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Falkland Islands Dependencies

Graham Land

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED: 12 February 1944.

South Georgia


South Orkneys

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED: 21 February 1944.

South Shetlands


FIRST GENERAL STAMPS: for above four territories 1 February 1946. All stamps withdrawn 16 July 1963.


As Falklands

The most interesting period of their postal history was during the use of Falkland Island stamps.

South Georgia

A British Antarctic Survey base (including the uninhabited South Sandwich Islands) which had a resident population of 22 in 1974.

Separate stamps resumed 17 July 1963.

The island was seized by the Argentinians during the occupation of Falkland Islands in 1982. It was the site of the first action between British and Argentinian forces in May of that year and was reoccupied.

British Antarctic Territory

FIRST GENERAL ISSUE: 1 February 1963.


1963, sterling.

1971, decimal currency.

Designated 3 March 1962, comprising former Dependencies of Falkland Islands (except South Georgia) and Antarctica. Has a population of 81 scientists serviced by two Royal Research ships and two light aircraft. Deception Island was abandoned in 1969 after eruptions had partially wrecked the station.

French Southern and Antarctic Territories (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises)

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED: 2 November 1955.


1955, 100 centimes = 1 franc.

French overseas territory consisting of the Crozet Archipelago (1772), the islands of St Paul, New Amsterdam (claimed by France 21 November 1924) and Kerguelen (reoccupied in1949), and Adelie Land. This was created on 6 August 1955 owing to the imminent independence of Madagascar of which they had been dependencies. The territory is now administered from Reunion (q.v.).

Kerguelen used stamps of France in 1906-26 cancelled by the cachet of the Resident. Letters are known routed via Cape Town, Durban, Bumbury (Australia), or Madagascar.

Used stamps of Madagascar from c. 1948 (A stamp of Madagascar was overprinted TERRE ADELIE on 26 October 1948 to honour its discovery in 1840).

Australian Antarctic Territory

FIRST STAMPS: Australia 1947-57.

(Australian release date; first day of issue in Antarctica 11 December 1957). All stamps are valid for use in Australia.


1956, as Australia

Comprises all the islands and territory other than Adelie Land situated south of lat. 600s. and between long. 1600 and 450E. Macquarie Island was claimed by New South Wales in 1810 and controlled from Tasmania by 1891. Visited since 1831, the mainland territory was claimed on 24 August 1936, though a base was not established until 11 February 1954. Heard Island had been visited at intervals by explorers and sealers from 1833, but effective control with a permanent base was not exercised until 26 December 1947 when the Australian flag was raised.

Mail is known from numerous Antarctic expeditions: Mawson in 1911 (used stamps of Tasmania), Shackleton in 1921-2 (used stamps of Britain), Mawson again in 1929-31 (used stamps of Australia), and the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) of 1947- 65. The five permanent bases with POs are Heard Island (opened 25 December 1947); Macquarie Island (7 March 1948); Mawson (15 February 1954); Davis (14 January 1957); Wilkes (1 February 1959).

Used stamps of Australia 1947-57.

Ross Dependency

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED: 11 January 1957.


1957, sterling.

1968, 100 cents = 1 New Zealand dollar.

A sector of Antarctica and various islands between long. 1600E. and 1500W. and south of lat. 600S. It includes the Ross Sea whose shores provided bases for Shackleton and Scott. Named after J. Clark Ross, who was knighted in 1831 for his discovery of the North Magnetic Pole. The region was formally claimed by Britain on 30 July 1923 on behalf of New Zealand, and was shortly afterwards made a dependency of New Zealand. A base was established from New Zealand by Sir Edmund Hillary.

Stamps of New Zealand overprinted KING EDWARD VII LAND were used by the Shackleton Expedition of 1908. Prior to leaving New Zealand the explorer had been appointed postmaster of King Edward VII Land by the postal department and had been issued with stamps and a cancellation.

Stamps of New Zealand overprinted VICTORIA LAND were used by the Scott Expedition of 1910-12. The party left London on 1 June 1910 and New Zealand on 29 November. Special stamps and a cancellation were provided. PO was opened at Cape Evans on 3 January 1911. Scott and his party died during their return from the South Pole early in 1912.

Antarctica to 1963
Click map for larger view

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