Victoria - Colonial: 1854-1900.
Telegraph Offices on the first line to New South Wales - the Albury (No. 1 and No. 2) lines.


There were three Branch lines associated with the main line constructed to Albury and Wodonga. The following table lists alphabetically all stations on the main line and on the branches. The hyperlinks lead to the appropriate webpage with the information for the required Office.

Avenel Beechworth Benalla Broadford Chiltern Euroa
Heathcote Homeward Kilmore Longwoood Puckapunyal Reedy Creek
Seymour Tallangatta Wallan Wangaratta Wodonga Yea



The Telegraph Office opened in November 1874 although a Railway Telegraph Office had opened in December 1872 - soon after the railway station had opened on 29 November. The Post Office had opened on 2 June 1858. Avenel was also on the Wood's Point line.

Avenel is where Ned Kelly was born and went to school. His brother and father are buried in the Avenel cemetery.


On the 23rd of August, 1856, Beechworth was by the proclamation of His Excellency, the Governor of the colony, created a municipality under the control of a Council of seven. It embraces an area of 1562 acres, including that portion of the Ovens gold field known as Spring Creek ... between that date and December 1860, amounts to no less than 1,282,451 ounces and 5 dwts. of gold have been processed through Beechworth" (see further details in the Ovens and Murray Advertiser of 28 September 1861).

Tenders for a Telegraph Station at Beechworth closed on 3 November 1857. In the Legislative Assembly on 6 January 1858, "Mr Aspinall asked the Treasurer whether the Government intended to rent some place as a temporary Telegraph Office at Beechworth, as was done at Longwood, pending the erection of the permanent office - Beechworth at present deriving no benefit though the telegraph is completed to Albury. Mr Ebden said that rooms had been rented for the purpose alluded to and the office would probably be opened on Tuesday next (12 January). Tenders had been already accepted for the erection of a permanent Telegraph Office".

On a postcard used on 2 January 1910

The temporary Telegraph Office was opened on 12 (?) January 1858. The Ovens and Murray Advertiser of 21 January 1858 reported:

"We are happy in being able to inform our readers that the necessary apparatus and instruments required for the Electric Telegraph Station in this town arrived last evening, and we believe we are correct in stating that the office will be open to the public for the transmission of messages etc. to day. The office hours will be from half past eight in the morning till eight in the evening on week days; on Sundays no business will be transacted. The only stations at present open on the line between Melbourne and Beechworth are at Kilmore and Longwood but offices are to be immediately erected at Benalla, Wangaratta and Belvoir".

The opening date for the permanent office is unclear. Alterations and repairs were however made in 1873.

Mr. Horrice Burkitt was gazetted as the Manager of the Beechworth Telegraph Office in lieu of J. J. Austin as from 1 January 1861. William Penn Hamilton was gazetted in October 1861 as Acting Manager of the Telegraph Office at Beechworth from 20th of August to 10th of September in lieu of Horace Burkitt who was absent on leave - but Horace returned on 11 September 1861.

The Ovens and Murray Advertiser noted on 16 March 1871 that "Captain Bance, the inspector of Post and Telegraph offices, arrived in Beechworth yesterday in the course of an official tour. His duties will be lighter than they were when the two offices were in separate buildings and he will no doubt see the great advantages which have resulted from combining them in the present handsome building".

The Ovens and Murray Advertiser reported a special incident on 23 January 1879:

"We regret to learn that an accident happened to Detective Ward last week. It seems that when in the act of calling up young Laycock, an operator in the telegraph office, at two o'clock in the morning, he fell down a trap some nine feet deep, causing a fracture of several ribs besides a sprained ankle. He is now in the hospital where, we are glad to learn, he is progressing favorably under the circumstances. At the present time his services can be ill-spared as he has proved himself to be an energetic and thoroughly efficient officer and we certainly wish him a speedy recovery". Maybe young Laycock will not again be called out after hours!!!

As an aside, the Ovens and Murray Advertiser of 26 March 1878 reported the trial of an amazing new technology:

"On Saturday evening, some exceedingly interesting experiments were made with the telephone in the Beechworth Telegraph Office and were attended with complete success. We have often heard of the wonders of the telephone and on Saturday had a practical illustration of the marvels which can be achieved by science. With Mr Scott, we held conversations with Mr McGaurin of Albury and with Mr. Cheyne of Wodonga and could talk with and receive answers from each as easily, as distinctly and as rapidly as if we were holding converse with them face to face. Each word was clear and there was not the slightest difficulty. It was rather a novel sensation standing in the Beechworth office and being able to talk by word of mouth with a person thirty miles away but so it was, the sound being transmitted instantaneously. A violin was played in the Wodonga office, and every note of the air "Ring the Bell, Watchman" and a waltz tune could be distinctly heard whilst in Beechworth a flute was played and equally well heard at the other end. A change in the voice could be at once detected, and the whole of the experiments were successful and demonstrated a proof of the wonders of electricity. It is contemplated to pursue the experiments further as we are convinced the new invention is capable of almost unlimited improvement".
Ah - only time will tell :-)

A non-telegraph aside about Beechworth which is included because no-one could make it up!!

"The gentlemen appointed by the Government to decide on the site for the Ovens district Lunatic Asylum — Mr Wardill, Inspector-General of Public Works; Dr. Paley, Superintendent of the Yarra Bend Asylum; and Dr. Barry, Chairman of the Lunacy Commission — arrived in Beechworth on Thursday last. The Constitution says that the site chosen by them is, we believe, situated in the neighborhood of the Benevolent Asylum; and seeing that 200 acres of land are considered necessary for the purpose, it certainly is the only eligible spot in our immediate neighborhood. Curiously enough, the lunatic asylum will be situated at Madman's Gully if this site is the one selected. The gentlemen were accompanied and assisted in their search by the Mayor and Dr. Slater; and we believe that £12,500 will be expended on the building this year".

The Post & Telegraph Office was issued with a 1 hole Belt & Buckle date stamp.

Used in black: 25 May 1889 to 24 April 1894.

Size: 27.5 × 39 mm (e = 0.71).

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 4.

29 April 1893.

25 May 1889 - earliest date than previously recorded by 2 years 7 months.

A very faint impression.
The "8" for the decade is very clear and the "9" is easily seen with magnification.
Similarly "BEECH.." can be clearly seen.

10 March 1894.

In February 1862, a severe storm hit the area. Part of the report on damage noted:

"A telegraph post near the Vine Tavern was also split downwards from the top by another flash, the effects of which were strongly and alarmingly felt in the Beechworth Telegraph Office. The operators describe the shock as detonating, like the report of a gun, and in an instant a line of fire ran over the machines, burning up the paper tapes, fusing the wire coils and charring all the wood work. Though the shock was unpleasantly felt by all in the office at the time, no serious mischief was done. It seems that the electric current was carried off to the wire which discharges down the well and which two men from the gaol were then at work on effecting some repairs on the pump. One of these men, startled by the explosion, laid hold of the discharging wire and was at once thrown on his back, more frightened than hurt, however, as it turned out".

An excellent description of the gas being connected at Beechworth in 1882 to light the Post and Telegraph Office can be accessed elsewhere.


The Telegraph Office in Benalla opened May 1858.

The tender for the erection of the Telegraph Office at Benalla was let in December 1857 to A. Amos & Co. for £1,005.

On 29 January 1881, the Commissioner of Public Works met with a number of Benalla gentlemen at Craven's Hotel. They raised with him the long-promised new Post and Telegraph Office buildings for Benalla. The Commissioner informed the delegation that "the local Shire Council could deal with that matter".

Benalla Post & Telegraph Office - a later view that that below - there is now a telegraph post (and a horse) outside.

Benalla Post Office on a postcard used on 18 February 1906.


21 April 1863: "Albion Charles Croft to be Manager of Electric Telegraph and Collector of Imposts, also to act as Postmaster at Benalla from 1st April, 1863 vice Krone".
Croft was transferred from Sandridge while the previous appointee at Benalla (Krone) was transferred to the new office at Swan Hill.

There was also another person of note at Benalla:

Sly Grog at Benalla.

A worthless character seems to have been making himself very conspicuous in the neighbourhood of Benalla of late, by his endeavours to bring evaders of the Wine and Spirits Act to punishment. On Saturday, five householders appeared at the Police Court to answer the charge of selling sly grog but, owing to the informer not having got over the effects of acquiring his information, the cases were postponed until Monday.

This individual, by name Payne - formerly Manager of the Electric Telegraph department at Kilmore - appeared to be labouring under the influence of spirituous excitement whilst in the witness box as he refused point blank to answer the questions put to him by the solicitor for the defence and the Police Magistrate. The Bench sent him to the lock-up for forty-eight hours, in order that he might have time to turn the questions over in his mind with a view to answering them on a future occasion. The police might certainly get hold of some better instrument than this for carrying out the law; the present is Payne's second appearance in Court, as an informer and each time the magistrates have been compelled to commit him".
(Ovens and Murray Advertiser 9 July 1867)

A Rail Telegraph Circuit was connected and an office opened at the Benalla Railway Station on 22 August 1873.

Early usage.

A message transmitted to Benalla from Seymour on 14 October 1878 and recorded on a transmission form (VC-TO-7A) is the earliest recorded form involving the Benalla Telegraph Office. It outlines the cases to be heard at the local District Court in Benalla. The form is also marked OHMS because it was transmitted on Government business.

The "crimes" to be heard were:

  • two cases illegal detention;
  • two interpleaders;
  • one trespass;
  • one indecent language;
  • one injury to property;
  • two school cases and:
  • three police cases drunk and disorderly, damaging uniform and damaging property.

Date stamps.

The Telegraph Office was issued with five formats of date stamps for use with the telegraphs.

  1. a 1 hole Belt and Buckle date stamp.

Used in black: 22 August 1890 and 24 May 1893.

Size: 27.5 × 38 mm (e = 0.69).

Rated: RRR.

  1. a rubber double oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO2-TO).

Used in violet: 17 September 1957 (only recorded date).

Size: 31.5 × 50 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

  1. a rubber rectangular horizontal TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RRH1-TO).

Used in violet: 18 May 1966 (only recorded date).

Size: 26 × 45 mm.

Rated: RRRR.



  1. a rubber double oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO2-TO).

Used in violet: 7 March 1968 (only recorded date).

Size: 29 × 50 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

  1. a rubber circular TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RC1 -TO ).

Used in black: 21 January 1981 (only recorded date).

Diameter: 31 mm, 1 mm side arcs.

Rated: common.

The usual postal date stamps were also used on telegram forms. Benalla
16 February 1906.

The Benalla Railway Station was issued with a double circle

Used in violet: 14 December 1972 (only recorded date).

Size: not known complete.

Rated: RRRR.



On 28 July 1870, the Chairman of the Broadford Board convened a meeting for Tuesday 2 July "to discuss the advisability of asking for a telegraph office at Broadford".

Telegraphic communication was opened to Broadford on 2 May 1872.

Not all was rosy in Broadford - even after the telegraph brought so much joy to the inhabitants. The Perth Inquirer of 27 March 1896 reported the decision by the local Rev. Raymond to ban dancing as being "not for for Christians' ears".


The Telegraph Office opened in August 1876.

On 10 December 1878, the Kelly Gang raided the Euroa National Bank and robbed it of £418 in £1 notes, £335 in £5, £680 in £10 notes, £100 in mixed notes, £311 in gold, £98 in silver, 31 oz of smelted gold, two revolvers, five bags of cartridges and one silver watch. On the night after the robbery, the Gang escaped to Ghin Ghin - three miles from Yea.

Fuller accounts of the robbery are provided in and in one of the Press Reports in The Argus of 13 September 1878. Even better is the following personal account given to me by Mr. John Watts:

"My Great Grandfather John Wesely Watts emigrated to Victoria from England in 1874 and became a Telegraph Line Repairer - eventually becoming Head Lines Foreman about 1907 before he retired. As part of their preparations to rob the Euroa Bank, the Kelly gang cut the Telegraph wires and bailed up everyone into the Faithfull's Creek Station’s storeroom.  John Wesley Watts was dispatched from Benalla to find the 'fault' and affect repairs.  He caught a train from Violet Town and about 5pm he alighted from the train, making his way to Faithfull’s Creek Station. He was made captive by Joe Byrne, one of the Kelly Gang who was left on guard, and placed with the other hostages".   

As with any bureaucracy, J. W. Watts was asked "to write out a report for the Department of what happened. A copy of his report was revived and got into the newspapers after he died in 1917".

Euroa Post & Telegraph Office.

In the Gazette of 6 December 1883, Mr. J. H. Brewer was announced as the successful tenderer for the construction of a new Post and Telegraph Office at Euroa at the tendered price of £1,665.

The Telegraph Office was burnt down in 1889 and moved into temporary accommodation pending the erection of another building.

Euroa was also on the Wood's Point line.

Euroa was issued with a 1 hole Belt & Buckle date stamp:
  1. Used in black: 1 June 1888 and 3 July 1893;

Size: 27.5 × 39 mm (e = 0.71).

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 7.

Euroa 1892
1 June 1888
(earliest recorded date).
July 3
3 July 1893
(latest recorded date).
An example of a scarce complete strike for the Euroa Belt and Buckle.
On a Shire of Euroa 1d apple-green PTPO envelope - a very scarce issue.

Prestige Philately December 2012 Lot 825.

Euroa cover
10 March 1890.
  1. Used in blue: 25 January 1890 to 8 June 1891.

Size: 27.5 × 39 mm (e = 0.71).

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 4.


Euroa 1891
7 November 1890.
June 8
8 June 1891.


The Post Office was originally established when Doogalook was renamed Homewood on 8 October 1894.

The Office closed on 10 October 1975.

It appears that the Office was issued with a T.O. date stamp.

Used: 20 April???.

20 April ??

The Telegraph connection was made in October 1857.

The Kilmore Examiner of November 1856 reported:
"We understand that the same physical agent which produces the forked lightning and all the dreaded phenomena of a thunder storm is to be made subservient for the purposes of communicating and receiving intelligence between Melbourne and Sydney. Our talented townsman, Mr Harrison, C.E., is employed with his staff in fixing the sites of the posts and we hope soon to see the wires carried forward through the whole length of the route".

Kilmore Post Office.

On 14 February 1860, Mr O'Shanassy asked the Hon. Treasurer "What are the intentions of the Government with respect to the erection of a Post Office at Kilmore?". Mr McCulloch replied in the affirmative but that the Post Office would be in connection with the Telegraph.

Meanwhile, on the same day, Mr Bailey noted in the House that

"given the want of a post office building at Kilmore, it was proposed, as approved by the Estimates of the current year, to amalgamate the Post Office and Telegraph.  The  telegraph station was erected on Government ground, situate about half-a-mile from the centre of the place, and the question yet under consideration was whether the present  telegraph  station should be abandoned, and a new building for both postal and telegraphic purposes erected in the township, or whether the present building should be continued for both departments".(Argus, 15 February 1860, p.5)

In October 1861, the Gazette announced a tender for £2293 from W. Hetherington had been accepted to construct a Post Office and Telegraph Station at Kilmore.

The Age of 18 June 1862 made the following strongly worded statement:

"A correspondent, writing from Kilmore, says "Are you aware who has been appointed lines man at the telegraph office, Kilmore? John Hayes, the leader of the rowdy mobs at the elections here and the staunch supporter of O'Shanassy. The appointment of Timothy Murray was bad enough but this is even worse. There is not a respectable man in the whole district that is not ashamed of the appointment".

In May 1874, there was a case of a kidnapping at the Station - which ended well thankfully due to the quick thinking of the child's mother.

On 29 November 1883, the Kilmore Free Press recorded that "The telegraph posts about here are being renewed and Mr. Hunt has made application to have some more sightly posts erected in the main street instead of the saplings the department is now providing".

In April 1885, "Miss Nelson, for some time engaged as assistant in our local post-office, left here on Monday to take charge of the post and telegraph office at Wandiligong. Miss Nelson, who is a native of this place, was always distinguished for her courtesy and obliging habits in her contact with the public who, whilst regretting her departure, are nevertheless pleased at her promotion to a more important position. Miss Nelson was made the recipient of a handsome album by her fellow employees as a token of the esteem in which they held her".
(Kilmore Free Press, 23 April 1885).

A Belt & Buckle date stamp was issued to the Telegraph Office.

Used in black: 26 January 1886.


Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Kilmore B&B
26 January 1886.

Kilmore B&B
Used on a postcard to Melbourne.
Prestige Philately September 2006 Lot 475.

In addition, the usual postal steel date stamp - a Barred Numeral 54 - was also used on telegrams. Kilmore BN
1 April 1895.
On telegram of type VC-DO-15B.

A report in the Geelong Advertiser of 22 May 1862 would have at least raised eyebrows if not a torrid of questions:

"The appointment of Murray, one of the persons sentenced with Mr. Costello to a term of imprisonment for the personation of voters at the Mornington election, to the office of line inspector of the electric telegraph department, Kilmore, has given rise to much indignation. Murray, it appears, had not been out of jail a week before Mr O'Shanassy found a vacancy for him and. without the slightest regard to his fitness or qualifications and without considering the propriety of submitting the appointment to the permanent or official head of the department, Murray was sent up to Kilmore. Such is the rumor and, if it be correct, a more flagrant act could scarcely be conceived and must, as a natural consequence, be brought under the notice of the Assembly. The Postmaster General may possibly consider it politic to wink at the breach of official routine in the appointment of Murray without being consulted in the matter but, it is alleged, that all appointments, both in the department of the Postmaster General as well as the Treasury are vested in Mr O'Shanassy in whose eyes a powerful qualification for office is the ability unscrupulously to render party service. Such conduct on the part of the Chief Secretary has been remonstrated about by his colleagues and cannot fail to excite considerable suspicion in the minds of the public".


The tender for the erection of the Telegraph Office at Longwood was let in December 1857 to Edmonds and Dawson for £830.

On 1 February 1861, the Gazette announced that Mr. Paul White was to be the Manager of the Post and Telegraph Office at Longwood from 1 January 1861 in lieu of Mr. J. W. Nunn who was being transferred to Creswick.

A Telegraph Office opened in December 1880 at the Railway Station.

Puckapunyal Mil. P.O.

A rectangular TELEGRAPH date stamp (RRH1-T) was issued to the office at the Military Camp:

Used: 10 May and 6 December 1967.

Size: 26 × 38 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2
(maybe 3 if a second example
with the later date can be confirmed).

10 May 1967.
Used on AA-DO-13D.

6 December 1967.
Used on AA-EO-18.

The Telegraph Office was opened in June 1865.

Seymour was a linkage office being also on other lines including the Wood's Point line.

Seymour Post & Telegraph Office 1920.

Constructing the Telegraph Office.

In January 1874, a tender was accepted from J. Fitzgerald to erect a new Post and Telegraph Office at Seymour for £1,480.

Soon after work had commenced, the Seymour Express of 5 May 1874 reported a case of kidnapping:

"Mrs. Burrows, wife of Mr. Martin Burrows, stonemason, now engaged in building the Post and Telegraph Office in Seymour, went to the Kilmore railway station on Thursday last, accompanied by her children, with the intention of visiting her husband. Before she got in the train, she missed one of her children, a boy about six years of age, and could not find him before the train had started, whereupon she telegraphed the loss of the boy to this town and, on the train arriving here, the guard searched for and secured the missing treasure in charge of a woman who was running away with him. The child was restored to its father here".

Operation of the Telegraph Office.

There was frequently difficulties with the hours of operation of a Telegraph Office. One such incident happened at Seymour in April 1870:

An old man named Bolerviski was stuck up near Seymour, on the evening of the 20th instant, by a highwayman supposed to be the ubiquitous Power, accompanied by a youth who was apparently serving an apprenticeship to what is becoming a profitable business in Victoria just now. The youth covered Bolerviski with a double-barrelled gun whilst Power robbed him of £6 and some other articles.

In connection with the matter, we may allude to an apparent want of management in the Telegraph Department. At 7.25 p.m. a telegram was delivered at the Seymour office, forwarding the particulars of the above to this journal. The man in charge of the Seymour branch spent about half-an hour calling "Kilmore" but received no answer - and of course the telegram could not be forwarded to its destination. Perhaps it is a matter that can be easily explained and, if it is, we should like to be enlightened on the subject. A copy of a telegram deposited by the police, to be sent to head quarters in Kilmore, met with the same fate.

Surely Power is not in league with the telegraph officers. Apart from what the value of our telegram would be, had we received it in time, we think as the public are interested as to what are the usual hours for transmission of messages, that if any laxity exists, it should be enquired into".
Kilmore Free Press 28 April 1870.

On 18 May 1870, Mr. Duffy gave notice, in the Legislative Assembly, of a question: "Whether the Government have taken into consideration a memorial asking for better police protection between Broadford and Yea".


"In June 1884, Harry J. Howson, formerly Postmaster at Seymour and latterly Telegraph Operator at Melbourne was exonerated from the charges of irregularity upon which he was discharged from the service and he has therefore been reinstated".

Early usage:

The earliest evidence of the operation of the Seymour Telegraph Office is a transmission form (VC-TO-7B) used for a telegram sent from Seymour to Nagambie on 24 December 1877.

Date stamps:

Three formats of date stamp were issued to the Office for use with telegraphic matters:

  1. a 2-hole Belt & Buckle date stamp.

Used in black: 1890 and 8 August 1892.

Size: RRR.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


8 August 1892.
  1. a rectangular rubber TELEGRAPH SECTION date stamp (RRH1-TS).

Used in violet: 8 December 1981 (only date and
seen on two examples).

Size: 30 × 39 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Numberin the Census: 2.

8 December 1981.
  1. an oval date stamp inscribed TELEGRAPH

Used in magenta: 22 June 1983.

Size: 26 × 37 mm (e = 0.71).

Rated: RRR.

22 June 1983.

Seymour Railway Station.

A special steel date stamp was also issued to the Telegraph Office at the Seymour Railway Station.

It was a double ring circular format (SC2-T).

Used in black: 3 February 1955.

Size: 35 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

3 February 1955.
Wallan Wallan Railway Station.

The Post Office in the town (2 kms from the Station) opened on 1 April. The railway line was opened on 22 April 1872 and a Telegraph Office was opened at the Railway Station in May 1872. Postal facilities were added 1 October 1873. The Office was later renamed Wallan Wallan East and it was closed in 1992.

Two date stamp formats were used:

  • Wallan Wallan RY Vic (24 mm diameter) between 8 February 1881 and 25 July 1892 in black and in violet on the first day also;
  • Wallan Wallan RLY STN Vic (23 mm diameter) between 21 March 1899 and 16 November 1908 in black. Also known used in blue on 8 November 1901 and in violet 30 September 1905.

Wallan RS
Wallan Wallan RLY STN.
10 January 1905.
Used in black 21 March 1899 to
16 November 1908.

Premier Postal Auctions January 2014 Lot 2640 plus the information about the date stamps.


The Telegraph Office was opened in July 1858.

The tender for the erection of the Telegraph Office at Wangaratta was let in December 1857 to A. Amos & Co. for £1,025.

William Shields was gazetted as the Manager of the Telegraph Office and Postmaster at Wangaratta from 12th August, 1861 in lieu of Arthur Poyntz who had been dismissed (see reference elsewhere).

A tender for a new Post and Telegraph Office building was let to L. Griffiths for £2,219 19s in May 1873. New premises were occupied in early 1874.

By 1884, there was a measure of discontent especially based on perceived bias in the treatment of offices on the Murray River (Shepparton, Yarrawonga and even Benalla, etc) compared to those of the Ovens ( e.g. Wangaratta). "We have to go no further than the two neighbouring towns of Benalla and Wangaratta to observe this pernicious system in full force. Benalla is crowded with new public buildings, which are kept in the neatest state of repairs while in Wangaratta, it has to be pointed out a dozen times that the fences round the public offices would be a disgrace to any private person who could afford to repair them, the Post Office has been left unpainted for eight or ten years, inside and out, the smoke from its office fire-places meet people in the face through the telegraph window instead of ascending the chimney, and as to the Post Office tower, promised by a former Minister, the Wangaratta people might as well ask for the keys of the gates of Paradise".

The importance of the Wangaratta Show increased each year so that, for the 1884 Show, a Telegraph Office was set up in the Secretary's Department. Messages could then be sent from or received at the Showground during the two days without having to go into the town for transmission.

Wangaratta Post & Telegraph Office about 1930.

A story of its time: THE KELLYS.

"The large crowd of persons who usually congregate at the Wangaratta Railway Station were very much astonished, if not alarmed, on last Wednesday evening, on the arrival of the train from Melbourne when, in the carriages, they noticed the black trackers with their leader, Lieutenant O'Connor, and their horses accompanied by several mounted constables. The general consensus of opinion was that the Kellys were again on the "war path" nay, more

  • they had been seen by both the driver and the guard of the Melbourne up-train between Barnawartha and Chiltern on Wednesday afternoon manipulating the telegraph posts and wires;
  • the post and wires were hanging down;
  • four suspicious-looking characters were observed tampering with the wires;
  • their horses were tied up to the fence not far the scene of their operations.

From general appearance of the men, they were much like the notorious gang. The driver and guard gave instant information what they saw — and quite right they did in so acting. The black trackers were at once despatched by the Melbourne train from Benalla at 8 o'clock - which reaches Wangaratta about 9 o'clock - with the intention of proceeding forthwith to Barnawartha.

On arriving at Wangaratta, it was discovered that they were rather premature in their movements. It appears that when a threshing-machine was being conveyed in a vehicle in the vicinity of Barnawartha, and owing to its elevated position, it came in contact with the telegraph wires and dragged them down considerably. The men, after having taken the threshing-machine to its destination, returned to repair the damage done and they were so engaged when the railway train passed; and the Kelly gang turned out to be four industrious selectors. The black trackers rested in Wangaratta the same night and returned to Benalla on the first train the following Thursday morning".

Ovens and Murray Advertiser, 24 January 1880.

The office was one of the first to be issued with a Belt & Buckle date stamp. The date stamp had one hole but it has not been recorded complete.

Used in black: 1881 to 1892;

Size: (not seen complete).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2

1 May 1889.

24 September 1890.
The NG of WANGARATTA is seen below the EL of TELEGRAPH and the TT is below the PH.

Used in blue: 1885 to 1892.

Size: (not seen complete).

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


Date unclear.

A Telegraph Office was also opened at the Wangaratta Railway Station at some time. This Office was also issued with a rare format of a date stamp (RO3-SMO) which was used with telegraphic activities.

Used in violet: 7 February 1955.

Size: 32 × 51 mm (e = 0.78).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

7 February 1955.
Used on AW-TO-10Ca.

Postal date stamps were also used for telegraphic activities.

Unframed date stamp.

Used on a telegram: 29 January 1900 to
30 October 1905.

Diameter: 23 mm.

Rated used on a telegram: RR.

Number in the Census: 5.

29 January 1900.
Used on form VC-DO-16B.


SC1-W framed date stamp.

Used on a telegram: 6 January 1912 to 30 April 1913.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated used on a telegram: RR.

Number in the Census: 2.


30 April 1913.
Used on VI-DO-3Db.
Wodonga (Belvoir).

In November 1857, the Government advertised tenders for the construction of 10 Telegraph Offices in conjunction with the first telegraph lines to South Australia and to New South Wales. Belvoir was one of those Offices. The Telegraph Office opened in January 1858.

Originally named Wodonga, its name was changed to Belvoir then later back to Wodonga. The Post Office opened 1 June 1856 although known as Belvoir until 26 July 1869.

In 1858, a small boy, 13 years of age, was employed as a messenger in the telegraph office at Wodonga in Victoria. He received as a remuneration thirty shillings per week and sixpence per mile for all messages conveyed by his hands. His earnings amounted to about £3 weekly. Across in NSW, the Albury Postmaster, who filled a responsible office and was burdened with the performance of heavy duties, received the paltry pittance of £1 18s. 6d. weekly.

Mr Anthony Cheyne had the position of Post and Telegraph Master for 12 years but was transferred to Wangaratta in January 1882. Mr Joseph Arundel replaced him on 18 January 1882.

The Office was issued with three date stamps for use with telegraphs:
  1. a 1 hole Belt & Buckle date stamp.

Used in black: 17 November 1890 to
18 October 1893.

Size: 27 × 38 mm (0.70).

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 4.

10 October 1892.
On a 6d blue Stamp Duty.

21 July 1893.

Used in blue: 7 March 1891.

Size: 27 × 38 mm (0.70).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

17 November 1890.
(earliest recorded date).

Provenance: Elsmore, Johnstone.

7 March 1891.
  1. a horizontal rectangular (RRH1-TO)

Used: 13 November 1953 (only recorded date).

Size: 23 × 30 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Wodonga 1951
13 November 1951.
Partial strike on flap of OHMS envelope sent from Yakandandah to Kergunyah.

3. a horizontal rectangular (RRH1 - TO)
date stamp.

Used in pink: 4 September 1984 (only recorded date).

Size: 27 × 48 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 3.

At least two examples are recorded. Another has a
significantly incomplete frame on the lower half.

4 September 1984.

Used in purple: 3 August 1988.

Size: 25 × 48 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

3 August 1988.
A circular rubber date stamp was also used at the Telegraph Office located at the Railway Station.
That Office was opened in about 1910 and closed on 1 July 1977.

Used in purple: 3 February 1970..

Diameter: 35 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

There may be additional examples of this date stamp.
Dates reported range from 3 February to 8 February 1870.

3 February 1970 - earliest recorded date.
Used on piece.