GB 1889 SG172 Cover - Naval Officers Letter from Apia, Samoa

Stock Code: P212020541

1889 Naval Officers' Mail. Very fine cover from Lt. Alfred E. Marchant, R.M.L.I. serving aboard HMS 'Calliope' a 16 gun 'Comus Class' Cruiser. Addressed to Hyde Park London and prepaid by six 1d lilac tied by London Foreign Branch 'FB' obliterators with a London arrival cds on reverse for MY.13.1889. Just prior to this letter being written on MR.15.1889, HMS 'Calliope' was in Apia harbour, Samoa with three American warships, three German warships and nine other smaller vessels. They were all sheltering from the 'Apia' hurricane, over the next 24 hours of this ferocious hurricane all the ships in harbour were either beached or wrecked on the surrounding reefs with the loss of 146 lives. The only ship to survive was HMS Calliope, as the situation worsened in the small harbour and ships were being wrecked around them, Capt. Henry Coen Kane decided at the height of the storm to escape the harbour to the relative safety of the open sea. Following the storm 'Calliope' re-entered the harbour to offer assistance, refuel and start making repairs, before limping to Sydney arriving on 4th April, the Governor, Lord Carrington, immediately declaring that the day of Calliope's arrival would be a public holiday as earlier reports had stated all ships were lost. An American Officer had left Apia the day before Calliope in a small schooner to intercept the mail boat and almost certainly carried this letter, which was then carried back to Europe by P&O steamer 'Brittania' via Aden, Port Said and Brindisi.


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GB 1889 SG172 Cover - Naval Officers Letter from Apia, Samoa - $1,835.10*

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