Queensland - Colonial: 1861-1900.
Urgent rate delivery form: QC-DU-1.

General characteristics:

Heading and notes: URGENT above Crest which is above
Message area: 60 boxes in 12 rows numbered at left.
Reverse side: Blank.
Colours (text & form): Orange on cream paper.
Size of form overall: 215 × 235 mm.
Distinctive characteristics of this form:

The introduction of URGENT telegrams in Queensland.

In the 1 January Government Gazette and the January 1880 Postal Guide, it was noted that

"on and after the 1st day of January, 1880 telegrams marked "urgent" will be received at any telegraph station within the colony and transmitted as "urgent messages" in the order of their priority.
Such messages will take precedence of all ordinary messages and will be charged at double rates

On 13 March 1880, the Brisbane Courier reported a Government decision as follows: "It is notified for general information that the system of urgent telegraphic messages has been extended to the transmission of telegraphic money-orders. Orders advised by urgent telegram will therefore obtain precedence over all other money orders sent by wire, double rates being charged".

In the proceedings of the Intercolonial Postal Conference held in Adelaide in May 1890, there is the following statement:

"In Queensland, the system (of urgent rate telegrams) was adopted as far back as 1880 and it worked very well. The Post Office authorities would no more think of abolishing the urgent telegram system than they would think of raising the rates of telegrams. No complaint had ever been made against the system, which has really worked admirably from the time it had been started".

It was at least 10 years later that Victoria introduced such a system - but no Victorian URGENT forms were printed.

In the 27 May 1892 issue of the Telegraph Regulations, it was stated:

The word IMMEDIATE - used by some of the other Colonies to indicate an URGENT delivery was required - was not used in Queensland in connection with telegraphs.


The first URGENT RATE delivery form recorded in Queensland

DU-1 82
Provenance: Dave Elsmore.

Townsville to Herberton.
7 October 1882 (confirmed on reverse).

Has an early Electric Telegraph Office (BO7-ETO) date stamp.


  • has URGENT marked at top;
  • heading is in large gothic font with rounded and enclosed E;
  • heading starts to the right of the dotted line for "Wds.";
  • date begins "188__";
  • boxes numbered 1 to 60 on left only in 12 rows of 5.

Provenance: Elsmore, Johnstone.
Top half of another DU-1 form showing the Crest and another Herberton Electric Telegraph Office date stamp.

Used 21 November 1882.

Details of use and rarity.

Schedule number Earliest recorded date Rarity rating
DU-1 None. 7 October 1882 at Herberton. RRRR