Ascension Island

5/05/2012     Ascension Island

A remote and rocky island in the South Atlantic Ocean, that remained uninhabited until 1815. It was garrisoned as a safeguard by British troops, in order to prevent any attempt of rescuing Napoleon from St. Helena (690 miles to the South East).

Until 1922 it remained primarily a Naval Establishment, serving as a coaling station on the way around the Cape. Mail was exchanged in the 'time honoured' way, of outbound and inbound ships stopping off and leaving or collecting mail from sheltered spots (including 'bottle' post!) A Post Office was eventually established in 1860. As long as mail bore sufficient postage (GB stamps), it was generally forwarded in the usual manner. Unfranked mail was forwarded to be delivered with Postage Due.

Ascension became a Dependency of St. Helena in 1922. The first set of stamps to be issued were the St. Helena 1912-16 and 1922 issues overprinted 'Ascension'. A later set with the 'Badge of the Colony' was issued in 1924, and in 1934 there was a Pictorial set of Maps and Views. This latter set was then re-issued with the vignette of George VI. During its life however, there were many variations of perforations, colours, shades and printing errors.

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