Envelope: First Aerial Post Great Britain to Australia 1919

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ID numberRC02337
Collection typePublished Collection
TitleEnvelope: First Aerial Post Great Britain to Australia 1919
MeasurementOverall: 10.3 x 13.3 cm
Object typePhilately
Place madeAustralia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made1919
CopyrightUnlicensed copyright
Copying provisionCopying permitted subject to physical condition
DescriptionEnvelope 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 GC 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.