinghy, of mail and gifts in rough weather was illustrated in the National Geographic Magazine (January 1964).

In the next 16 years the R.S.A. (nick-named by some “Rolling Slowly Along”) made visits every year to South Africa’s meteorological stations on Gough and Marion and in Antarctica to relieve teams or on special voyages for medical or other emergencies. Her last visit to Gough and Tristan was in Oct 1977 and in 1978, the S.A. Agulhas replaced her.

25p - RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (1979)

Commissioned in December 1968 the QE2 was built in Clydebank by the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders who had also built the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. The QE2 visit 8th February 1979 was one that was well remembered by islanders, ship’s crew and passengers alike. The ships tenders went ashore and collected all who wanted to come aboard for a visit and afternoon tea. A special party was held for the schoolchildren and afterwards everyone was taken on a tour of the ship. During her visit, two radio officers went ashore to fix the island's short-wave radio transmitter that was broken and would have had to be sent to Cape Town for repair. During her 1985 World Cruise she passed by Tristan for a short non-landing call. 

35p - SS ROTTERDAM (1960-1980)

Built by Rotterdam (Holland) for Holland America Line she became the Holland’s largest cruise liner. In 1958, the SS Rotterdam was launched and named by HM Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. She made several calls to Tristan over the years. Capt. A.H.Lagaay wrote, after its morning call off Tristan in 1975, “If and when the Island of Tristan da Cunha is passed in daylight on our annual world cruises the wireless operator on Tristan is always notified that the ship will close in at a set time and asked if any mail can be picked up or services can be rendered”. On one call, she only stayed 2 hours and the post office went on board to sell philatelic material.

45p - HMS ENDURANCE (1983)

Built by Kröger-Werft of Germany in 1956 as Anita Dan. The UK government bought her in 1967 and had her converted and commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Endurance. As a British Navy Ice Patrol vessel, she supported the UK in Antarctica waters and assisted BAS scientific research programmes.

Bound for Falkland Island on 10th February 1983 she called at Inaccessible Island to take off the Denstone Expedition party. The ship’s two small Wasp helicopters collected all the equipment, baggage and official mail transporting it all to HMS Endurance. She then transferred the Denstone group to Tristan. Also on board was the Governor of St Helena, John Massingham, who was greeted

by the community, attended official functions and a lively dance in the evening before departing the next day.

60p - TRISTANIA II (1973-1996)

The Faroe fishing vessel Skugvur built in 1964 was renamed Tristania II. This 160-foot steel vessel powered by a Burmiester and Wain 1000hp engine became a new addition to the Tristan Investments Limited fishing fleet, replacing the smaller Tristania. She was converted in Cape Town for fishing using long-lines with traps. She also carried two powerboats that also set traps. She first arrived at Gough on 27th June and then Tristan on 5th July 1973. The Tristania II fished at Tristan islands up until 1996. She carried passengers, mail and a small amount of cargo to and from Tristan until the Kelso replaced her in 1997.

£1 - MV HEKLA (1984-1996)

The Hekla, a 68m steel ship converted from a cargo vessel, for longline fishing, processing and packing for export replaced the Hilary in 1984. On her first trip to Tristan she encountered mechanical problems and took 10 days to complete the journey. Her last voyage as Hekla was on 12th December 1996. This vessel not only served as a factory-fishing vessel but also provided Tristan’s main link to the outside world carrying cargo, mail and a maximum of 12 passengers each trip.

A new concession was granted in 1997 and she was re-named MV Edinburgh. The MV Edinburgh continues to call at Tristan each year and remains a vital lifeline for islanders.

£1.50 - RMS ST HELENA (2)

(1992-2018) Built by Hall, Russell & Company in Aberdeen the RMS (as it was locally known) entered service in 1990. A cargo liner (carrying cargo and passengers) she served the island of Saint Helena sailing between Cape Town and Saint Helena with regular shuttles continuing to Ascension Island. She visited Portland, Dorset twice a year until 14 October 2011, when she set sail on her final voyage from the English port. Her first visit to Tristan was in 1992 as she was due to call in 1991 but had to cancel due to engine trouble. Over the years, she called at Tristan on several occasions and was always welcomed by the islanders. Her last call was on 4thJanuary 2018 from there, she sailed to St Helena departing on 10th February 2018 for her last trip to Cape Town. 

At the time of her retirement from St Helena service, she was one of only four ships in the world still carrying the status of Royal Mail Ship.

£2 - RRS JAMES CLARK ROSS (2013-2018)

In 1991, the RRS James Clark Ross, named after Admiral Sir James Clark Ross, R.N, became the first BAS vessel to be purpose-built as a science platform. She is primarily a marine research vessel for biological, oceanographic and geophysical cruises.

In 2013, the James Clark Ross spent two days at Gough and six days at Tristan, recording and sampling seabed life and completing midwater trawls. On 31stMarch 2018 she called again as part of the Blue Belt 3-year research programme focusing on the seamounts within the Tristan EEZ.

£3 – MFV GEO SEARCHER (2017-2020)

Built in 1982 at 1863 gross tonnes, 69m in length and refurbished in 2005 & 2014, it served as a scientific research vessel. The Geo Searcher was purchased by Ovenstone Agencies in 2016 to replace the MV Edinburgh as the island’s main fishing vessel. It was converted in Gdansk, Poland, to a

factory freezer vessel with cargo and passenger capacity. In April 2017, she made her maiden voyage to Tristan and Gough Island. The Geo Searcher fished around the three outer islands of Inaccessible, Nightingale and Gough Island and catches were processed and frozen on-board. On each voyage, she carried mail, passengers and cargo.

On the morning of 15 October 2020, while fishing off the north-western coast of Gough Island the Geo Searcher foundered on a rock and sank. All 62 seamen on board, including two Tristanian Fisheries Observers, safely abandoned ship and made their way to the South African Meteorological Station at the south-eastern end of the island, where they were winched ashore. The SA Agulhas II was dispatched from Cape Town to rescue the seamen from Gough. She called at Tristan on 22nd to drop off the two islanders before continuing to Cape Town, arriving on Monday 26th October.

£5 - BARK EUROPA (2005-2019)

The Bark Europa, operated by Hapag-Lloyd line, first called at Tristan on 3rd April 2005. She was en route from a cruise to South Georgia and due to the fine weather and sea conditions, passengers and crew were able to come ashore, explore the island and purchase stamps, handicrafts and souvenirs. The Bark Europa has continued to call at Tristan and its outer islands most years since then, and the islanders welcome its regular visits.


Technical details:

Designer Andrew Robinson

Printer bpost

Process Lithography

Perforation 11 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 27.66 x 40.2mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release date 14 December, 2020

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



H               ST012205    Modern Mailships Definitive  Mint Set
                  ST012206    Modern Mailships Definitive  CTO Set
           ST012207    Modern Mailships Definitive  FDC

Vagrant Species Part 2 - November 2020

Tristan da Cunha lies in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, east of the mid-Atlantic ridge, 2800 km from the continental shores of South Africa, and 3360 km from South America.

It is the most remote island in the world with a resident human population, with St. Helena, the nearest island some 2,400 km away. Vagrants might seem to be a curiosity, but all of the native animals on Tristan arose from individuals that wandered far from their usual haunts.



45p- Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) sometimes called the lute turtle or leathery turtle. They are the largest sea turtle species and also one of the most migratory, crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell, hence the name. Instead, its carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh. Numbers of Leatherback Turtles have seriously declined during the last century due to intense egg collection and fisheries bycatch. Globally, the Leatherback Turtle is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

In 2017 a Leatherback Turtle tagged by University of Exeter scientists in Brazil swam thousands of miles into waters off the Tristan da Cunha Islands. The female leatherback turtle, nicknamed Fubica, explored the seas off Tristan Da Cunha. Fubica, one of four turtles tagged on a Brazilian beach during the breeding season in November 2017, was the only one whose tag was still transmitting, more than six months later. The turtles were tagged as part of a study run by Exeter and Brazilian non-profit organisation TAMAR-ICMBio, with funding from Funbio (the Brazilian Fund for Biodiversity). 

60p- Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) occurs throughout the tropics in the Americas. It is a fairly large, slender rail that is fairly closely related to the moorhens that managed to colonise Tristan and Gough. The adults are strikingly coloured, but many of the birds reaching Tristan are much duller juveniles, which are perhaps more likely to get blown off course as they migrate north in autumn from their breeding areas in Uruguay and northern Argentina. They are birds of wetlands and swamps, and their long toes help them walk onto floating vegetation, by distributing their weight. Their diet is varied as they feed on a wide variety of vegetable and animal matter.

Sightings of this bird were quite frequent on Tristan in the second half of the 20th century, with up to 47 in one year, but they have become less common in recent years. Almost all records are from around the settlement Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, where they take shelter in island gardens and surrounding flax. The local name for this bird is ‘Guttersnake’ presumably for its shiny greeny-blue colour and by the way it swiftly moves through the grass.

£1.00- Black Witch Moth (Ascalapha odorata) is a large bat-shaped, dark-coloured nocturnal moth, ranging from Brazil to the southern United States. It is the largest noctuid in the continental United States. In the folklore of many Central American cultures, it is associated with death or misfortune. Female moths can attain a wingspan of 17 cm. Their wings are mottled brown with hints of iridescent purple and pink, and, in females, crossed by a white bar.

The Black Witch Moth was also depicted on a 15p stamp in the 1990s stamp issue Moths. In 2018 there was a sighting of the moth during a big storm on the RRS Discovery. It was trying to land on the ship whilst anchored off Inaccessible!

£2.00- King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is the second largest species of penguin, smaller, but somewhat similar in appearance to the Emperor Penguin. King Penguins breed on sub-Antarctic islands between 45 and 55°S, with a large population on South Georgia. The total population is estimated to be 2.23 million pairs and is increasing. Like its larger cousin, they lay a single egg which they incubate balanced on their feet, and males are able to store food in their stomachs for more than a month, ready to feed the chick when it hatches. 

They are prodigious swimmers and divers, regularly diving up to 300m deep and commuting hundreds of kilometres from their colonies to find food for their chick. After breeding, adults disperse vast distances, sometimes venturing well outside their normal range. There was a sighting of a King Penguin on Tristan’s beach over a decade ago, but they are somewhat more common as vagrants on Gough Island, which being farther south is closer to their normal haunts.

FDC- Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) is the common ‘black-backed’ gull in the Southern Hemisphere, occurring in South America, southern Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, most sub-Antarctic islands, and locally in the maritime Antarctic. Tristan is one of the few islands lacking the species. Like most large gulls, they are supreme generalists that eat a wide range of prey, including scavenging from carcasses. 

Kelp Gulls, probably from South America, are one of the most regular vagrants to the Tristan archipelago. There are no confirmed breeding records from the islands, but in 1922, George Wilkins recorded an adult Kelp Gull with juvenile birds on Nightingale Island. When asked, the islanders did not think that they bred, but some of the young birds were thought to have been too young to migrate all the way to the island. A young Kelp Gull, was seen and photographed this year on 25th August, on the beach to the west of Calshot Harbour.


Technical details:

Designer Andrew Robinson

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Stochastic Lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 per 2cms

Stamp size 30.6 x 38mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release date 9 November, 2020

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



     ST012208   Vagrant Species Part 2     Mint Set
     ST012209    Vagrant Species Part 2    CTO Set
 ST0121210   Vagrant Species Part 2      FDC


Mid Atlantic Healthcare - October 2020

Health is on everyone's minds during the current coronavirus pandemic, with people around the world spontaneously showing support for their local healthcare systems and staff. Thanks to timely precautions, COVID-19 has not reached Tristan da Cunha, and we pray this continues to be the case. Even so, we issue this set of stamps in appreciation of the island's own healthcare services.



Over the years, Tristan’s healthcare has dramatically changed and improved, from having no medical professionals on the island and only being treated when a ship’s doctor visited, to having a modern operational Healthcare Centre. These stamps illustrate the history of healthcare on Tristan.

45p - Mission House
In the beginning, the community on Tristan had no hospital or resident doctor. From the 1850s, missionaries, sent out by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG), brought with them medical supplies and provided some medical care for mostly minor conditions. Ships' doctors or expeditions' doctors and dentists, in particular the doctors on Royal Navy ships, would check the health of the islanders during their visits and treat more serious cases, where possible. However, these visits occurred once a year or less frequently, and usually only lasted a couple of days. A few of these doctors published reports on the health of the islanders in the British medical press. These were mostly favourable, and in particular, the islanders gained a reputation for their healthy teeth, which was put down to the community's isolation and the low amount of sugar in the island diet at that time.
The first extended medical presence was during the three-month Norwegian Scientific Expedition to Tristan da Cunha in 1937/38. The three-strong medical team thoroughly examined every islander and provided some professional medical treatment, although the current missionary still dealt with day-to-day care.
70p - Station Hospital
During WWII, the naval station HMS Atlantic Isle was set up on Tristan, under the command of Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Woolley. New buildings were constructed, including for the first time a purpose-built school, store and hospital known as ‘Station Hospital’. The change in the island economy brought by the establishment of the first fishing factory in 1949/50 enabled the hospital to become a permanent fixture.
In the beginning, only a trained expatriate nurse was employed to provide medical services. Over time, the main equipment obtained for the hospital included a portable x-ray machine, a Boyle anesthetic machine, a microscope, and a reasonably comprehensive set of surgical instruments. Facilities for sterilization consisted of a paraffin pressure stove for boiling a saucepan of water and a domestic paraffin oven for baking towels, gowns, dressings, etc.
By 1961 Dr Norman Samuel reported that there were four beds in the hospital but no bathroom, and the operating-theatre was a room used as a thoroughfare and store-room. Just prior to the 1961 volcanic eruption and evacuation, another room was converted for use as a theatre, but was never used. At that time, the Colonial Office provided limited funds to cover drugs, day-to-day requirements such as paraffin and soap, as well as instruments, gloves, x-ray films, cleaners' salaries, and laundry.
£1.10 - Camogli Hospital
In 1971, a new hospital was built at the west end of the Settlement near Hottentot Gulch to replace the ‘Station Hospital’. It was named Camogli Hospital, after the hometown of the Italian settlers Andrea Repetto & Gaetano Lavarello who were wrecked on Tristan in 1892. The hospital had three inpatient beds, a consulting room, a pharmacy, X-ray facilities, a dental surgery and a well-equipped operating theatre. In the beginning, local nurses and a local dental nurse assisted the resident medical officers, who served for one or two years. In recent times, a local hospital manager and dental assistant were added to the medical team.
A dentist and dental technician visit the island annually and check and treat all the islanders’ teeth with the assistance of the island dental nurse. An Optometrist visits the island every second year and all the visiting specialists are available to discuss problems by telephone at other times.
It is a challenge to maintain an adequate, in-date pharmacy stock and to cover unpredictable demands, and allow for the possible failure of supply from any of the eight ships per year from Cape Town.
UK people may be interested to know that Doctor Hilary Jones, the medical broadcaster and Good Morning Britain TV presenter was Tristan's medical officer for a year in 1979. He has referred to his time on Tristan as “one of the most interesting stages of my career and a quite unique experience”.
£1.50 - Camogli Healthcare Centre
The Camogli Healthcare Centre was officially opened on 7th June 2017. It was constructed, in the south-western corner of the settlement below the previous hospital, to the latest UK National Health Service standards. This was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) with the intention that the improved facilities would allow more procedures to be performed locally by visiting specialists, and therefore reduce the need for expensive referrals to Cape Town.
At present, there are two expatriate doctors on the island, who provide 24-hour cover. They often return to Tristan for further terms of duty. There are also normally two expatriate and four local nurses, as well as a dental nurse and assistant, a hospital manager and ancillary staff. The medical staff deal with day to day medical matters, handle emergency cases, and undertake minor surgery. More complex and serious cases are sent to Cape Town for treatment.
FDC - Ambulance
The ambulance arrived on Tristan da Cunha 2003. It is fully functional, with all the medical equipment needed to respond to an emergency. It is also used to collect patients if they need assistance or do not have transport to attend their doctors’ appointments.


Technical details:

Designer Robin Carter

Printer bpost

Process Lithography

Perforation 11 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 27.66 x 40.2mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release date 20 October, 2020

Production Coordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



ST012194    Healthcare     Mint Set
ST012195    Healthcare     CTO Set
ST012196    Healthcare     FDC

Sharks Parts 1 - September 2020

45p - Broadnose Sevengill Shark Notorynchus cepedianus 

The Broadnose Sevengill shark is an 'ancient' shark, the only existing member of the genus Notorynchus, in the family Hexanchidae. It lives in relatively shallow, temperate seas worldwide, except the North Atlantic and Tristan is one of the few mid-ocean archipelagos where it is known to occur. It is recognizable by its seven gill slits, while most shark species have only five. It grows up to 2.5m (8ft) long and is pale grey with a white belly. These are the most common sharks found inshore at Tristan, where its local name is “Rock Shark”, and they feed mainly on fish, octopus and squid, but also on general carrion. The species is not well studied and is listed as “data deficient” by the IUCN red list.

70p - Porbeagle - Lamna nasus

The Porbeagle is a species of mackerel shark in the family Lamnidae, and is a smaller relative of the Great White Shark. It is distributed widely in the cold and temperate marine waters of the North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere. In 2017, the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expedition recorded a single pup at approximately 60 cm (2ft) long. This was the first observation for the species, in Tristan waters, and suggests it was likely born here. It is possible that Porbeagle sharks use the islands as a nursery area so the islands may have significant importance to these species of shark.The Porbeagle is listed as Vulnerable globally, mainly due to overfishing.



£1.10 - Great Hammerhead - Sphyrna mokarran

The Great Hammerhead inhabits tropical waters around the world, between 40°N and 37°S. It is the largest species of hammerhead shark, belonging to the family Sphyrnidae, attaining a maximum length of 6m (20ft). The Great Hammerhead can be distinguished from other hammerheads by the shape of its "hammer" (called the "cephalofoil"), which is wide with an almost straight front margin, and by its tall, sickle-shaped first dorsal fin. The Great Hammerhead feeds on a wide variety of prey ranging from crustaceans and cephalopods, to bony fish and smaller sharks. Females bear litters of up to 55 pups every two years. Great Hammerheads move into the Tristan area during the warmer summer months, but do not reach Gough, where the water temperature is 3-4 degrees colder. It is listed as Critically Endangered, mainly due to overfishing

£1.50 - Blue Shark -Prionace glauca

Blue Sharks are one of the great ocean wanderers. These slim, graceful sharks, up to 2.5m (8ft) long with large eyes and brilliant blue backs are known to make journeys of up to 9,200 km (5,700 miles) with some individuals making multiple trans-Atlantic crossings.

Research suggests that the waters of Tristan da Cunha may provide a refuge for these gentle giants. Both large females and small juveniles occur, suggesting that the waters around Tristan da Cunha are a blue shark nursery ground with large females traveling here to give birth. The
lack of intense fishing effort seen in other parts of the world hopefully provides a sanctuary for the pups to grow in peace before undertaking migrations of their own. Despite occurring through most of the world’s oceans, their numbers are decreasing due to fishing pressure, and the species is listed as near-threatened globally.


Technical details:

Designer Andrew Robinson

Printer bpost

Process Lithography

Perforation 11 ½ per 2cms

Stamp size 27.66 x 40.2mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release date 29 September, 2020

Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



       ST012188    Sharks Part I     Mint Set
       ST012189    Sharks Part I     CTO Set
ST012190    Sharks Part I     FDC


Tristan da Cunha : Female Ancestors - May 2020

"Probably all the adjectives known to man have been used at one time to describe woman, but without doubt the one most suited to the women of the lonely community on Tristan da Cunha is 'unique'." So wrote the Cape Times in 1922.
While earlier stamp issues commemorating Tristan's family surnames have tended to focus on the community's male founders and their stories, their wives have equally interesting stories that are also worthy of celebration and commemoration. The island's founding fathers were white Europeans or Americans, but most of the founding mothers were of mixed race, which adds a further dimension to their stories. If the men's lives were hard, the women's were as hard if not harder, if only because of the perpetual round of childbirth they had to endure. It was even harder when most of the island men perished in the lifeboat disaster of 1885.



45p - Maria (Mary Magdalena) Leenders (1801-1858)*, Cape Colony, arrived 1816

Maria was one of the founding members of the community, arriving with her husband William Glass in 1816. Described as a Cape Creole, she married William, in July 1814, at an incredibly young age in the Cape Colony and bore 16 children. After he was stranded on Tristan in 1824, the artist Augustus Earle described the life of Maria and the only other woman then on the island, Peggy White, as follows:
"Their time is so fully occupied that I seldom see either of them; being constantly in the cook-house, which is separated from our dwelling. Children there are in abundance, all healthy and robust, and just one year older than the other."
Five of her sons were engaged in whaling on American ships. Following the death of William, she emigrated with most of the family to New London, Connecticut, in 1856 to live with her son Robert Hill Glass, who had become a successful whaling captain, until her death in 1858. Her daughter Selina, who had married Captain Andrew Hagan, remained on the island. One of her sons, Thomas, who also remained on the island, was lost in the lifeboat disaster of 1885.
The portrait comes from one of Earle's paintings, and the background shows the Union flag, which was used by the Cape Colony at that time.
55p - The St Helena Women, arrived 1827
The story goes that the five men living in "Bachelor's Hall" in the 1820s, badly feeling the need of female companions, persuaded Captain Simon 
Amm of The Duke of Gloucester to bring them five women from St Helena in 1827. Captain Amm made a request to the Governor of St Helena who wanted written assurance that the women would be looked after. The captain landed the women on the beach then made off, not staying to see the men’s reaction to the women he had brought.

The term "mail order brides" that is sometimes used to describe the women underplays the factors that may have made the move to Tristan seem appealing. It is possible they were former slaves and may have taken the surname of an owner in some cases. 

The five women were:

• Sarah Jacobs (Williams/Bowers) (c.1795-1893)* - Negro, married Thomas Hill Swain. She arrived with four children, and went on to have a further ten children. Her marriage to Thomas Swain was legalised in 1851 and Bowers was the name given on her marriage certificate. Mary Jacobs (1815 – 1900)* was born on St Helena to Sarah Jacobs. She married another founding father
Peter Green (officially in 1852). Her surname is given as Jacobs in the baptism register but Fisher on her marriage certificate. They had eight children, of whom three sons, William, Jacob and Jeremiah were lost in the lifeboat disaster of 1885 as well as three grandsons, all sons of William. Mary was presented to Prince Alfred, first Duke of Edinburgh when he visited the island in 1867 and had lunch at their house.
• Maria Williams (c.1810-1892)*, sister (probably half-sister) of Sarah Jacobs. Mullato/Afro/Malayan she married Alexander Cotton (officially by Rev Taylor in 1852) and bore 13 children. The Cottons were an important family on Tristan during the 19th century, but by the end of the century, all but the elderly Betty Cotton had emigrated, mostly settling in Simon's Town, South Africa.
• Sarah Bassett Knipe (dates unknown) - arrived with her daughter Fanny. It is not known if she was born on St Helena but was described as having English parents, which was a contrast to the other women who were described as negro/coloured. She married Richard 'Dick' Riley and bore a further 10 children. The family moved to the Cape in 1857. Fanny ‘Riley’, daughter of Sarah, married Peter Miller in 1839 and they had eight children. The Millers left the island with the Riley family in 1857 and settled in the Riversdale-Mossel Bay area of the Cape.
• Eleanor (surname and dates unknown) - It is possible that she was born a slave on St Helena. She married George Peart and had a daughter Agnes who was born in 1834. The family left Tristan in 1837.
• Nelly (surname and dates unknown) - Race unknown. She married Peder Petersen, a Dane, who had been shipwrecked on the island. They had a son Peter. Nelly and her son left Tristan in 1857 after Peder died in an accident.
William Glass unofficially married the couples, as there was no clergyman on the island. The marriages were all legalised by Rev Taylor later on.
The picture on the stamp shows island women in the 1860s, and comes from a woodcut published in The Graphic, 1875. The background shows the flag of the East India Company, which controlled St Helena in 1827.
£1.00 - Susannah 'Susan' Martha Philips (1843-1932)*, St Helena, arrived 1867
Susan was a 'Saint' of mixed race, who met and married Tristanian Samuel Swain on St Helena in 1863. She bore two children on St Helena, and a further 9 after the family moved to Samuel's home island. Samuel was lost in the lifeboat disaster of 1885 but Susannah remained on the island until her death in 1932.
The picture also comes from the woodcut published in The Graphic. The background shows the Union flag, the Crown having taken over control of St Helena from the East India Company in 1834.
£2.00 - The Smith Sisters, Mullingar, Ireland, arrived 1908
The three Smith sisters - Elizabeth, Agnes and Annie - belonged to an Irish family from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. Their father was in the British army and the family had moved to Kokstadt in South Africa. They met and married three Tristanian men, who served in the Anglo-Boer War, two of whom were brothers. They all returned to Tristan in 1908.
The three sisters were:
• Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Smith (1876-1917)* - Married Robert 'Bob' Franklin Glass, brother of Joseph, in St Mary’s Cathedral, Cape Town in 1895. They had eight children, five who were born in the Cape. Elizabeth died in 1917 at the age of 41.
• Agnes 'Aggie' Smith (1887-1970)* - Agnes met Joseph Fuller Glass, who with his brother Robert was a soldier in the Anglo-Boer war, and they were married in South Africa. They came to Tristan in 1908 with their eldest son. Agnes and Joseph had three children. She remarried after Joseph died in 1915 to William Rogers on 9th May 1919 and they had six children. Agnes was a devoted Catholic and was responsible for introducing the Catholic faith to the island along with her sister Elizabeth. She held services at her house and was awarded the ‘Benemerenti’ medal from Pope Pius XII in 1958 for her service to the faith.
• Annie Smith - Married James Glass Hagan, a cousin of Joseph and Robert. They did not stay long on Tristan before returning to the Cape.
The pictures of Lizzie and Aggie come from family photographs. The background shows the St Patrick's flag, which represents the island of Ireland - both the present-day Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
* Women who still have descendants on the island.
FDC - Painting of Tristan da Cunha by Augustus Earle, 1824
The London born travel artist Augustus Earle was stranded on "Tristan d'Acunha" from March to November 1824. Earle arrived on The Duke of Gloucester with the same captain that brought the St Helena wives to Tristan in 1827.


Technical Details:

Designer Andrew Robinson

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Stochastic Lithography

Perforation 13 ½ x 13 ¼ per 2cms

Stamp size 28 x 42mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release date 7 May, 2020

Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



       ST012171    Female Ancestors     Mint Set
       ST012172    Female Ancestors     CTO Set
ST012173    Female Ancestors     FDC

                 H     H


25th Anniversary of the Gough and Inaccessible Islands UNESCO World Heritage Site - March 2020

Gough Island and Inaccessible Island are in the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic Ocean, and form part of one of the United Kingdom’s most remote Overseas Territories.

The islands were formed through volcanic eruptions. Gough’s 65km2 landscape is rugged, with rocks up to 6 million years old making up the cliffs that reach heights of 300m along the coastline. All but the steepest rock faces are covered in vegetation – mainly lichens, mosses and ferns.



Uninhabited, both islands developed almost free from human interference, making them some of the least disturbed habitats left on earth. Their isolation means they have also become home to unique arrays of plants and animals.

Precious habitats
Gough Island is widely considered one of the world’s most important seabird nesting sites, with 22 species of nesting seabirds, and 2 land bird species that are ‘endemic’ – in other words, unique to this location. 7 species on Gough are globally threatened, including virtually the entire world population of the Tristan albatross and most of the world’s examples of MacGillivray’s prion. 3 species on Inaccessible are globally threatened – the spectacled petrel, Inaccessible rail and Inaccessible bunting; the latter two are also endemic to Inaccessible.
The Southern elephant seal and Sub-Antarctic fur seal both breed on Gough, and 85% of the world’s Northern rockhopper penguins nest in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago. The two islands are also home to significant plants, ferns, snails and beetles.
Global recognition
The islands’ listing as a World Heritage Site began in 1995 in recognition of their rich biodiversity, their importance for breeding seabirds, and the presence of endemic species. They are therefore listed for their Outstanding Natural Universal Heritage – one of only four natural World Heritage Sites in the UK’s worldwide realm.
The decision noted that the site meets the criteria ‘as one of the least disturbed major cool-temperate island ecosystems in the South Atlantic, one of the most important seabird colonies in the world and high scenic qualities with spectacular sea-cliffs’.
In 2004 the WHS boundary was extended to include Inaccessible Island and the waters surrounding the islands to 12 nautical miles, and the site name was changed to Gough and Inaccessible Islands.
The listing of a WHS gives the ‘State Party’ (in this case, the United Kingdom) legal obligations to ensure the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage of the site (and others in its territory). Specifically, ‘It will do all it can to this end, to the utmost of its own resources and, where

appropriate, with any international assistance and co-operation, in particular, financial, artistic, scientific and technical, which it may be able to obtain.’ It’s an important obligation on the UK to maintain the natural heritage that led to the designation, to take appropriate measures to achieve this, and to rehabilitate the site.



Under attack

Sadly, Gough Island’s natural value, and so too its WHS status, is under threat. Invasive non-native mice brought to the island by sealers around 200 years ago are attacking the island’s native and globally threatened seabirds. With so many unique species on Gough, extinction from the island would mean extinction globally. Loss of the biodiversity that won Gough its WHS status would mean it no longer meets the required criteria for a site of Outstanding Universal Value.

In 2016 an assessment of the islands for their inclusion on the WHS ‘In Danger’ list concluded that eradication of invasive non-native mice is necessary to protect Gough’s unique species, and its WHS status. Led by the RSPB and Tristan da Cunha Government, an operation to eradicate the mice and restore Gough Island is set to take place in 2020 – the 25th anniversary year of the Gough and Inaccessible World Heritage Site. If the plan succeeds, species will begin to recover almost immediately as they return to nest on an island free of invasive mice.


VALUES - 35p, 55p, £1.60, £1.80


Technical details:

Photography 35p, 55p Michelle Risi

£1.60 Andy Schofield

£1.80 Jaimie Cleeland

FDC Chris Jones

Designer Andrew Robinson

Printer Cartor Security Printing

Process Stochastic Lithography

Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 per 2cms

Stamp size 28 x 42mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release date 24 March, 2020

Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



        ST012165 Gough Isle Mint Set
                    ST012166 Gough Isle Souvenir Sheet
        ST012167 Gough Isle CTO Set
                          ST012168 Gough Isle Souvenir Sheet CT
 ST012169 Gough Isle FDC
                            ST012170 Gough Isle Souvenir Sheet FDC




Whaling and Sealing Ships

Vagrant Species Part 1

H Island Life - Through Their Eyes  

75th Anniversary of D-Day

Lobster Fisheries