24 februari 2024

Updated January 7. Sender address is Fawkner Park. This is the back of the building on St Kilda Road. See map.

As collectors of postal history, we naturally prefer to have beautiful, undamaged envelopes in the collection.
However, sometimes you have no choice and have to settle for ‘second choice’. As in this case: a very roughly opened envelope from Australia to Batavia in the Dutch East Indies.
With a normal Australian postmark, this piece would not be an ornament in the collection, but this is still a special case.Army Post Office Melbourne

So far, this type of postmark was known only from Brisbane. In P.R. Bulterman’s widely praised book ‘Postmarks Dutch East Indies 1864-1950’, the Brisbane stamp is mentioned on page 354, no. 1.

From the Bulterman book

Noteworthy in this postmark is that the address of the N.E.I. Army Post Office is mentioned in the stamp: 334-338 Queen Street in Brisbane, and no date.

In mid-1943, KNIL headquarters were established in the 18-room ‘Oban’ villa in Melbourne, 431 St Kilda Road.
In mid-1944, most of the military moved to Bristol and office space (among others) was rented in the New Zealand Insurance Building at 334-338 Queen Street in Brisbane.
The drawn postmark (see above) of Brisbane in the book appears to be 33A-338. So that is incorrect.

René Hillesum

René Hillesum

Collector of postal history of Finland and postmarks of Imperial Saint Petersburg.

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