Western Australia: 1869-1988.
Telegraph Offices in the Southern region.


The Post & Telegraph Offices on the Southern line are listed in the table below:

Albany Arthur River Balbarrup Bal(l)ingup Bannister Barabup
Beaconsfield Boyanup Bridgetown Broomehill Bunbury Busselton
  Capel Cape Leeuwin Coalville Cookernup Curanup
Dardanup Donnybrook   East Fremantle Fremantle  
Gnowangerup Greenbushes Harvey   Jarrahdale Karridale
Katanning King George's Sound Kojonup Margaret River Mandurah Manjimup
Mornington Mount Barker North Fremantle   Pinjarra(h) Preston
Quindalap South Fremantle Wandering Waroona Williams River Yarloop

The Southern Region of Western Australia is now defined officially as being comprised of three parts - Peel, South-West and Great Southern. Hence Offices as far south as Arthur River are now classified as being in the Wheatbelt region.

The telegraph construction architects and construction workers in the second half of the 19th century did not use these distinctions. The telegraph lines were constructed with the defined purpose of getting communications along the western coast and across to Albany.

Albany (King George's Sound).

Albany was established as an outpost of NSW in 1827 to help combat any territorial ambitions the French may have. It is located on the western side of King George's Sound and the terms became to be used interchangeably to some extent. King George's Sound (from 1805) referred to the harbour while Albany was the settlement on the western shore. It is now King George Sound - because the geographical names people didn't like using possessive apostrophes (') as from the mid-1930s.

The Telegraph Office opened in Albany K.G.S., combined with the Post Office, on 22 December 1872. The Albany Post Office had opened on 14 October 1834.

Albany had been considered as a possible cable station in the planning of the All-Red route as well as for the cable to Mauritius and Durban.

King George's Sound was the first and last port for the English mails (inbound and outbound) as well as for a quarterly shipping service to Singapore. From Albany, the mails were carried by pack horses to Perth in a journey taking about 6½ days.

King George's Sound was also the last port for ANZAC troops being taken to Europe and the first Australian port for the few who returned. It was the only deepwater port in Western Australia until 1897 when Fremantle Port was established.

About 16 January 1896, quadruplex instruments were fitted and tested in a new telegraph office which was then opened to the public on the following day.


Scanned from a Postcard printed in Australia.


Reverse side of the Post Office.
Scanned from a Norman Bros, Albany. Postcard printed in Great Britain.


Site view of the Albany Post Office.
Scanned from a F. E. Morgan, Albany Postcard printed in Germany.

As aside to the usual problems at the Albany Telegraph Office, the Western Mail of 22 December 1894 reported the following incident:

"The train with the colonial mails left Albany for Perth at five o'clock on Sunday afternoon. The notification of this fact was posted at the telegraph office, but back to front, with the blank back of the paper to the public view. A wag, possibly a recent arrival, evidently unfavourably impressed by his first expérience of the colony, had stuck up over the notice paper on a piece of stamp waste the comment, "Symbolical of W.A., a blank fraud."

Telegram use:

The earliest recorded telegram form used at Albany is the delivery form WC-DO-4Aa used for a telegram from Perth to Albany on on 13 December 1889.

Personnel:

In 1894, the staff at the Albany Post and Telegraph Office comprised:

    • the Post and Telegraph Master;
    • 3 clerks;
    • 1 assistant;
    • 3 operators;
    • 1 booking clerk (appointed during the year);
    • 2 messengers;
    • 2 letter carriers;
    • 1 lineman;
    • 1 native assistant.

It was proposed to increase the operators to 4 to bring the total staff up to 16.

1887+: Alfred N. Piesse was appointed as a Telegraphist after having served at Northam until 1883 and from 1884 at Esperance, Eucla and Israelite Bay.

Gouldner (2002) lists no Telegraph date stamps for Albany.

 

   

1. The Office was however issued with at least four rubber TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamps.

1. The first was a rubber oval date stamp (RO6- TO) inscribed TELEGRAPH OFFICE/ALBANY K.G.S.:

Used in red: 2 December 1889 to 28 July 1890.

Size: 25 × 38 mm ( e = 0.75).

Rated: RR;.

Number in the Census: 9.


2 December 1889.
on WC-TO-3.
 
28 July 1890.
On WC-DO-4A (with 6d to Collect at Perth).
2A. A second rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO2-TO)
was also used. ALBANY was in 3 mm high letters.

Has stops after OFFICE and after ALBANY.

Used: 9 August 1946 and 17 January 1947.

Size: 30 × 51 mm (e = 0.81).

Rated: RRRR;

No. in the Census: 2.


9 August 1946.
Used on AW-DO-10 (1944) amd
its accompanying delivery envelope (AW-DO-12A).

 

 

17 January 1947.
Used on AW-DO-10 (1944).

2B. A variation of the above second rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO2-TO) was also used. ALBANY was in 2 mm high letters.
Slight difference in size (but not eccentricity) and has no stops after OFFICE or ALBANY.

Used: 10 April 1961 and 19 July 1965.

Size: 29 × 48 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR;

No. in the Census: 2.


10 April 1961.
Used on a delivery form AA-DO-13B
with a unique OVERSEAS TELEGRAM label.
Provenance: Malcolm Brown, W.A.

  Alb 1965
19 July 1965.
3. A third rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO2-TO)
was also used. It included "W,A. 6330" at the base and ALBANY was in
3 mm high letters.

Used: 19 July 1965.

Size: 30 × 49 mm.

Rated: RRRR;

No. in the Census: 1.

Alb 1975
10 October 1975.
4. A fourth TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp, having a rectangular shape (RR1-TO), was also used:

Used: 24 December 1969.

Size: 31 × 59 mm.

Rated: RRRR;

No. in the Census: 1.

Albany RR1
24 December 1969.

The usual postal date stamp - across many variations - was also used on telegrams:

Diameter: 25.5 mm.

Albany 1916
3 March 1916.
Used on WI-DI-2A.

Balbarrup (Blackwood).

A Post Office was opened at Blackwood on 1 January 1865. Blackwood was renamed as Balbarrup Post Office in February 1872 and then redesignated as Balbarrup Post & Telegraph Office on 29 February 1896.

On 1 January 1903, the Office was downgraded to an Allowance Office.

Personnel:

John Giblett and his three daughters had been responsible for the postal services to the entire district since the early 1860s (as summarised in a wonderful account by John Stewart for the ABC). The progression of personnel is described in Stewart's wonderful and well researched account.

1896: Miss Pollard was appointed Post & Telegraph Mistress.

August 1897: "An ex- telegraph operator named Charles Street was yesterday committed for trial at Bunbury on a charge of having forged the name of Mr. Edward McLarty to a cheque".

The Office was issued with two formats of a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp:

  1. a RO7-P&TO:

Used: 2 November 1897.

Size: ??

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


2 November 1897.

  1. a RO2-P&TO:

Used: 18 April 1901(?).

Size: 26 × 40 mm (e = 0.76).

Rated: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


18 April 1901(?).

Bal(l)ingup.

In November 1897, £650 was allocated in the Estimates for the Post and Telegraph Office. The Telegraph Office at Balingup was opened on 25 March 1899 (according to the report in the Southern Times of 28 March 1899).

The Postmistress was Miss F. Giblett.

No special date stamp is recorded as having been issued to the office for use with Telegraphs.  

Barabup.

Barabup is about 80 km east of Margaret River. "The WA Jarrah Saw Mills Company erected a mill in Barabup in 1908, which was taken over by the Kauri Timber Co. in 1912. In 1913, the company built a vertical log handmill, of the American type, at Ellis Creek - the first of its kind in WA" (see Nannup Town Planning document (c. 2000)).

It appears that the previous name had been Barrabup. It was established as an Allowance Office on 1 December 1909 and changed to an Official Office on 15 July 11. About 1915-18, the spelling was changed. For example the Barrabup School was renamed Barabup School in 1918. A Post and Telegraph Office was also opened (date unknown but about 1915) - presumably to service the Saw Mills and some other smaller commercial enterprisesbalbarrup.

A steel Barabup date stamp for the Post Office was made under a continued 1907 contract with Cumpston and Mason and issued on 11 January 1916. Perhaps the Post & Telegraph rubber oval was made soon after - it certainly looks to have sharp edges.

A rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp (RO7-P&TO) was issued to the office:

Used: 9 February 1916.

Size: 27 × 46 mm (e = 0.81).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


9 February 1916.
Mr Chas Bates was Postmaster at Barabup from 1913 to 1922 and was respected far and wide. On his transfer to Dumbelyung, a major festivity was held in honour of Chas and his wife with a special train bringing guests from Ellis Creek and Nannup.

Beaconsfield.

The West Australian of 2 July 1894 reported "A petition signed by 70 residents of Beaconsfield was forwarded to the Postmaster General a fortnight ago, asking that a Post Office be established in that suburb. The petitioners pointed out that there were over 300 houses in the district, and that the only postal facility enjoyed was a pillar box in Hampton Street which was only cleared at 6 o'clock each morning. There were, however, three or four deliveries. The Postmaster General has replied stating that the establishment of a Post Office at Beaconsfield has been decided upon and he has arranged with Mr.L. J.Stirling, the Postmaster at Fremantle, to select a suitable site for the building. Mr. Stirling will probably report in a few days".

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened at Beaconsfield on 1 August 1894. The Western Mail of 4 August reported "A Post and Telegraph office having been opened at Beaconsfield, the principal southern suburb of Fremantle, Mr. E. Solomon, M.L.A. on Wednesday sent the following telegram to the Postmaster -General. "Thanks from people of Beaconsfield for the establishment of Post and Telegraph Office".

The Postmaster-General replied: "I congratulate you and the inhabitants of Beaconsfield upon the establishment of a Post and Telegraph Office in your rising suburb and am very pleased to have been able to assist in providing such a long felt want".

The people of Beaconsfield who now number over 500 persons, express much satisfaction at the provision of postal and telegraph conveniences in their midst".

It changed name to South Fremantle on 1 April 1904.

There is no record of a date stamp being issued to the Office for use with Telegraphs.

Boyanup.

A postal depot opened at Boyanup as a RMB in January 1895. It was upgraded:

    1. to a Post Office in November 1898;
    2. to a Post & Telegraph Office 11 January 1899.


Boyanup Post & Telegraph Office about 1950.

Two rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamps were issued to the Boyanup Office.
1. A Post & Telegraph Office
(RO2-P&TO).
Small crosses for separation are level with the date.

Used in violet: 7 February 1899 - 10 March 1900.

Size: 26 × 41 mm (e = 0.77).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 4.

 


7 February 1899.
Used less than 1 month aftre the Office became a Post and Telegraph Office.


17 April 1899.
ACE Auctions March 2023, Lot 838.

Boyanup 1900
10 March 1900.

Used in black: 18 December 1899.

Size: 26 × 41 mm (e = 0.77).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


18 December 1899.

Used in blue: 2 May 1916.

Size: 26 × 41 mm (e = 0.77).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


2 May 1916.
 

Bridgetown.

Formerly known as Geejelup.

A Post Office was opened in February 1872 and upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 30 November 1886.

The Office was issued with four formats of rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamps:

  1. RO2 - P&TO (has W.A. at base).

Used in blue: 3 November 1899 - 1900.

Size:

Rarity: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


3 November 1899.
  1. RO7 - P&TO (has W.A. at base).
    Has separation stars below and above the horizontal.

Size: 23.5 × 47 mm (e = 0.87).

Use: 7 [JUN] 1912 and 11 June 1912.

Rarity: RRRR.

No. in the Census: 2.


7 [JUN] 1912.
 
11 June 1912.
On reverse side of an unclaimed registered letter from the Land Titles Office to Perth and Bulong returned to the Dead Letter Office.
  1. RO7 - P&TO (no WA at base).
    Has separation stars just above the middle horizontal. Also lettering for BRIDGETOWN is much larger.

Used in violet: 28 January 1916 and
7 August 1917.

Size: 24 × 47 mm (e = 0.87).

Rarity: RRR.

No. in the Census: 2.


28 January 1916.
 
7 August 1917.
  1. RO7 - P&TO (has post code).

Size:

Use: about 1982.

Rarity: R.

 
Broomehill.

A Post Office was opened at Broomehill in 1890. This Office was upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 5 August 1893.

The township was given a major boost when the Great Southern Railway was constructed though it. As a consequence, the town of Eticup - about 4 miles away - began to decline.


Broomehill Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.

In October 1892, a tender was accepted from Mr. Wm. Trott to construct the Broomehill Post and Telegraph Office and quarters for £ 978.

Personnel:

August 1893: Mr. J. W. C. Bird was appointed to be the first in charge of the Broomhill Post and Telegraph Office.

A rubber oval date stamp is recorded as having been issued to Broomehill:

RO6 - P&TO:

Used: about 1903.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 
Bunbury.

The Post & Telegraph Office opened on 27 February 1872. A Post Office had been established on 15 July 1841.

The Evening Times of 2 July 1888 reported: "The villa residence of Mr. E. Woodrow, the Bunbury Postmaster and Telegraph Station master, has now been completed and that gentleman and his family have removed into his new house. The building is one of the best finished houses in Bunbury, the contractors, Messrs. J. and H. Gibbs, having constructed the building with every modern appliance for the convenience of the occupants".

In May 1894, it was announced that the lowest tender for the new Post & Telegraph Office had been submitted by Mr. A. Pugh. The new building was supposed to be ready for occupation about the beginning of March 1895 - but the Western Mail of 6 April 1895 reported: "Sir John Forrest, the Premier and member for Bunbury, was on Tuesday informed by telegraph of the opening of the new Bunbury Post Office. Mr. E. M. Clarke, the Mayor of Bunbury, wired on behalf of the inhabitants of Bunbury: "I desire to convey our sincere thanks for the liberal provision made by the Government in the Post Office building here, which we officially used today. We recognise our indebtedness to you personally in this matter. Sir John Forrest replied: "I rejoice with you that Bunbury has been provided with a suitable Post Office and thank you on behalf of the Government for your kind telegram. To me personally this Post Office will always be associated with the generous friendship and support I have all my life received from my old friends at Bunbury and the Southern Districts".

The Office used the call signal B.

Personnel:

December 1875: Mr. Josiah Woodrough was appointed Postmaster and Telegraphis at Bunbury to replace Mr. C. Clifton.

September 1882: "Mr. Steere drew attention to the bad condition of the working of the telegraph between Bunbury and Perth. Scarcely a day elapsed when there was not great difficulty in getting a message forwarded. He had asked the Superintendent the reason and had been informed that the junior Telegraph Operator was so deaf that he could not hear He was otherwise a good boy and could perhaps be transferred to some other employment" (Legislative Council, 7 September 1882).

July 1888: Mr E. Woodrow (of course).

January 1891: Mr. W. Stewart was appointed as Linesman at Bunbury having been transferred from Roebourne where he was Linesman.

Mr. A. McKenzie was appointed Linesman to replace Mr. Stewart.

September 1895: Mr. T. Roberts, Telegraph Operator was transferred to be in charge of the Coolgardie Telegraph Office. He was succeeded by Mr. Arthur Lee of the Perth Telegraph Department.


Bunbury Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.
Four types of rubber oval date stamps were issued to Bunbury for telegram use plus a steel circular date stamp:
  1. a rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RO7 - P&TO).

Used: 27 June 1919.

Size: 22 × 50 mm (e = 0.90).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


27 June 1919.
Used on AE - DO - 1Da.
  1. a rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RO2 - P&TO).

Used: 22 February 1946.

Size: 31 × 53 mm (e = 0.).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


22 February 1946.
Used on AW-DO-10 (44).

Form kindly supplied by Malcolm Brown, WA.

  1. a rubber rectangular POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RRH1 - P&TO).

Used: 12 January 1953.

Size: 26 × 45 mm,

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


12 January 1953.
Showing signs of wear with a break in the top fra,e and distortion to the lowevr frame.
  1. a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RO7 - P&TO).

Used: 1976.

Size:

Rated: common (?).

   
  1. a steel circular
    TELEGRAPH OFFICE/BUNBURY W.A.
    (SC1 - TO) date stamp.
    It had the same format as that for Fremantle and Kalgoorlie.

Used: 14 March 1938 to 22 March 1943.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 7.

Bunbury pair
14 March 1938.
Bunbury TO 1938
30 July 1938.

Used on a 1/4 turquoise KGV - presumably paying the interstate rate which applied between 1920 and October 1938.

Bunbury TO Emu
22 March 1943.
Busselton (Vasse).

The Post & Telegraph Office opened on 1 January 1893. Another Post and Telegraph Office was completed in April 1896 although it took a short while before they were occupied. Indeed, in November 1897, £2,000 was allocated in the Estimates for the Telegraph Office.

As Vasse, it used the call signal V around 1882.


Busselton Post and Telegraph Office c. 1898.
Scanned from Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraphic and Telephone Departments of Western Australia, GPO Perth Christmas 1898.

Personnel:

 


Mr. Pries
Postmaster.
Four rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamps were issued for use with Telegraphs:
  1. RO7 - P&TO / BUSSELTON (no W.A.).

Used: 18 October 1932 and 3 October 1934.

Size: 32 × 52 mm (e = 0.79).

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


18 October 1932 (Earliest recorded date).

 


3 October 1934 (latest recorded date).

  1. RO6 - P&TO / BUSSELTON (no W.A.)..
    No separation marks. Smaller letters.

Used: 3 October 1934 to 7 December 1944
(3 February 1937 not imaged here).

Size: 30 × 48 mm (e = 0.78).

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 4.


17 October 1935.

March 37
23 March 1937.
 
  1. RO6 - P&TO /BUSSELTON WA.
    No separation marks. Larger letters.

Used: 7 December 1944 to 9 August 1954.

Size 32 × 53 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 3.


7 December 1944.


23 January 1953.
Applied as a backstamp on a registered letter from Sydney.
No damage to the interior oval.

9 August 1954.
Damage to interior oval is obvious
  1. RO2 - P&TO / BUSSELTON (no W.A. at base).
    Has two separation stars below the centre line.

Used: 23 July 1964 and 22 November 1965.

Size: 32 × 50 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


23 July 1964.

 
22 November 1965.

Capel (Coolingup).

The Office replaced Minninup as a Post Office in June 1882. It was then upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 1 December 1897. In November 1897, £400 was allocated in the Estimates for the Telegraph Office.

In 1898, the combined office was temporarily renamed Coolingup but it reverted to Capel in 1899.


Collingup Post & Telegraph Office 1898.
Scanned from Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraphic and Telephone Departments of Western Australia, GPO Perth Christmas 1898.

A rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO6-P&TO) was issued to the office named as Coolingup:

Used in blue: 30 May 189(8?).

Size: 27 × 44 mm (e = 0.79).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


30 May 189(8?).

A rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO6-P&TO) was issued to the office named as Capel:

Used: about 1902.

Size: ?

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 

Cape Leeuwin.

In 1893, the Government announced that construction of the Lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin was about to begin and that Government labor - not contract labor - would be used.

A Telegraph Office was opened in February 1898.

Further details are included elsewhere.

No date stamp is know for the Telegraph Office.

Coalville.

A Post & Telegraph Office was established at Coalville on 24 September 1898.

It was renamed COLLIEFIELDS early in 1899.

The Office was issued with a rubber oval datestamp (RO2-P&TO) which was used for only 6 weeks - allegedly from 6 December 1898 to 21 January 1899. ACE Auctions (Sale 32 lot 889) show a partial strike for 25 Oc.

Used in violet: 21 January 1899.

Size: 27 × 41 mm (e = 0.75).

Rated: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


21 January 1899.

Colliefields.

The Telegraph Office opened on 1 January 1899 as Colliefields.

On 1 January 1900, the namechanged to Collie.

Prior to 1899, the Post Office was Coalville.

.

Two rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamps were used with telegraph work:

  1. a rubber oval Post and Telegraph Office date stamp (RO2 - P&T) inscribed Colliefields:

Used in violet: 9 May 1899 to 3 June 1899;

Size: 25.5 × 40.5 mm (e = 0.78).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


9 May 1899 (ERD).

  Colliefields
30 May (1899).
  1. a rubber oval Post and Telegraph Office date stamp (RO2 - P&T) inscribed Collie:

Used: 1901.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 

Collie.

The Telegraph Office Colliefields was renamed Collie of 1 January 1900.


Collie Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.
NOTE: TELEGRAPH can be seen on the arc above the 4th window from the right.

Personnel:

Those placed in charge of Post and Telegraph Offices had to have a variety of skills as demonstrated by Mr. Bielby, the Postmaster at Collie. The Southern Times reported on 10 January 1911:

"With the belated advent of genuine summer, the "snake season" has set in in Collie district: Whilst the capture of no ten footers or rainbow-hued rattlers, hooded cobras, or baby boa-constricators has yet been reported (and it is that surely that such will be, the spirited detailed hereabouts being of the purist), the intrusion of one black reptile is of the "Dugite" species, into the privacy of a dwelling occur red on the night of Friday 6th inst. Mr A. H. Beilby, the Collie PostMaster, seated writing at his dining room table, heard a sound suggestive (to his Nor' West experienced ears) of the progress of a snake. Glancing down Mr. Beilby observed a black reptile disappear under a sideboard. Procuring a Commonwealth departmental spade,and standing on no Red Tape ceremony, the Postmaster pulled the sideboard out and playfully dug His Snakeship in the small of his back. The dig made the Dugite a "deader" and, upon being taped, he measured 2 feet and 9 inches. Mr Beilby's happy family of young Australians were fortunately absent from home at the time of the intrusion of the snake which was considered to be of the venomous species".

Cookernup.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened at Cookernup on 20 June 1897.


Cookernup Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.

Three formats of rubber oval Post & Telegraph date stamps were issued to the Office:
  1. A Post & Telegraph oval date stamp (RO7 - P&TO):

Used in violet: about 1900.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: Not seen.

 
  1. A Post & Telegraph oval date stamp (RO7 - P&TO):

Used: 27 May 1909.

Size: 22 (?) × 47 mm (0.88).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


27 May 1909.
  1. A Post & Telegraph oval date stamp (RO4 - P&TO):

Used in violet: 15 July 1913 and May 1914.

Size: 29.5 × 42 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 3.

The third strike was offered by Phoenix Auctions in February 2024. It also is on a 1d red Roo and is about 60%. The strike has "5" showing for the day - but it could have been "15" or "25" May.


15 July 1913.
 
1 January 1914.

Curanup.

The Telegraph Office was opened on 23 September 1929 but no record is available to show when it closed.

Strike made in favour.

Used: 1 November 1929 - only recorded date.

Size: 31 mm.

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Curanup
1 November 1929.

Dardanup.

A Post and Telegraph Office was opened at Dardanup on 11 October 1895. The building was completed during October and taken over by the Telegraph Department.

The Southern Times of 10 January 1911 noted "A public meeting was held at Dardanup last Saturday. The Chairman (Mr. Eph. Gardiner, J P.) said that 15 years ago, there was a Telegraph Office at Dardanup. Dardanup was going ahead and the Department's action appeared unexplainable. He suggested a petition being drawn up against the removal of the Telegraph Office.

Mr. R. S. Palmer stated that he did not think the telegraph would be installed again as the number of messages sent there only averaged four daily. So long as the wires were kept private, and he thought a good telephone cabinet would ensure this, it really did not matter how the wires were sent.

The Chairman: It's a question of taking away what belongs to us. Mr. G. A. Fee seconded the Chairman's suggestion of a petition against the removal of the telegraph, which was carried".

Personnel:

October 1895: Mrs. Cumming was appointed as the first Post and Telegraph Mistress.

April 1897: Miss M. Pollard was appointed Post and Telegraph Mistress.

Donnybrook (formerly Preston).

The Telegraph Office opened on 13 January 1898 when the office at Preston, which had been opened on 5 September 1892, changed name.


Donnybrook Post & Telegrah Office about 1950.

At least by the beginning of 1900s,the Office was issued with a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp (RO7 - P&TO). Given the signature on the piece below and the clean lines of the strike, this might have been the first use of a new date stamp.

Used in violet: 27 January 1900.

Size: 29 × 41 mm (e = 0.71).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1 (not recorded elsewhere).


27 January 1900.
An archival strike on piece signed by the Postmaster Mr. C. Stockton.

The Office was later issued with a rubber oval Telegraph Office date stamp (RO6-TO).

Used in black: 10 May 1941.

Size: 29 × 50 mm (e = 0.81).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1 (not recorded elsewhere).

Donnybrook 1941
10 May 1941.
Used on AB-GMF-34.

The Office was later issued with a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp (RO6-P&TO):

Used: 1976-1978.

Size:

Rated: RR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 
East Fremantle.

The Telegraph Office opened on 1 January 1899 when it changed name from Plympton. The former office had opened as a Post & Telegraph Office on 14 March 1898.



East Fremantle Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.
Three formats of rubber oval date stamps issued for telegraph purposes are recorded:
  1. Rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp
    (RO6 - P&TO).

Size: 26 × 48 mm (e = 0.84).

Used in magenta: 3 May 1905 to 9 September 1905.

Rating: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


EF May 1905
3 May 1905.
  1. Rubber oval Telegraph Office date stamp (RO7 - TO).

Size: 30 × 52 mm (e = 0.82).

Used in reddish- purple: 4 March 1946 to 1948.

Rating: R.

Number in the Census: 2.

East F 1946 RO7
4 March 1946.

Used on AW-DO-10D (43).

Used in violet: 28 November 1946.

Rating: R.

Number in the Census: 1.



28 November 1946.
Used on AW-DO-10 (46).
  1. Rubber oval Telegraph Office date stamp (RO2 - TO).

Size: 32 × 50 mm (e = 0.77).

Used in purple: 5 October 1948.

Rating: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


East F 1948 RO2
5 October 1948.

Used on AW-DO-10D (43).

Fremantle.

1: Post and Telegraph Office establishment.

2: Telegram usage.

3: Personnel,

4: Date stamps.

The Post Office had been opened on 9 May 1830 in a general store operated by Mr. Alex Francisco Snr who therefore also acted as the Postmaster. The store was on Mouatt Street opposite the (then) location of the W.A. Bank. Another store also opened at the same site - Reichlberg & Co's Meat and Fish Preserving Establishment.

A Post Office building was opened in Henry Street in a small vine-clad cottage. The address and date of every letter sent was recorded. The Office then moved to High Street before moving again to the Commissariat Buildigs in Cliff Street. A final move was to a new building on the corner of Cliff and Cooke Streets.


The first purpose built Post Office at Fremantle in Cliff Street.

The Fremantle Telegraph Office was opened at 3:00 pm on 21 June 1869 on the completion of the construction for the first telegraph line in Western Australia by the private company the West Australian Telegraph Company.

The Resident Magistrate in his message sent to Perth indicated that the incoming message "has been received at the Court-House". So no special structure had been constructed. Indeed the first message was received by William Holman in an old shed at the back of Kett's woodyard in High Street. Soon after, a small cottage in High Street became the first actual Office for the telegraph.

It used the call signal FR.

In less than two months, suggestions were being discussed for the installation of a time-ball at the Town-Hall connected with Perth via the new telegraph line.

On 8 July 1870, the Express reported "It is proposed, we believe, to remove the Telegraph Office in this town to a more convenient situation. The present office is a damp and dingy looking place, and the approach to it is so muddy this wet weather, that persons who have occasion to go there, if their boots have been newly polished, are obliged to walk 'circumspectly ".

The situation was described further by the Fremantle Herald a month later on 13 August:

"Where is the new Telegraph office to be? That it can much longer continue in its present vicinity is, of course, impossible. We have heard all kinds of localities suggested as the most appropriate and eligible site for a new office. The present dark, damp and crazy tenement is not only an anachronism, even in this anti-progressive colony, but is positively becoming a nuisance. The approach to it is filthy and disgraceful, and the result of the recent heavy downfalls of rain is such that the floor of the dingy hovel wherefrom messages are transmitted is flooded with water or, more properly speaking, a foul admixture of that element and the filth and mud discharged from the contiguous stables. We have been again asked to call the attention of the Company to the existing state of things, and we hope that some early and improved arrangement will be made by them for affording superior accommodation for their customers".

 

 

2. Telegram use:

The earliest recorded telegram usages at Fremantle are:

  1. A WC-DO-4 delivery form for a message from Albany to Fremantle on 12 March 1900.
  2. a delivery emvelope (WC-DO-3) sent to London on 1 August 1901.

3. Personnel:

December 1868: Mr. Alexander Francisco jnr was appointed Postmaster at Fremantle to replace Mr. A Francisco senior who had resigned.

June 1869: Mr. William Holman was appointed the first Operator at Fremantle. He had formerly been a seafaring man on board the barque Zephyr which traded between Fremantle and London.

Mr. W. T. John was the first messenger at Fremantle.

End of 1869/beginning of 1870: Mr Horrace George Stirling (born August 1855) replaced Mr. Holman as Telegraph Manager/Operator - at the age of 14.

?? Mr. Lewis James Stirling (born Sept 1857) replaced his brother Horrace as Telegraph Master. He was later transferred to York.

January 1891: Mr. W. McMullan and Mr. R. Counsel were appointed as Telegraph Messengers.

In 1894, the staff at the Fremantle Post and Telegraph Office comprised:

    • the Post and Telegraph Master;
    • 5 postal assistants;
    • 4 letter carriers;
    • 3 telegraph operators;
    • 1 cadet;
    • 4 messengers;
    • 6 telephone attendants (one appointed during the year);
    • a telephone lineman; and
    • an office cleaner.

It is proposed to increase the staff by:

    • two postal assistants;
    • 1 clerk;
    • 1 messenger;
    • 2 telephone attendants.
      This makes 33 in all or an increase of 6.

May 1894: Mr. E. Watson was appointed as Telegraph Operator.

1895: Mr. Lewis Stirling (son of Edmund Stirling) was the Postmaster at Fremantle having previously been at Victoria Plains enroute to Champion Bay (Geraldton).

August 1896: Mr. R. Rosling was appointed Senior Telegraph Cadet.

4. Datestamps:

A number of date stamps were produced for use at Fremantle in conjunction with telegraphic matters in either rubber or steel.

Goulder lists six oval date stamps which included the word TELEGRAPH as having been issued for use with telegrams at Fremantle. In addition there was one (RO4-P&TO) for Fremantle Railway Station.

RUBBER oval date stamps:
  1. A rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE
    (RO4-TO):
    Has 4 leah rosettes at the sides.

Used: 12 March 1890.

Size: 26 mm × 38 mm (e = 0.73).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


12 March 1890.
Used on WC-DO-4.
Image by courtesy of Malcolm Brown W.A.

  1. A rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO2 - TO):

Used in red: 1 August 1901 to 27 December 1901.

Size: 31 × 49 mm (e = 0.77).

Rated RRRR (unlisted in Goulder).

Number in the Census: 2.



1 August 1901.
Used on WC-EO-3.
  1. A rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE datestamp (RO7 - TO).
    Has 1.2 mm arcs at either end of the inner scalloped oval. :

Used in violet: 7 August to 25 August 1905.

Size: 25 × 47 mm (e = 0.85).

Rated RRRR (unlisted in Goulder).

Number in the Census: 2.


7 August 1905.
Used on WI-DO-1A.
 
25 August 1905.
Used on WI-DO-1A.
An example is also known in blue but measurements to confirm its classification are not available. The strike was also on the flap of W.A. delivery envelope WC-DO-4. Details of the image can be obtained from Abacus Auctions Sale 254 of December 2023 Lot 3393.
  1. A rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO4 - TO).
    Outside frame is not doubled.
    Has large dots at either end of the inner oval.
    Has full-stop after OFFICE.

Used in violet: 31 January 1911.

Size: 23 × 48 mm (e = 0.87).

Rated RRRR (unlisted in Goulder).

Number in the Census: 1.

Fremantle TO Oval
31 January 1911.
Used on WC-EO-4 to London as a backstamp.
  1. A rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO7 - TO).
    Lower inscription is FREMANTLE with a stop but without W.A.

Used in violet: 29 May 1919.
Has 1 mm side arcs at either end on the inner oval.

Size: 22 × 47 mm (e = 0.88).

Rated RRRR (unlisted in Goulder).

Number in the Census: 1.


29 May 1919.
Used on AE-DO-1B - a rare form sent to HMAS AUSTRALIA.
  1. a rubber circular Telegraph Office date stamp.
    W.A. and post code at the base (RC1-TO).

Used in violet: 17 August 1978
(sometimes described as post 1968).

Size: 34 mm diameter.

Rated: RR (not recorded by PMI).

Number in the Census: 1.


17 August 1978.
  1. a rubber circular Telegraph Office date stamp.
    W.A. and post code at the base (RC2 - TO).

Used: post 1968.

Size: 37 mm diameter.

Rated: R

Number in the Cnsus: 0

 

STEEL circular date stamps:

  1. a circular steel TELEGRAPHS date stamp (SC1-T)
    Fremantle at the base.

Used: 17 July 1912 to
30 October 1919.

Diameter: 29 mm.

Rated RRRR.
(unlisted in Goulder,PMI or PMC).

Number in the Census: 1

Fremantle 1915
4 October 1915.

Different format.

Letters (especially the G and R) are differebt shapes.

Separation dots not arcs.

1919 Telegs
30 September 1919.
On AE-DO-1B.
(Abacus 7 April 2019;
Lot 1398).
 
  1. a circular steel Telegraph Office/FREMANTLE W.A.
    (SC1 - TO):

Used: 5 August 1933 to 20 July 1955.

Diameter: 28 mm.

Rated: R.

Number in the Census: 10+

Fremantle TO 1933
5 August 1933.
Used on AB-DU-6.
Fre TO 1949
3 November 1949.

Used on AW-DO-10B (47).

Fremantle 20 July 1955
20 July 1955.
Used on AW-GSF-54C
.
The usual postal date stamps were also used on telegrams. Freemantle 1894
Unframed FREMANTLE/WESTERN AUSTRALIA.
4 January 1894.

Fremantle.
21 June 1932.

Gnowangerup.

The townsite was first gazetted in 1908 under the spelling of Ngowangerupp and an Allowance Office opened on 9 May 1910.

The local people were however dissatisfied with the spelling of their town so consequently - in 1913 - the name was altered to Gnowangerup. Hence the status of the Allowance Office was upgraded to that of an Official Office - encompassing the Post and Telegraph Office - on 25 June 1913.

The Office was issued with a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp (RO7-P&T) for use with telegraphs.

Used: 14 July 1914.

Size: 24 × 47 mm (e = 0.86).

Rated: RRRR

Number in the Census: 2
(only known examples - not listed elsewhere).


8 July 1914.
Used on a registered OHMS envelope sent from Perth to Broomehill then redirected to Gnowangerup and then retuened to the Land Titles Office.
 
14 July 1914
Greenbushes.

In the Legislative Assembly on 29 February 1891, £100 was allocated for a Postmaster and Telegraphist at Greenbushes.

On 16 April 1891: Tenders were accepted to supply furniture for the Telegraph Office, Greenbushes: £15." Finally, in the Southern Times of 20 April 1891: "The long wanted Post and Telegraph Office will soon be a reality as the building for the purpose will soon be completed and, when opened, it will be a great boon to the place".

The Post & Telegraph Office opened on 5 May 1891.


Greenbushes Post and Telegraph Office in mid 1890s.
Scanned from Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraphic and Telephone Departments of Western Australia, GPO Perth Christmas 1898.

Greenbushes was a major centre for tin mining. The Southern Times of 25 August 1890 reported: "A movement is on foot to obtain a Post and Telegraph Office at the Greenbushes Tin Mines. This is an urgent want to which we have repeatedly called attention and, as the telegraph line to Yilgarn is virtually adopted, we apprehend the Government will hardly refuse the trifling outlay necessary to open an office to enable the public there to utilize the line now existing and which passes through the field.

Two memorials are at the stores and are being numerously signed. It is understood that the use of a building could be obtained gratis or for a nominal sum as attached to some of the existing buildings. In view of the abundance of timber on the ground, it would perhaps be advisable for the Government to build an office in a central position where the townsite will eventually have to be, That course that would be cheaper in the end if the mines are going to last as long and with as good results as experts predict".

August 1893: Mr. C. B. Teede was appointed as Post and Telegraph Master.

May 1891, J. Horrigan was promoted to the position of the first Postmaster and Telegraphist at Greenbushes from his duties at Guilford.

1898: Mr. H. Wansborough was Post and Telegraph Master.


Mr. H. Wansborough.
Post and Telegraph Master about 1896.
Scanned from Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraphic and Telephone Departments of Western Australia, GPO Perth Christmas 1898.
Three special date stamps were issued to Greenbushes for use with telegrams:
  1. a rubber oval Telegraph Office date stamp (RO6 - TO).

Used in violet: 30 January 1900 to January 1901.

Size: 27 × 42 mm (e = 0.77).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 3.
(Listed in PMI but no date recorded).


30 January 1900.

30 January 1900 - cover showing oval date stamp.

21 December 1900.

January 1901.
  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp
    (RO2 - P&TO).

Used: 1 July 1952.

Size: 30 × 50 mm (0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Greenbushes oval
1 July 1952 (only known date).

Used on the flap of a delivery envelope AW-EO-16Ba.

  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp
    (RO 7 - P&TO).

Used: unknown dates.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

 
Harvey.

Construction of a Telegraph Office for Harvey was commenced in June 1896 and the Office opened on 14 October 1897. A Post Office had been opened in January 1883.

The Bunbury Herald of 26 October 1897 reported::

"The first telegrams dispatched from the Harvey were complimentary ones to The Hon. Sir John Forrest and the Postmaster-General. A telegraph station has been long wanted in the district, and I am sure we will all feel the benefit of it. It is built right alongside the railway station, so will be very handy for any passenger travelling by train.

Miss S. Knowles has been appointed our post mistress and telegraph operator".


Harvey Post and Telegraph Office in 1897. Clearly it is Miss Knowles standing on the verandah at the left.
Scanned from Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraphic and Telephone Departments of Western Australia, GPO Perth Christmas 1898.

Personnel:

February 1895: Mr. J. Knowles was "provisionally and temporarily" appointed as Postmaster at Harvey.

Three date stamps were issued to the Harvey Office for use with telegrams:
  1. RO6 - P&TO.
    2 digit year.

Used in violet: 21 June (18)99 and 29 July (18)99.

Size: 26 × 44 mm (e = 0.81).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


21 June 1899.
 
29 July 1899.
  1. RO6 - P&TO.
    4 digit year.

Used in violet: 1 September 1904.

Size: 26 × 44 mm (e = 0.81).

Rated RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


1 September 1904.
  1. RO2 - P&TO - no post code.

Used in violet: 1 October 1956 to 1975.

Size: 33.5 × 54 mm (e = 0.78).

Rated RR.

Number in the Census: 3.

Harvey 1956
1 October 1956 (earliest recorded date).

 
  1. RO2 - P&TO - with post code.

Used in violet: 14 October 1975.

Size: 33.5 × 54 mm (e = 0.78).

Rated RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

 

For most of the period after 1829 when Harvey was established, the only "improvement" to the area was the erection of a small dwelling referred to as "The Hut". It was constructed with a shingled roof, jarrah walls and hexagonal paving blocks. In the 1880s, this hut became the childhood home of children's author May Gibbs.

Reverse

FDC Gibbs
First Day Cover with Harvey commemorative cancellation at Harvey to celebrate Australian Childrens' Literature, in 1985.

 

Jarrahdale.

The Telegraph Office opened on 11 February 1880 and the Post and Telegraph Office had been taken over in August 1882. This information was provided in the Legislative Council on 1 August with the explanation that the action had involved the expenditure of £68 as against the receipts from the postal department being valued at £200 per annum and the telegraph department alone realising £90.

On 20 March 1896, the Western Mail reported that "Our new post office is nearing completion, and is a very creditable looking building. It is a great improvement on the hut which has done duty so long as a post and telegraph office".

Jarrahdale used the call signal I around 1882.

Jarrahdale Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.

POSTAL AND TELEGRAPH ARRANGEMENTS AT JARRAHDALE.

SIR,— The telegraph and postal arrangements at Jarrahdale are the most extraordinary that could well be imagined. There is no delivery by post-boy of letters or telegrams arriving at Jarrahdale and therefore, to make sure your correspondence is not returned to the dead letter office, it is necessary that you should on the arrival of each mail enquire if any missive has been sent to you ; failing this, letters and telegrams have been known to be so delayed as to frustrate the object for which they were sent.

I myself, during a recent visit to Jarrahdale, suffered considerable inconvenience and loss of business owing to a telegram having been detained at the office after its arrival for fully three hours and a half and, on complaining to the Post Mistress, I was told neither letters nor telegrams were delivered because the authorities would not provide a messenger.

Yet on referring to clause 6 of the conditions under which messages are transmitted I find the following — "Every reasonable exertion is used to secure the greatest promptness, accuracy and dispatch in conducting the business of the Telegraph;" and, under "scale of charges", the public are further informed that messages are delivered free of charge within a mile of the office."

In my case, my telegram, although I lived only 50 yards away, was so delayed — I having received it after the office was closed on Saturday evening — that I had no opportunity of replying to it for forty-four hours. I am not a litigious man, but I certainly think I have cause of action against the Government and I trust, having made out my case so far, that some steps will be taken by the proper authorities to remedy the defects I have drawn attention to as quickly as possible.

Yours, etc.,TRAVELLER
(Daily News 7 March 1890).

Personnel:

1881: Mr. John Stokes was the Telegraph Operator.

January 1891: Mr. C. B. Teede was appointed as Telegraph Messenger at Jarrahdale.

February 1895: Mrs kiernan was apponted Post Mistress,

August 1896: Mr. E. S. Watts was appointed Assistant Telegraph Operator.

April 1897: Miss. M. A. Troy was appointed as Post-Mistress.

The Office was issued with two oval date stamps for use with Telegraphs - both previously unrecorded:
  1. a rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp (RO6 - P&TO):

    Used in violet: 4 April 1899.

    Size: 27 × 45 mm (?).

    Rated: RRRR.

    Number in the Census: 1.

 



4 April 1899.

  1. a rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO6-TO).

Used in green/blue: 23 and 30 March 1904.

Size: 27 × 45 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


Jarrahdale
23 March 1904.
 
30 March 1904 - see below.


30 March 1904.
Section of a cover addressed to Mr. Alfred Mathews, Farmer, Jarrahdale from the Office of Titles in Perth sent registered
on 25 March 1904 and received back UNCLAIMED at the Dead Letter Office on 27 April 1904.

  1. a rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO7-TO).

Used in red: possibly 1909.

Size: 31 × ?? mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

The inscription is difficult to read. The date is very faint and the lower inscriotion is doubled. Nevertheless the date stamp is almost certainly Jarrahdale.

Jarrahdale Junction/Mundijong.

The Jarrahdale Junction Post Office was opened in December 1893. The Post & Telegraph Office opened on 1 July 1896.

This office was to be renamed MANJEDAL but in 1897 it was was actually renamed MUNDIJONG.

The West Australian of 3 July 1900 reported that "Bridget Troy had been appointed Postmistress at Mundijong".

Personnel: August 1896: Ms. Ada Livesey was appointed Post and Telegraph Mistress - when the combined office was opened.

Mundijong Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.

Two Oval date stamps were (possibly) issued to the Office for use with Telegraphs:

1. RO7-P&TO.

Used: 18 January 1905.

Size: 26 × 41 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


18 January 1905.

2. RO6 - P&T? (from Manjedal??).

Used: ??.

Size: ??

Number in the Census: 0 (never seen).

 

Karridale.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened at Karridale on 11 April 1893. An Operator had left Bunbury on 9 April 1893 on the S.S. Albany to open the Karridale Telegraph Office.

The township which existed at that stage, was destroyed by bushfires in 1961 and a new township was was subsequently built a little to the north-east. A postmark from a temporary Post Office carried the inscription "destroyed in fire 1961".


Karridale Post and Telegraph Office c. 1898. Mr. Percival is standing in front of the horse.
Scanned from Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraphic and Telephone Departments of Western Australia, GPO Perth Christmas 1898.

Personnel:

Mr. G. H. Percival was appointed Post and Telegraph Master in 1898 (?)


Mr. G. H. Percival.
Post and Telegraph Master.
Scanned from Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraphic and Telephone Departments of Western Australia, GPO Perth Christmas 1898.
No special telegraph date stamp is known for Karridale.

Katanning.

The first Post Office opened as Moojebupin in January 1881. It was renamed Katanning Post Office on 1 July 1889 with Mr. Charles Austin Piesse as the first Postmaster.


See Katanning Historical Society (lostkatanning.com).
In 1891, the older brother - Frederick Henry Piesse - built the Katanning Flour Mill and a larger store in partnership with Charles. The National Bank of Australia Ltd used part of the store as did the first Post Office in Katanning. As there was room, the store was also apparently also used as a Court House and as a church according to demand.

Thankfully there are some people who value history and work to protect it. In 2018, Jane and Michael Pelusey bought the old flour mill - allegedly for $1 - and turned it (with lots more $$$s) into the magnificent Premier Mill Hotel.

In October 1892, a tender was accepted from Mr. Wm. Trott for the Katanning Post and Telegraph Office and quarters for £ 986 17s.

The Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 4 August 1893. A congratulatory telegram was sent by Mr. A. W. Piesse and W. K. Adam to the Premier (John Forrest) who replied "I thank you for your congratulations on the establishment of telegraphic communication with Katanning and the other rising townships on the Great Southern Railway. I sincerely hope that your town and district will continue to progress, and you may be assured of my continual desire to promote your best interests in every possible way".


Katanning Post & Telegraph Office about 1910.

Katanning Post & Telegraph Office about 1940.

Personnel:

January 1893: Mr. A. W. Piesse was transferred from the Williams River to take up the new position of Postmaster and Telegraph Master at Katanning. Pending the handing over of the new Post Office, the business was being carried on in one of the anterooms of the Hall.

"Mr. Piesse is one of the oldest telegraph operators in the colony and has had upwards of twenty years experience in the postal department, so that the people of the town and district may fairly congratulate themselves on an appointment by which they cannot but receive material benefits.

With the inception of official responsibility will come a money order office, a great convenience for the transmission of small sums, and a Savings Bank, the advantages of which need no demonstration.

The telegraph line will also be an immense boon to the town generally and, it may fairly be prophesied, the business transacted in every branch of the office will warrant the expense of its erection. For a considerable period the mails were in the hands of Mr. Arnold Edmund Piesse, who conducted the business efficiently and well and, more recently, Mr. Sydney E. Ing, who also attends to the clocks of the district, had charge of the Post Office, to the satisfaction of the public generally and to his own credit" (West Australian 16 January 1893).

December 1906: Mr. John Gerrans, Post and Telegraph Master at Kookynie, was transferred to Katanning.

Katanning was issued with three date stamps for use with Telegraphs:
  1. a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RO6 - P&TO):

Used in blue: 7 March 1903 and 28 June 1904.

Size: 29 × 49 mm (e = 0.81)

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


7 March 1903.
 
28 June 1904.
  1. a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RO7 - P&TO):

Size: 24 × 48 mm (e = 0.87).

Used: about 1912.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 
  1. a rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO7 - TO):

Size:

Used in violet: 5 October 1914.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Kattanning 1914 RO7
5 October 1914.
  1. a rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO6 - TO):

Used in violet: 16 August 1943.

Size: 31 × 52 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Katanning RO6
16 August 1943.
Used on an URGENT delivery envelope (AW-EU-4).

Kojonup.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on the first line to Albury on 22 May 1875. The Telegraph Office was probably used as a repeater station. The first designated Post and Telegraph Office building was constructed in 1897 in Spring Street. A second building was constructed in 1913 on the Albany Highway before being re-used as the Headmaster's House and, more recently, as the Headquarters of the Kojonup Historical Society.

A Post Office had been opened on 18 October 1864 under the supervision of Sgt. Loton.

The office was issued with a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO7-P&TO).

Used in violet: 19 October 1915 (only one example is recorded).

Size:

Rating: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Kojonup
19 October 1915.
Premier Auctions, May 2016.

Margaret River.

An Administrative Office was opened at Margaret River in February 1913.

 

  1. a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RO2 - P&TO):

Size: 27 × 50 mm (e = 0.84)

Used in blue: 27 Oct ??.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


27 October 19??
(on 1949 1/6 Hermes pair - issued 1 September).

Mandurah.

A Post Office was opened on 1 April 1846. This Office was closed and replaced by Serpentine on 20 November 1858. The Mandurah Office reopened on 1 January 1865 and was upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 22 December 1886.

The Office was issued with three formats of rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamps:
  1. an RO2-P&TO:

Used: about 1898.

Size:

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 
  1. an RO6-P&TO:

Used in violet: 5 January 1907.

Size: 29 × 50 mm. (e = 0.81).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


5 January 1907.

Used in red: 6 February 1907.

Size: 29 × 50 mm. (e = 0.81).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


6 February 1907 - detail of oval from cover below.

Cover from Mandurah to England 6 February 1907 with two strikes of the Mandurah oval RO6 - P&TO.
  1. an RO6-P&TO:

Used in violet: ? January and 4 March 1907.

Size: 29 × 50 mm. (e = 0.81).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


4 March 1907.
  1. an RO7-P&TO:

Used: about 1963.

Size: 31 × 48 mm.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

 

Manjimup.

In 1910, the railway was being extended from Bridgetown to Manjimup although work was not completed until about mid 1911. Possibly the telegraph would therefore be made available at the Railway Station. Had a P&TO Office before 1913 but using primtive organisation.

Post-World War 1, Manjumup became part of the Group Settlement Scheme which was unsuccessful.

Today Manjimup not only produces timber but it is the home of Pink Lady apple production, of green tea and of truffle production.

Date stamps.

An oval rubber POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE (RO7-P&TO) date stamp was issued to the Office in two slightly different sizes:

Used: 30 September 1963.

Size: 31 × 47 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

 



30 September 1963.
Used on delivery form AW - DO - 10 (1960).
An 80% strike also appears on the Wattle delivery envelope
(AA-GGE-2) above the window (missing Manjimup).
Image kindly supplied by Malcolm Brown W.A.
Used: 11 July 1964.

Size: 28 × 47 mm (e = 0.80).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.



11 July 1964.
Used on delivery form AW - DO - 10 (1960).

Mornington Mills.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 7 May 1900.

It was the site of considerable timber gathering activity located on the Darling Range.

 

The Office was issued with at least two formats for rubber oval Post & Telegraph date stamps.

  1. An RO2-P&TO oval date stamp. The font for both the top and the lower inscriptions is small and the same size.
    There is a comma and W.A. after MILLS :

Used in violet: 27 March 1901.

Size: ??

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


27 March 1901.
 
  1. An RO7-P&TO oval date stamp. The font for both the top and the lower inscriptions is small. There are also several small formatting differences between this date stamp and the RO2 date stamp above.

Used in violet: ?? January 1910.

Size: ??

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


J(?)an 1910.
  1. An RO7 - P&TO oval date stamp. The font for the top inscription is smaller than that for the lower inscriotion.
    There is no comma or W.A. after MILLS :

Used in black: 29 June 1915.

Size: ??

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

Mornington
29 June 1915.

June 1915.

Mount Barker.

Between 1871 and 1873, the Telegraph Office was located at the Police Station. On 5 December 1873, the Post Office and the Telegraph Offices merged.

A Post Office had been established on 1 January 1870.

The Albany Mail of 25 April 1883 reported that "The Council was prorogued on Thursday till the 4th July ... with regard to the Mount Barker telegraph station, as it was a pressing necessity, the Committee of Finance, under the Audit Act would be consulted, and if they agreed it will be proceeded with". No other details are known about this urgency.

In October 1892, a tender was accepted from Mr. Jas. Mackie to construct the Mount Barker Post and Telegraph Office and quarters for £ 933 6s 6d.

Although four rubber oval date stamps (RO2) were issued to the Mount Barker Office between 1950 and 1976, three were for POSTMASTER and the other for POST OFFICE.

North Fremantle.

A Post Office was opened on 2 June 1884 and it was upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 13 April 1893.

In October 1892, a tender was accepted from Mr. J. G. Harwood for the North Fremantle Post and Telegraph Office and quarters for £ 1,066 6s 6d.


North Fremantle Post and Telegraph Office about 1897.
Source: Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraph & Telephone Departments of Western Australia, Christmas 1896.

Personnel:

In 1894, the staff at the Fremantle Post and Telegraph Office comprised:

  • the Post and Telegraph Master;
  • two messengers and letter carriers.

They were to be continued, and 3 telephone attendants would be added.

Three formats of rubber oval date stamp were issued to North Fremantle:
  1. a rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO6 - TO).

Used in purple: 28 September 1896.

Size: 28 × 44 mm (e = 0.77).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


28 September 1896.
  1. a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RO2 - P&TO).
    Lines above and below the date.
    Has 0.5 mm side arcs.

Used in red: 17 November 1896.

Size: 25 × 37 mm (e = 0.74) - comparatively small.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


17 November 1896.


Used in purple: 17 September 1904.

Size: 25 × 37 mm (e = 0.74) - comparatively small.

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Nth Freo 1904
17 September 1904.
  1. a rubber oval POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp
    (RO6 - P&TO). This format is not listed elsewhere.
    No lines above or below the date.
    No side arcs.
    Office name extends beyond the horizontal.

Used in blue: 28 September 1904.

Size: 26 × 48 mm (e = 0.84).

Rated: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Nth Free 1904
28 September 1904.

Pinjarra(h).

The Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 17 February 1872.

The station used the call signal P.

The newly elected member to the Legislative Council for the seat of Murray and Williams - Captain Theodore Fawcett - said, when meeting the people after his 1886 electionFawcett held the seat until January 1889 and he died in March 1898.:

"that they would see a telegraph line nearly completed to Mandurah; but he hoped they would agree with him if he suggested to the Postmaster-General that one operator was not enough and that it was too much for our worthy postmistress to sit up two nights in the week to receive letters and that she should have an assistant".

Unfortunately - for the Postmistress - Fawcett's strategy was not put in place. The West Australian of 5 June 1893 reported:

"It is learnt here with regret that our worthy postmistress and telegraph operator has sent in her resignation of the latter office. She finds it impossible to attend to the sorting and despatching of letters and the transmission of telegrams at the same time. The telegraph messenger is fully occupied in delivering telegrams to passengers who arrive by the train, so can render no assistance to her.

It appears all the letters for the road between Pinjarrah and Bunbury have to be sorted at Pinjarrah while the trains wait. The postal arrangements are not all that could be desired at present. No letters from Perth or Bunbury can be answered by the same mail train as they are not delivered till after the trains have left Pinjarrah. Then, again, our English mails lie in Perth from Monday till Friday, though a train comes to Pinjarrah on Wednesday. We hope the Postmaster General will see his way to improve this state of things shortly".

Personnel:

1876: Mary Sutcliffe was the Post & Telegraph Mistress.


Pinjarrah Post and Telegraph Office in the mid 1890s.
Scanned from Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraphic and Telephone Departments of Western Australia, GPO Perth Christmas 1898.


Pinjarra Post & Telegraph Office about 1950.

Pinjarra was issued with a rubber oval TELEGRAPH OFFICE date stamp (RO7-TO):

Used: about 1914.

Size: ???

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 0.

Prior to the date stamp above, the usual postal date stamp with Pinjarrah (including the H) was used for telegraphic work:

Used: 28 May 1897.

Size: 21.5 mm

Rated: RRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

Pinjarrah
28 May 1897.

Quindalup.

A Post Office was opened at Quindalup on 19 July 1864.

The Inquirer and Commercial News of 17 March 1893 noted:

"The question is often asked — When is the telegraph office at Quindalup to be opened? The line has been erected thus far for upwards of two months, yet nothing has been done towards its utilisation. I believe that the Director of Public Works promised Mr. Yelverton that there should be no unnecessary delay in opening the line once it was finished to Quindalup".

The Post Office was upgraded to a Post & Telegraph Office on 4 April 1893.
On 1 December 1901, it was downgraded to an Administrative Office.

No date stamp for the telegraph operations has been recorded.

South Fremantle.

A Post & Telegraph Office was opened in South Fremantle on 1 April 1904 upon a change of name from Beaconsfield which in turn had been opened on 1 August 1894.


South Fremantle Post Office about 1940.
There is no record elsewhere of a date stamp being issued to this office for use with Telegraphs.

Nevertheless at least one format is now recorded.

A RO6-P&TO format:

Used in violet: 18 December 1903 and 25 August 1905.

Size: 29 × 51 mm (e = 0.82).

Rarity: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.

Note the inscription at top is in sans serif font with the lower inscription in serifed font.

18 December 1903.
 
25 August 1905.
The latest recorded date for this oval datestamp.
In August or September 1905, this date stamp was altered for some reason by deleting the "OST AND" section leaving most of the "P" behind.

Used in violet: 15 September 1905.

Size: 29 × 51 mm (e = 0.82).

Rarity: RRRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.

 


15 September 1905.
On reverse side of an OHMS cover sent from the Office of Titles to South Fremantle.

Wandering.

The Post & Telegraph Office opened on 20 September 1894.

There is no record of a special date stamp for use with Telegh being issued to the Office.


Wandering Post and Telegraph Office about the mid 1890s.
Scanned from Souvenir of the Postal, Telegraphic and Telephone Departments of Western Australia, GPO Perth Christmas 1898.

Waroona.

In Clare's Weekly of 18 January 1899, the statement was made: "Wanted, a Progress Committee who are not afraid to approach the Government with a view to securing a post and telegraph office, also railway siding and goods shed with competent officials in charge for the benefit of residents of Waroona; also a better representative in the House of Assembly who will look after the interests of the community, and not a favored few".

Three months later, in Clare's Weekly of 8 April 1899, it was reported that " tenders have been called for the erection of a Post and Telegraph Office (at Waroona) and, I am glad to notice, that definite steps are about to be taken".

The Post and Telegraph Office was opened at Waroona on 17 July 1899 on the renaming of Drakesbrook RMB (which had been established in August 1896).

In the Federal Election of March 1901, the Waroona Telegraph Office was used as one of the Polling Places in the Fremantle Electorate.

The Western Mail of 3 May 1902 reported a problem at the Post Office as follows:

"A representative meeting of residents, with Mr. R. E. Pugh as Chairman, was held here today when Mr. A. J. Wilson proposed and Mr. Wass seconded

"That this meeting of Waroona residents views with great disapproval the action of the Deputy-Postmaster-General in transferring Miss Johnson from the Waroona Post Office, without having given her a reasonable trial to cope with the new business and it urges upon him the re-consideration of her proposed transfer, with a view to giving her a reasonable trial."

This was carried unanimously. It was further resolved to request the Deputy Postmaster-General to defer the opening of a Savings Bank here for one week to enable a petition, which is in circulation, being adequately signed. The Chairman was directed to telegraph the resolutions to the Deputy-Postmaster General, and also to the Member for the district, Mr. George, asking him to interview the Deputy-Postmaster-General.

Attention was drawn to the fact that the Postmistress at Mornington Mills, where there is no police protection, is in charge of a money order and Savings Bank. Miss Johnson is deservedly popular here, and her transfer would occasion much regret".

 

Two types of rubber oval Post & Telegraph Office date stamp were issued to the Waroona Office. These are distinguishable easily by size and the inclusion (or not) of the letters W.A. in the lower inscription:

  1. RO2 - P&TO - includes W.A..

    Used in blue: 11 June 1903 and 31 October (? - partial strike).

    Size: 21 mm × 41 mm (e = 0.86).

    Rated: RRRR.

    Number in the Census: 2.


11 June 1903.
  1. RO2 - P&TO - does NOT include W.A..

    Used in black: 20 December 1949.

    Size: 37 mm × 57 mm (e = 0.76).

    Rated: RRRR.

    Number in the Census: 1.

20 December 1949.
Yarloop.

The Post & Telegraph Office was opened on 1 June 1897.

The Office was issued with at least two formats of rubber oval Post & Telegraph date stamps:

  1. RO2 - P&TO.
    Thinner letters and small dots for division between words.
    2 digit year.

Used in blue: 7 September 1898.

Size:

Rated:

Number in the Census: 1.

Yarloop 2
7 September 1898.
Prestige Philately February 2009 Lot 427.
  1. RO2 - P&T.
    Filled in circles for division between words.

Used in red: 22 June 1904.

Size: 24 × 42 mm (e = 0.82).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 1.


22 June 1901.

Used in violet: 15 September 1904 to 23 December 1904.
Font sizes are the same as in the red image.

Size: 24 × 42 mm (e = 0.82).

Rated: RRRR.

Number in the Census: 2.


15 September 1904.
  Yarloop 1
22 September (1904??).