Envelope: First Aerial Post Great Britain to Australia 1919

Accession Number RC02337
Collection number RC11574
Collection type Published Collection
Measurement Overall: 10.3 x 13.3 cm
Object type Philately
Maker Benson, George Courtney
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made 1919
Conflict Period 1910-1919
Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Envelope addressed the the Director Commonwealth War Museum ( Australian War Memorial). A commemorative label is attached, celebrating the first air mail between Great Britain and Australia. The label has been cancelled with a cachet 'First Aerial Mail - Great Briatin to Australia - Received 26 February 1920'.It also has a cachet reading 'Per Vickers "Vimy" Aeroplane to Australia' which Keith Smith applied to some items of mail.

On 12 November 1919 Ross Macpherson Smith, Keith Smith, JM Bennett and WH Shiers left London in a Vickers Vimy aircraft in the England-Australia Air Race. They arrived in Darwin on 10 December 1919. In their aircraft was the first air mail to Australia from London. The aircraft later went on to Melbourne, arriving on 25 February 1920.

The commemorative label was designed by AIF war artist Lieutenant George Courtney Benson and printed in Melbourne. The label was attached to the mail after arrival in Melbourne. 576 labels were made, 150 were destroyed. 364 were attached to the air mail. Some of the unused 87 labels were presented to officials and the crew members of the aircraft.