New South Wales: 1858-1988.
Telegraph Offices in the north-west region.


The Telegraph Office was opened on 2 August 1873. It was combined with the Post Office on 18 July 1879. In anticipation of that amalgamation happening, a tender was let for the construction of a new Post & Telegraph Office on 26 November, 1878.

A Post Office had opened in Bourke on 22 July 1862.

Bourke is 781 km from Sydney.

Bourke Post & Telegraph Office with Cobb & Co. mail coach outside.
Building constructed in 1880 and addition to front added later.

Bourke 1961
Bourke - usual postal date stamp.
25 May 1961.

Diameter: 32 mm.

Used on AA-DO-13B.

Bourke c1910
Bourke Post & Telegraph Office about 1885.

FIRE AT BOURKE: The Central Australasian 21 Nov. 1874 reported:

"On Sunday morning, between 5 and 6 o'clock, a Servant at Tattersall's Hotel heard a crackling, like wood burning, and opened her bedroom door and saw smoke issuing from an adjoining room. She at once roused Mr. Sproule and the whole house, which was full of company and everyone set to work to put out the fire but it was too late.

They soon found that nothing could save the wood cottage adjoining the brick house, which was subsequently entirely destroyed; and they had the greatest difficulty in saving the brick house, which caught fire several times. The wind, which was blowing onto the brick house, veered round towards the back of the Telegraph Office, otherwise perhaps the brick house would also have been lost. As it was, the kitchen of the Telegraph Office caught fire and then extended to the Telegraph Office which was totally destroyed. Mr. Wallace's house also caught fire, and Mr. Becker then gave instructions to pull down Mr. O'Loughlan's place of business to save the houses beyond it but fortunately the fire did not extend so far.

Mr. Trader succeeded in saving the telegraph instruments and on Monday opened a temporary office at Mr. Garot's, on the opposite side of the road".

Bourke Railway Station.

A Telegraph Office was opened at the Bourke Railway Station on 14 September 1894. It was closed in 1900.

Bourke RS
Bourke Railway Station about 1894.
Broken Hill (Willyama).

The Telegraph Office was opened on 2 August 1886 and merged with the Post Office 11 days later (on 13 August). The Post Office had only been opened on 1 January of that year.

In 1888, the NSW Government began to develop the town extensively. The SA Register of 16 May 1888 noted "the present Post Office, which is itself an improvement on its primitive predecessor, will be replaced by an attractive and commodious building ... There will be a Post-Office at the Pinnacles and telegraph communication to Puraamoota". 

In June 1942, Broken Hill employed its first girl telegram messenger - Valarie Larssen. The postmaster "explained" it was becoming more difficult to obtain boys for the job. Only four months later, the Barrier Miner of 24 October 1942 announced "another field into which the female sex has entered is that of the telegram messengers. A girl 'Toti' Stacey has started at the Post Office delivering telegrams. Riding a post office cycle, she is very efficient".

Broken Hill 1
Broken Hill 2
Showing the entrance to the Telegraph Office.
Broken Hill 2
Four formats of date stamp were issued to Broken Hill Office for use with telegraphic business:
  1. A rubber double oval (RO2) BROKEN HILL /NSW.

Used in violet: about the time of Federation.

Size: 23 × 40 mm (e = 0.82).

Rated: RRR.

BH oval 1900
17 January 1900.
  1. TELEGRAPHS BROKEN HILL at the top and N.S.W. at the base with centered dots between the top and the base inscriptions.

    Used: 5 August (?) 1935.

    Diameter: 27.5 mm.

    Rated: RRRR.

    Number in the Census: 1.


5 August (?) 1935.
  1. TELEGRAPHS at the top and BROKEN HILL at the base. No reference to NSW.

Has 1 mm side arcs.

Used: 21 January 1946 to 2 July 1951 (on a Gold FDC).

Diameter: 27.5 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 4.

BH Teleg
21 January 1946.

BH Teleg
32 (sic) August 1948.
(probably Wednesday 1 Sept.)
  1. the usual Broken Hill postal date stamp was also used on telegrams after 1893.

Broken Hill 1896
20 July 1896.
Telegraph Offices were also opened at:
  • the Broken Hill Racecourse in 1905.

It only operated for race meetings and it closed about 1930 or 1931.

  • the Broken Hill Railway Station on 19 January 1892.
  • It combined with the Post Office at the Railway Station two days later.

    On 1 March 1905, the name changed to Broken Hill Railway Town. This Office closed on 30 January 1987.

    31 May 1937.

    The Telegraph Office was opened on 29 April 1881 and merged with the Post Office six months later on 28 October 1881 - a month before a fire, which started in the Metropolitan Hotel, destroyed "a considerable portion of the town".

    The Cobar Post Office had opened on 1 March 1873.


    Cobar Post & Telegraph Office (circa 1890).


    Cobar Post & Telegraph Office (side view).
    Cobar 1904
    The staff at the Cobar Post & Telegraph Office about 1904.
    The youngest would probably be telegram messengers.
    The poster on the wall shows the "Timetable for English Mails".

    The Office was issued with a TELEGRAPHS date stamp (RC1-T):

    Used: 16 October 1965.

    Diameter: 31 mm.

    Rated: RRR.

    Number in the Census: 2.

    Cobar RC1-T
    16 October 1965.
    Used on AA-TO-13D (ERD).
    Date stamp has been pushed
    out of its circular shape.

    The usual postal date stamp was also used at Cobar on telegrams.

    Type 2C date stamp

    Cobar 1936
    4 September 1936.
    On 1/4 KGV turquoise
    which was used to pay the
    inter-state rate until 1938.


    The Louth Telegraph Office opened on 15 April 1878 and merged with the Post Office on 1 December 1880.

    The Louth Post Office had opened on 1 March 1869 but was closed from 30 June 1871 to 4 August 1873.

    Louth is 842 km from Sydney.

    Louth Post & Telegraph Office (circa 1900).


    The Telegraph Office opened on 3 December 1877 and merged with the Post Office on 11 July 1878.

    Changed name from Perry on 1 July 1866 and changed name to Menindee on 15 April 1918.

    16 October 1916.


    A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 25 August 1885.


    No special date stamp was issued to Silverton for use with telegraphic business. Instead the usual postal date stamp was used.

    Diameter: 24 mm.

    H&T Type 1D (i).


    Silverton 1905
    22 July 1906.
    Used on 9d Commonwealth issue
    which could be used to pay the cost
    of a 16 word ordinary rate telegram
    to a destination within NSW.

    The Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 16 March 1878.

    The Post Office had opened as Mount Murchison on 1 January 1860. It was moved 5 kms to the town and changed name to Wilcannia on 1 June 1868.

    In 1878, part of the Wharf Reserve on the Darling River was set aside for a new building and it was occupied on 27 June 1880.

    By 1870, Wilcannia had a store and post office, with a few residents living at the foot of Mount Murchison. Its chief claim to importance was that it was the headquarters of the Crown Lands Commissioner of the Albert Pastoral District, Mr. John Chadwick Moore, who had fixed the site for a town in 1864.

    Until 1871, there was not a church of any denomination from Wentworth to Walgett, a distance of nearly 1200 miles.

    When the Mt. Browne gold fields were discovered in January, 1881, the work at the Wilcannia office increased so much that a resident warden was appointed at Milparinka and clerical assistance was granted to the Post Master at Wilcannia.

    The only date stamp provided to the office for use with telegrams was a rubber date stamp. It was used with red ink about 1959.

    A rubber circular TELEGRAPHS date stamp (RC1 - T) was used at the Office:

    Used in red: 2 May 1959.

    Diameter: 31 mm.

    Rated: RRR.

    Number in the Census: 1.

    Wilcannia 1959
    2 May 1959.
    Used on AW-DO-10 (56).

    The usual postal date stamp was also used at Wilcannia for telegraphic business.

    Type 1D (i) date stamp.

    Used 1884-1906.

    Wilcannia 1897
    21 December 1897.