Hong Kong Study Circle Specialising in the Philately of Hong Kong and the Treaty Ports Founded 1951 

Wilde and Webb Cup Entries and Nominations 2021

Voting is now open for these two competitions.
Please eMail your votes to Nick Halewood (Journal Editor) at nickhalewood@gmail.com
or send by Fax or Post (contact details in last newsletter) by 30th August.

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Webb Cup Nominations

1. Richard Whittington’s series of articles in the Journal dealing with 'philatelic/postal happenings' in Hong Kong during the 1950s

Richard was the 2021 winner of the Webb Cup with these articles.

2. Richard Whittington’s "The Aberdeen Post Office – Some Rambling Observations"

A presentation given at the online meeting on 17 December 2020. A recording is available at

Wilde Cup Entries

1. Earliest Recorded Usage of the Morenweiser Type 2 Censor Resealing Label

The attractive 4c local cover illustrated below was posted at the Kowloon Branch PO on 23 October 1939 and sent to Mrs. G. Wilson at Gap Road, Happy Valley; she was the wife of Lt. G. Wilson of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. The cover bears an early example of the British War Organisation Fund hand stamp (Proud Type HS5), a faint circular "6A" postmen’s beat chop used at the GPO, unrecorded by Proud, and a rare censor’s resealing label.

Hong Kong Study Circle 2021 Wilde Cup Entry 1 Hong Kong Study Circle 2021 Wilde Cup Entry 1

The British War Organisation Fund was inaugurated on 14 September 1939 with a donation of HK$50,000 from the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The black hand stamp "REMEMBER THE BRITISH WAR ORGANISATION FUND" (Proud Type HS5) was first used on 23 October 1939, just four days earlier than the date of this cover and was applied to practically all mail to local addressees.

Inside the cover was a small handwritten note, written by Mrs. Wilson, stating "letter posted in Hong Kong but owing to large number of replies received to an invitation at the same address it was opened by the censor", and it is the censor’s handiwork that is the outstanding feature of this cover. The censor’s resealing label is the rare Morenweiser Type 2 and is the earliest known usage of only a handful of recorded examples of it. The Morenweiser Type 2 can be distinguished from the much more common Type 3 censor resealing label by the different font and the bottom edge of the coat of arms not being curved.

2. Admiralty instructions to a serving officer sent via the post

This small, stampless envelope is very unassuming but represents a class of mail that seems to have gone unreported. It was sent from the Admiralty, whose fouled anchor device is stamped on the front and embossed on the backflap) to the surveyor G. H. Inskip, a supernumerary Master aboard HMS Saracen, based in Hong Kong. Inskip was not only an officer with fighting experience in eastern waters but also a surveyor, he having been commissioned to work with Capt. Richards of the Saracen to map the coastal waters of Siam and provide a visual outline of its coasts. The Admiralty chart of their efforts was published in 1859 and brought up to date repeatedly up to 1932; a copy was recently available for £1600, or USD 2,277, online!

Very little is known of the transmission of Admiralty orders to serving officers; most, it must be assumed, would have been given personally to the officers either before they sailed for foreign waters or to them while on foreign station. They would not enter the post at all and none have been preserved in private collections.

Hong Kong Study 2021 Circle Wilde Cup Entry 2

Here, however, is one such letter that did. The very weak strike of the crowned "PAID" handstamp shows clearly that the year was 1856 (when Inskip took up his responsibilities) and the probable date is 10 April. The use of a commercial vessel to carry sealed orders makes clear that the letter was certainly sent during the period when there was a dearth of naval shipping available due to the Crimean War; shipping was so scarce that even the mail service by P & O to Hong Kong was reduced to once per month. The crisis abated after formal peace in March of 1856.

Hong Kong Study Circle 2021 Wilde Cup Entry 2

The cover is annotated in pencil on the back “Nos. 4, 5, 6 and 7”, presumably updates to Inskip’s original instructions. As yet, neither the title nor the name is known of the official at the Admiralty whose monogram initials “A. B. B.” are placed at lower left on the front.

3. University of Hong Kong Post Office usage after its opening in 1912

In Jn. 360/31 (January 2012), Richard Whittington wrote an article entitled "The University of Hong Kong – Something New After 100 Years?" In it, he showed a newspaper clipping from days before the closing of the University of Hong Kong Post Office and the opening of the Sai Ying Pun Branch Post Office on 1 May 1914 (see below).

Hong Kong Study Circle 2021 Wilde Cup Entry 3

Richard also wrote "Clearly, based on the last sentence of this notice, there had been a postal facility doing business at the University of Hong Kong, perhaps continuing from the period 11-16 March 1912, which only ceased operation upon the opening of the new Sai Ying Pun Branch Post Office."

Hong Kong Study Circle 2021 Wilde Cup Entry 3 Hong Kong Study Circle 2021 Wilde Cup Entry 3

The postal stationery registered envelope presented above and below with the manuscript boxed "U.H.K." registration marking is the first proof showing that the University Branch Post Office was still in operation after 16 March 1912 and before the Sai Ying Pun Branch Post Office opened on 1 May 1914. It also shows that there were no registration handstamps at the University Post Office and that mail on 13 November 1913 was directly forwarded to the GPO to be cancelled, probably on the same day. The question remains of whether the Hong Kong cds with "VIII" was assigned specifically to mail that was received at the University PO, as another Hong Kong "REGISTERED" cds was applied on receipt at the GPO. More covers that can be traced back to the University PO origin are needed to answer this question. This cover was from the Peter Shek
collection and came with notes he had written in Chinese. So, here is something new about the University of Hong Kong after 110 years.

This submission from Sam Chiu was the winner of the 2021 Wilde Cup.