South Georgia & SSI

    • 90 Years of Style
    • 90 Years of Style
    • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - 90 Years of Style


      The South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Post Office is delighted to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 21 April 2016 with the release of 4 stamps and a souvenir sheet.


      Her Majesty celebrates two birthdays each year, her actual birthday and her official birthday on a Saturday in June. Official celebrations to mark a Sovereign’s birthday have often been held on another day in the summer to ensure good weather for the ‘Trooping the Colour’ Parade, also known as the Birthday Parade.


      The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but as 2016 is such a milestone birthday The Queen and Members of the Royal Family will attend a pageant celebrating The Queen’s life to be held at Home Park in Windsor Castle in May, a thanksgiving service held at St Paul’s Cathedral on 10 June as well as the Queen’s Birthday Parade on Horse Guards Parade on 11 June.


      Last year Her Majesty became Britain’s longest reigning monarch and both as Princess and Queen she has presented the world with 90 Years of Style.


      During the war and post war years when austerity and rationing lingered across the land she was famously thrifty, wearing hand-me-downs, her mother’s re-worked clothes and off the peg outfits. One of her most famous outfits was of course the dress for her wedding in 1947. This wedding was perhaps the start of royal wedding fever, yet just like everyone else in 1947 the Princess Elizabeth had to fund the material for the dress with clothing ration coupons, although the Government kindly allowed her 200 extra coupons! Famously, people sent in their own coupons to help the Princess out, but they were sent back with a note of thanks as it was illegal for her to use them.


      Happily times improved and mostly she has worn couture. The years of immaculate style demonstrate that whilst Her Majesty may not be interested in high fashion she is most certainly interested in clothes and impeccable style.


      In June 1953, 27 year-old Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne and became the Queen of England and ruler of much of the free world. With the help of two couturiers in particular, Sir Norman Hartnell and Sir Hardy Amies, her wardrobe conveyed an image of a stately world leader. At the time she favoured fairy-tale ball-gowns, or stiff satin frocks, shimmering with beads in patterns designed to emphasise her status. Norman Hartnell, a favourite of her mother and grandmother, created both her wedding dress and her Coronation gown. He specialised in the fabulous evening-gowns that she wore to glamourous state occasions, while Amies primarily took care of Her Majesty's daytime wardrobe.


      In 1953 Her Majesty embarked on her first tour of the Commonwealth and took with her more than 100 specially made outfits. Since then she has made hundreds of Commonwealth and State visits. The Queen requires more clothes in a year than most of us do in a lifetime and four or five changes in a day are not unusual.


      To this day the Queen remains the centre of attention wherever she goes and is subject to critical assessment every time she appears in public. The pressure of such scrutiny must be phenomenal yet there has never been a wardrobe malfunction nor a fashion faux pas. Her impeccable style has ensured her place as an icon of fashion.


      70p The Queen at the Badmington Horse Trials 1968. Alpha Photo Press Ltd.


      80p The Queen leaving a banquet during her Commonwealth visit to Australia, 1954. Fox Photos/gettyimages.


      90p The Queen wears a slim-fitting white lace dress to a garden party in Sydney, Australia, before leaving for Tasmania on the liner 'SS Gothic', February 1954. Her hat is of black tulle with three feathers. Keystone/gettyimages.


      £1.25 The Queen leaves the Christmas Day Service at Sandringham Church in 2014.

      Chris Jackson/gettyimages.


      S/S Border: The Queen attends the BQIPCO British Champions Day 2014 at Ascot Racecourse. Miles Willis/gettyimages.


      S/S Stamp: The Queen during the Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucestershire 1968. Ray Bellisario/Popperfoto/gettyimages.


      FDC The Norman Hartnell drawing on the First Day Cover was for Princess Elizabeth’s “Going Away Hat”. Arthur Tanner/gettyimages.


      Technical details:-

      Designer Bee Design

      Photography See text

      Printer BDT International Security Printing

      Process Lithography

      Perforation 14 per 2cms

      Stamp size 28.45 x 42.58mm

      Sheet Layout 10

      Release date 21 April, 2016

      Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd


      For further information, please contact Charles Pobjoy

      Pobjoy Mint Ltd, Tel: +44 (0) 1737 818181, Fax: +44 (0) 1737 818199

      email: charles@pobjoy.com or Avril Hadden email: ahadden@pobjoy.com

      www.pobjoystamps.com



    • Albatross Conservation
    • Albatross Conservation
    • Albatross conservation


      Albatrosses are amongst the most iconic species of the Southern Ocean. South Georgia is home to globally significant populations of wandering, black-browed, grey-headed and light-mantled albatrosses. These species are highly protected at South Georgia, both on land and at sea in our Marine Protected Area.


      The population trends of South Georgia’s albatrosses are closely monitored at selected sites each year. This annual monitoring is complemented by archipelago-wide surveys every ten years or so, except for light-mantled albatrosses, whose dispersed breeding distribution make them difficult to survey. The most recent archipelago-wide survey was undertaken during the 2014/15 breeding season. The results of this survey revealed that the number of wandering albatrosses breeding annually at South Georgia decreased by 18% (1.8% per year) from 1,553 pairs in 2003/2004 to an estimated 1,278 pairs in 2014/2015. Over the same period, black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses decreased by 19% (1.9% per year) and 43% (5% per year), respectively. These represent a continuation of negative trends at South Georgia since the 1970s, and are in contrast to some populations elsewhere, which have shown signs of recent recovery. The main cause has been attributed to incidental mortality associated with fisheries operating outside of South Georgia’s maritime zone.


      The Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) has ratified via the United Kingdom (UK) Government, and actively participates in the work of, the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP). ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve albatrosses and petrels by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations. GSGSSI has also collaborated with the fishing industry to protect albatross in the waters around South Georgia. Modern fisheries management techniques have all but eliminated seabird bycatch in the maritime zone. Vessels fishing in South Georgia’s maritime zone are required to use a variety of seabird bycatch mitigation measures aimed at reducing or preventing bycatch. These include the use of bird-scaring devices and night setting, the use of which has helped reduce the bycatch of seabirds to negligible levels. This success has helped support the designation of the South Georgia toothfish fishery as the highest-scoring Marine Stewardship Council certified fishery in the world. However, the extensive at-sea range of albatrosses, extending many thousands of miles, brings them into contact with other, less well-managed, fisheries.


      GSGSSI is now looking to better understand and address these external threats, and is delighted to be working in conjunction with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to undertake an initial study that will identify where and when albatrosses are at risk so as to better target education, conservation and monitoring programmes.


      Black-browed albatross

      Breeding on inaccessible cliffs and tussock covered slopes, these birds are generally surveyed by photographing colonies from the sea, and subsequently counting nesting birds from the digital photographs. Outside the breeding season the birds spend considerable time foraging in the productive waters of the Benguela Current, off southern Africa where they overlap with, and are at risk of being incidentally killed by a number of long-line and trawl fisheries.


      Light-mantled albatross

      Unlike the other species of albatross breeding at South Georgia, breeding light-mantled albatross are dispersed in low numbers around the entire coastline making it very difficult to monitor their population trends. Nevertheless, South Georgia is known to host the largest population of light-mantled albatross in the world. Considered to be the most southerly of all the albatross species, these birds often forage close to the Antarctic.


      Grey-headed albatross

      Often found nesting on high cliffs in mixed groups with black-browed albatross, grey-headed albatrosses only breed every other year making their populations particularly vulnerable to ongoing declines. Known to travel great distances outside of the breeding season, better understanding of where these birds forage at different stages of their life-cycle is critical to understanding what fisheries they come into contact with and where to target conservation efforts.


      Wandering albatross

      Wandering albatrosses are one of the largest flying birds in the world and have a wingspan of up to 3.5m. It takes an entire year to raise a chick. Nesting in small groups on isolated headlands and tussock islands, the majority of birds breeding at South Georgia are found on Bird Island and Annenkov Island, with other colonies located in the Bay of Isles and along the southern coast of the archipelago. Surveying these long-lived species requires good local knowledge and great care to avoid disturbing the birds or the habitat in which they nest.


      Technical Details


      Artist: Leigh-Anne Wolfaardt

      Printer: Cartor Security Printing

      Process: Stochastic lithography

      Perforation: 13 ¼ x 13 per 2cms

      Stamp size: 38 x 30.6mm

      Sheet Layout: 10

      Souvenir Sheet size: 164 x 136mm

      Release date: 25 June, 2017

      Production Co-ordination: Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd



      RSPB crest and name © RSPB and reproduced with authorisation of RSPB, registered trademark owner


      For further information, please contact either Charles Pobjoy

      Pobjoy Mint Ltd, Tel: +44 (0) 1737 818181, Fax: +44 (0) 1737 818199

      email: charles@pobjoy.com or Juliet Warner email: jwarner@pobjoy.com

      www.pobjoystamps.com


    • Biodiversity
    • Biodiversity
    • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - Biodiversity


      The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aims to conserve biological diversity, promote sustainable use of its components and ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources. It was signed by the UK in 1992 and ratified in 1994. On the 27th March 2015 the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) announced that the CBD would be extended to South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI).


      The extension of the CBD is a demonstration of the commitment of the GSGSSI and the UK Government to the conservation and sustainable management of the Territory’s environment, which is home to an array of marine and terrestrial wildlife. It builds on recent work to protect biodiversity including the designation of a Marine Protected Area and initiatives to eradicate invasive species. Achieving the extension of the CBD to SGSSI was facilitated by close collaboration between GSGSSI, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


      Greater burnet Aceana magellanica

      This low growing shrub-like herb is abundant in the coastal regions of South Georgia and can form large swathes on sheltered moist slopes. It is easily recognisable by its red-tinged prickly seed heads that stick to birds and seals as a dispersal mechanism. A member of the rose family, this species is found throughout the sub-Antarctic region.


      Tussac beetle Hydromedion sparsutum

      South Georgia’s terrestrial habitats are home to almost 200 species of invertebrates and the tussac beetle is one of the largest and most conspicuous. It is found in long vegetation where there is a layer of damp debris or leaf litter to live under and feed on. In recent years, populations appear to have declined due to increases in an introduced predatory ground beetle.


      Macaroni penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus

      South Georgia is home to around a million pairs of macaroni penguins. There are numerous colonies around the coastline but the biggest are at Elsehul, Bird Island and the Willis Islands. Easily identifiable by the golden plumes above its eyes, the macaroni penguin is known for its raucous braying and trumpet like call. Colonies on South Georgia appear to be declining, which may be the result of changes in ocean dynamics or competition for food with fur seals.


      Sea spider Pycnogonida

      This group of arthropods are found solely in the marine environment and live on the sea floor preying on soft-bodied colonial organisms. South Georgia is home to a diverse array of sea spider species, some of which can grow as large as a dinner plate. Getting its name from its eight long legs, they are an enigmatic group having similarities with spiders, crustaceans, and even marine worms.


      Crested bigscale Poromitra crassiceps

      Getting its name from the thick ridges on its head, the crested bigscale feeds on small crustaceans, especially on seamounts and knolls. A rare visitor to South Georgia, it has a wide global distribution and typically lives at depths of more than 1000m.


      Leopard seal Hydrurga leptonyx

      A ferocious predator that spends most of its life in the pack ice, leopard seals are common visitors to South Georgia in the winter months. Named for the black spots on the fur around their neck, these solitary animals feed on seals and penguins and can often been seen lurking off colonies on the lookout for unwary prey.








      Technical Details

      Crested Bigscale Martin Collins

      Sea Spider Christoph Held

      All other Images Alastair Wilson

      Layout Bee Design

      Printer BDT International Security Printing

      Process Stochastic lithography

      Perforation 14 per 2cms

      Stamp size 25.73 x 21mm

      Sheet Layout 10

      Release date 21 December, 2015

      Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

    • Britains Longest Reigning Monarch
    • Britains Longest Reigning Monarch
    • South Georgia - HM Queen Elizabeth II: Britain’s Longest Reigning Monarch


      On 9th September 2015, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning Monarch in British history, surpassing the reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.


      To celebrate this extraordinary milestone South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are proud to release this special new issue as part of a series together with Ascension Island, Bahamas, British Antarctic Territory, Falkland Islands and Tristan da Cunha.


      Queen Victoria came to the throne aged 18 and died in 1901 when she was 81, an incredible reign of 63 years and 216 days (23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes) that defined an era and a people. In her journal Victoria recorded that “Today is the day I have reigned longer, by a day, than any English sovereign”. The Victorians responded enthusiastically to her historic milestone yet, like our current Queen, Victoria did not encourage any celebrations ahead of the day.


      Yet for Queen Elizabeth II to become the longest reigning of the forty-one kings and queens of England since the Norman Conquest is without doubt an historic achievement. Like Victoria, Elizabeth II is much loved and during a lifetime of service has provided a reassuring and enduring source of stability in a fast and ever changing world.


      Elizabeth’s reign has seen more developments, achievements and records than any other. According to Guinness World Records she holds the world record for the most currencies featuring the same individual. Her Diamond Jubilee river pageant in 2012 set a new world record for the number of boats in a parade. She was the first British monarch to have sent an email, to have a message placed on the moon, to have conducted a royal 'walkabout' and to have held a public concert in her back garden.


      This series of postage stamps depict Her Majesty since her coronation with many familiar and iconic images from her reign.


      70p Her Majesty is shown against coronation publications from 1953.

      (Photo credit AFP/Getty Images).


      80p Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh meets the Doctors at Leith Harbour, South Georgia where he visited aboard the Royal Yacht. The introductions were captured in colour by John Alexander, an electrician at the Harbour. The portrait of Her Majesty was taken at the Embassy in Paris. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images).


      90p Queen Elizabeth 2, often referred to simply as QE2, was an ocean liner from 1969 – 2008 and until 2004 served as Cunard’s flagship. In May 1982 the ship took part in the Falklands Conflict. She was refitted in Southampton in preparation for war service, including the installation of two helicopter pads, the transformation of public lounges into dormitories, the installation of fuel pipes that ran through the ship down to the engine room to allow for refuelling at sea and the covering of carpets with 2,000 sheets of hardboard. A quarter of the ship’s length was reinforced with steel plating and an anti-magnetic coil was fitted to combat Naval Mines. Over 650 Cunard crew members volunteered for the voyage to look after the 3,000 members of the Fifth Infantry Brigade, which the ship transported to South Georgia. During the voyage the ship was blacked out and the radar switched off to avoid detection, steaming on without modern aids. The QE2 returned to the UK in June 1982, where she was greeted in Southampton Water by The Queen Mother on board the Royal Yacht Britannia. The image of Her Majesty was taken at a banquet in Papua New Guinea in 1982. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images).


      £1.25 The Princess Royal visited South Georgia in 2009 at the invitation of the South Georgia Heritage Trust, of which she is a patron. Here she can be seen visiting Shackleton’s grave. The image of Her Majesty was taken in the same year. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images).


      Technical details:-

      Designer Andrew Robinson

      Printer BDT International

      Process Lithography

      Perforation 14 per 2 cms

      Stamp size 28.45 x 42.58mm

      Sheet Layout 10

      Release date 9 September, 2015

      Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

    • Heroes
    • Heroes
    • HEROES OF THE IMPERIAL TRANS-ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION


      The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (Weddell Sea party 1914–16) is considered by some the last major expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. By 1914 both Poles had been reached so Shackleton set his sights on being the first to traverse Antarctica.


      The plan was for the Ross Sea party, who travelled aboard the Aurora to a base at Cape Evans (Scott's HQ during the Terra Nova Expedition), to lay a series of supply depots to the base of the Beardmore Glacier and then return to the base. Meanwhile Shackleton would take Endurance into the Weddell Sea, make his way to the South Pole and then to the Ross Sea via the Beardmore Glacier (to pick up the supplies). Although the expedition failed to accomplish its objective it became recognised instead as an epic feat of endurance.


      Endurance left Britain on 8 August 1914 heading first for Buenos Aires. Here Shackleton, who had travelled on a faster ship, re-joined the expedition. Hurley also came on board, and William Bakewell and stowaway Perce Blackborow were added to the crew. On 26 October the ship sailed for the South Atlantic, arriving at South Georgia on 5 November. After a month-long halt in the Grytviken whaling station, Endurance sailed into the Weddell Sea. They steamed along the coast for a few days making slow progress until 19 January 1915 when Endurance was beset in consolidated pack ice which had closed in around the ship.


      Whilst stuck in the ice the men lived comfortably but the ice was slowly crushing Endurance. After it sank, its 28-man complement was stranded on the ice. After months spent in makeshift camps as the ice continued its northwards drift, the party took to the lifeboats to reach the inhospitable, uninhabited Elephant Island. Shackleton, Frank Worsley, Henry McNish, John Vincent, Tom Crean and Tim McCarthy then made an 800-mile open-boat journey, which they were fortunate to survive, in the James Caird to reach King Haakon Bay, South Georgia. After a period of recuperation Shackleton, Crean and Worsley set out on the now legendary crossing of South Georgia to Stromness and safety. From there Worsley was able to pick up McNish, Vincent and McCarthy on a whaler. After four attempts in different vessels, Shackleton was able to rescue the men waiting on Elephant Island who were brought home aboard the Chilean steamer Yelcho without loss of life.


      On the other side of the continent, the Ross Sea party overcame great hardships to fulfil its mission. The Aurora had broken away from its moorings and had eventually reached New Zealand; the fate of the shore party was unknown. After the Elephant Island party had been rescued, Shackleton joined the Aurora as it left New Zealand to rescue the men, reaching McMurdo Sound on 10 January 1917. Of the ten members who had been stranded, three had died, including the leader Aeneas Mackintosh. The ship returned to New Zealand on 9 February 1917, bringing all the remaining members of the expedition to safety. Upon their return many would serve in the First World War.


      South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands have chosen to mark the centenary of the arrival of the Expedition at Grytviken Whaling Station with the release of 3 issues focusing on three of the heroes of the expedition.


      Frank Hurley (15 October 1885 – 16 January 1962) was an Australian photographer and adventurer who participated in a number of expeditions to. At the age of 17 he bought a camera and became a partner in a postcard business. In 1908, he persuaded the Australian explorer Douglas Mawson to take him on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. The expedition departed aboard Aurora in 1911 and returned in 1914. On his return, Hurley compiled a documentary film Home of the Blizzard. Almost immediately afterwards, he joined Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. He was a member of the Weddell Sea Party aboard Endurance. When the ship was about to sink, he rescued his glass plates and film. As weight was crucial, only the 120 best were preserved. His stunning images of the expedition, including cine film of Endurance’s masts almost collapsing on him and the rescue from Elephant Island, are his best known work and have greatly contributed to the Endurance legend.


      Hurley also produced many pioneering colour images of the Expedition. The history, achievements and chronology of the expedition are well recorded. On these stamps we have chosen to focus on the more intimate photos that Hurley took and which bring to life the lifestyle of those aboard Endurance.


      Hurley served as an official photographer with Australian forces during both World Wars. Between the wars, he served with Mawson again on the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Expedition (BANZARE) 1929-31. Two more documentaries were made: Southward Ho with Mawson and Siege of the South.


      65p Frank Hurley and Alexander Macklin “at home” on the Endurance.

      75p 'The Nightwatchman's Story' in the wardroom (or Ritz) of the Endurance

      £1 Midwinter dinner aboard the Endurance, 22 June 1915.

      £1.20 Dr Leonard Hussey and Frank Hurley playing chess on board the Endurance.

      FDC Self-portrait, Frank Hurley, expedition photographer.


      Frank Worsley (22 February 1872 – 1 February 1943) was a New Zealand sailor and explorer who served on Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition Weddell Sea party of 1914–1916, as captain of the Endurance. He also served in the Royal Navy Reserve during the First World War.


      He was an experienced sailor renowned for his ability to navigate to tiny remote islands. After the Endurance became trapped in the ice and wrecked Worsley and the other expedition members floated north on the pack ice and then sailed 3 lifeboats to Elephant Island. With many of the men too ill to continue Shackleton chose Worsley and 4 others to sail to South Georgia, some 800 miles across the stormy Southern Ocean, aboard the 22 foot James Caird. The men suffered terribly and were wet through for the entire journey. On the rare occasions they saw the sun Worsley had to be held steady by two men so he could read the sextant to position them. At one point the boat was almost overwhelmed by a huge wave and all hands had to set to baling water. For a while they did not know if it would be possible to save the vessel. Worsley’s navigation skills were crucial to the safe arrival of the James Caird at South Georgia.


      Worsley and Tom Crean then accompanied Shackleton on their march across the island, their safe arrival of course resulting in the rescue of all of the remaining members of the expedition.


      Upon his return Worsley captained the Q-ship PC.61 (heavily armed merchant ships with concealed weaponry, designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks) and was responsible for the sinking of a submarine by carrying out a skilful ramming manoeuvre. For this he received a DSO and for later achievements he added a bar to this and then received an OBE. Later he served on Shackleton’s final expedition as captain of the Quest and published two books about his experiences. In the Second World War he initially served with the International Red Cross before falsifying his age and joining the Merchant Navy. Sadly he died of Lung Cancer in 1943.


      65p Portrait of Captain Frank Worsley.

      75p Frank Worsley and Reginald James observing stars during winter below the stern of the ice trapped Endurance.

      £1 This photograph shows Frank Worsley and Lionel Greenstreet looking across King Edward Cove with the Endurance below. It forms one half of a panoramic photograph.

      £1.20 Shackleton instructs Worsley to abandon the Endurance with the 3 lifeboats, dogs, sledges and a month’s supply of food

      FDC Frank Worsley photographed as he directs helmsmen through the ice.


      Tom Crean, (20 July 1877 - 27 July 1938). One of ten children Crean left school at 10 to help on the family farm in County Kerry, Ireland. At 15 he ran away from poverty and enlisted in the Royal Navy. By 1901 he was aboard HMS Ringarooma, part of the Royal Navy’s New Zealand Squadron, when it was ordered to assist Scott’s Discovery as it embarked on the British National Antarctic Expedition. Shortly before departure one of Scott's sailors attacked a Petty Officer and jumped ship, leaving the expedition a man short. Crean volunteered and upon the expedition’s return he was promoted on Scott’s recommendation. Scott held Crean in high regard so he was an early recruit for his Terra Nova Expedition 1910-13. He marched to within 150 miles of the South Pole and was among the last men to see Scott's doomed party alive. Crean, William Lashly and Edgar “Teddy” Evans faced a 700 mile journey back to Hut Point. Crean’s bravery and endurance at the end of this journey ultimately saved the life of his companions and earned him the Albert Medal.


      It is easy to see why Shackleton wanted Crean to accompany him in 1914. He was appointed Second Officer on Endurance with a range of duties. His reliability, formidable resolve and great mental strength were vital to Shackleton and, in the expedition's darkest moments, he and Frank Wild were invaluable.


      After Endurance was abandoned Crean guided the smallest of the lifeboats, the Stancomb Wills, on the 5 day voyage to Elephant Island as the navigating officer appeared to have suffered a breakdown. Upon arrival he was one of the "four fittest men" detailed by Shackleton to find a safe camping-ground. Frank Wild, who was to be in command of those remaining on the island, had asked that Crean remain but Shackleton changed his mind when Crean begged to sail on the James Caird.


      It was a truly terrifying and heroic journey to South Georgia, after which Worsley and Crean went on to accompany Shackleton on the 36 hour march across the mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to Stromness. Duncan Carse later wrote "I do not know how they did it, except they had to ...". Crean then joined Shackleton in the rescue of the 22 men left on Elephant Island.


      After the war Crean returned to his home village of Anascaulin where, through marriage, he owned a pub aptly re-named the South Pole Inn. He sadly died in 1938 of peritonitis and was buried alongside the river that flows past his inn.


      65p Portrait of Tom Crean by Frank Hurley.

      75p Crean had a varied range of duties which included taking charge of one of the dog teams. He was later involved in the care and nurture of the pups born to one of his dogs, Sally, early in the expedition.

      £1 The James Caird is launched from Elephant Island watched by Frank Hurley and 21 other expedition members hoping for eventual rescue.

      £1.20 The crew of the Endurance taken on the bow of the ship. Tom Crean is 2nd from the left in the first standing row.

      FDC Tom Crean (cropped) from a photograph taken with Alfred Cheetham.



      Technical details:

      Layout Bee Design

      Photography Frank Hurley, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

      Printer BDT International

      Process Lithography

      Perforation 14 per 2cms

      Stamp size 28.45 x 42.58mm

      Sheet Layout 10

      Release date 5 November, 2014

      Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

    • IAATO
    • IAATO
    • South Georgia - 25th Anniversary of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators


      This year marks the 25th anniversary of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) which was founded in 1991. The organisation, which now numbers over 100 member companies, was originally composed of just seven companies operating expedition cruise vessels in the Antarctic. Members now also include yacht operators, land and air operations, tourism companies and bureaus, agents, conservation organisations and specialist expedition management companies.


      IAATO is a non-profit industry association and its founding principles and mission, to advocate and promote the practice of safe and environmentally responsible private sector travel to the Antarctic, remain as true today as they did 25 years ago. Members recognise that the protection of the Antarctic is largely dependent upon the sound policy to which all Antarctic Treaty nations adhere and IAATO remains committed to working diligently to establish extensive operational procedures, activity guidelines and restrictions, with the goal of "leaving the Antarctic Environment as pristine and majestic for future generations as it is today”.


      Whilst not a member of IAATO, the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) has worked closely with IAATO for many years. IAATO’s high standards and self-regulatory approach mean that IAATO vessels visiting South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands have access to a wide range of approved landing sites. GSGSSI is working with IAATO to better understand the tourism challenges of the future, including the importance of facilitating visitor access whilst protecting this UK Overseas Territory's unique environment.


      During the 2015-16 season some 39,000 travellers visited the Antarctic with IAATO members. Over the same period over 8,000 visitors travelled to South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands on IAATO cruise vessels and yachts.


      55p: M/V Lindblad Explorer - the first vessel specifically built for taking fee paying passengers to the Antarctic in 1969 and was the first cruise ship to visit South Georgia.


      70p: Wildlife protection is an essential aspect of any visit to South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands and zodiac cruising, in accordance with IAATO guidelines, is a good means of observing wildlife, especially dense coastal penguin colonies, without causing any disturbance or harm to adult birds and chicks.


      80p: Having completed a special assessment process, permission is granted annually to a handful of overland expeditions. A significant number of these involve IAATO guides leading specialist groups of clients. The overland traverse of the island, following the route taken by Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1916, remains the most popular.


      £1: South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands receives in the region of 15 visits by IAATO yachts annually. As well as carrying tourists, some support expedition groups such as mountaineers or film production teams.


      Technical details:

      Layout Bee Design

      Photography Kim Crosbie (55p, 70p, FDC)

      Skip Novak (80p, £1)

      Printer BDT International

      Process Lithography

      Perforation 14 per 2cms

      Stamp size 28.45 x 42.58mm

      Sheet Layout 10

      Release date 4 May, 2016

      Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd


      For further information about IAATO please visit http://iaato.org/history-of-iaato




    • Shackleton 100
    • Shackleton 100
    • South Georgia - Sir Ernest Shackleton: Centenary of The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition


      The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, also known as the Endurance Expedition, is considered by some the last major expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. By 1914 both Poles had been reached so Shackleton set his sights on being the first to traverse Antarctica.


      By the time of the expedition, Sir Ernest Shackleton was already experienced in polar exploration. A young Lieutenant Shackleton from the merchant navy was chosen by Captain Scott to join him in his first bid for the South Pole in 1901. Shackleton later led his own attempt on the pole in the Nimrod expedition of 1908: he surpassed Scott’s southern record but took the courageous decision, given deteriorating health and shortage of provisions, to turn back with 100 miles to go.


      After the pole was claimed by Amundsen in 1911, Shackleton formulated a plan for a third expedition in which proposed to undertake “the largest and most striking of all journeys - the crossing of the Continent”. Having raised sufficient funds, he purchased a 300 tonne wooden barquentine which he named Endurance. He planned to take Endurance into the Weddell Sea, make his way to the South Pole and then to the Ross Sea via the Beardmore Glacier (to pick up supplies laid by a second vessel, Aurora, purchased from Sir Douglas Mawson). Although the expedition failed to accomplish its objective it became recognised instead as an epic feat of endurance.


      Endurance left Britain on 8 August 1914 heading first for Buenos Aires. Here Shackleton, who had travelled on a faster ship, re-joined the expedition. Hurley also came on board, and William Bakewell and stowaway Perce Blackborow were added to the crew. On 26 October the ship sailed for the South Atlantic, arriving at South Georgia on 5 November. After a month-long halt in the Grytviken whaling station, Endurance sailed into the Weddell Sea. They steamed along the coast for a few days making slow progress until 19 January 1915 when Endurance was beset in consolidated pack ice which had closed in around the ship.


      Whilst stuck in the ice the men lived comfortably but the ice was slowly crushing Endurance. After she sank, her 28-man complement was stranded on the ice. They spent 15 months trapped in the ice, in makeshift camps first at 'Ocean Camp' and then at 'Patience Camp’ from whence the party took to the lifeboats to reach the inhospitable, uninhabited Elephant Island. Shackleton, Frank Worsley, Henry McNish, John Vincent, Tom Crean and Tim McCarthy then made an 800-mile open-boat journey, which they were fortunate to survive, in the James Caird to reach King Haakon Bay, South Georgia. After a short period of recuperation Shackleton, Crean and Worsley set out on the now legendary crossing of South Georgia to Stromness whaling station and safety. From there Worsley was able to pick up McNish, Vincent and McCarthy on a whaler. After four attempts in different vessels, Shackleton was able to rescue the men waiting on Elephant Island who were brought home aboard the Chilean steamer Yelcho without loss of life.


      On the other side of the continent, the Ross Sea party overcame great hardships to fulfil its mission. The Aurora had broken away from its moorings and had eventually reached New Zealand; the fate of the shore party was unknown. After the Elephant Island party had been rescued, Shackleton joined the Aurora as it left New Zealand to rescue the men, reaching McMurdo Sound on 10 January 1917. Of the ten members who had been stranded, three had died, including the leader Aeneas Mackintosh. The ship returned to New Zealand on 9 February 1917, bringing all the remaining members of the expedition to safety. Upon their return many would serve in the First World War.


      South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands has chosen to mark the centenary of the arrival of Shackleton, Crean and Worsley at Stromness whaling station with this special stamp issue featuring portraits of Sir Ernest Shackleton from the period of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.


      70p Ernest Shackleton photographed on board Endurance at Millwall Docks, London, before leaving for the Antarctic in 1914. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.


      80p Ernest Shackleton with dog on board Endurance. Frank Hurley, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).


      £1 Ernest Shackleton during the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Frank Hurley/Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge/Getty Images.


      £1.25 Ernest Shackleton at Patience Camp. Frank Hurley, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).


      FDC Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) photographed prior to the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Hulton Archive/Getty Images.


      Technical details:

      Layout Bee Design

      Printer BDT International

      Process Lithography

      Perforation 14 per 2cms

      Stamp size 28.45 x 42.58mm

      Sheet Layout 10

      Release date 20 May, 2016

      Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

    • Zavodovski Island
    • Zavodovski Island
    • South Georgia - Zavodovski Island


      Ten years ago, Planet Earth became one of the most-watched, most loved, natural history series the world had ever seen, reaching a global audience of over half a billion people. Ten years on, and this rich subject has been revisited with a new perspective. Planet Earth II takes a more intimate approach, immersing audiences in the most spectacular landscapes and habitats on the planet - bringing them eye-to-eye with the animals that live there.


      Finding new stories is one of the biggest challenges for any landmark series, and for Planet Earth II that meant pushing the boundaries and going to places that hadn’t been covered on television before. Once such place was the island of Zavodovski, one of the South Sandwich Islands, part of the UK Overseas Territory of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands situated in the South Atlantic. Few humans have ever set foot on the island, let alone attempted comprehensively documenting the daily lives of the 1.5 million or so penguins that breed here.


      The reason so few people have visited is partly logistical – Zavodovski lies 1,300 miles (2,200 km) East of the Falklands (around 36 hours sail away from South Georgia), making it exceptionally remote. It is an active volcano and its coastline is dominated by 10m (33 ft) cliffs that are battered by waves that can reach 15m (50ft) and more. It is a difficult place to land in all but the most benign of conditions.


      It took 18 months of planning for the Planet Earth II team to put together the expedition to visit, working with the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands to ensure the trip was carried out with minimal impact and maximal safety for all concerned. The skipper for the voyage was Jérôme Poncet of the yacht Golden Fleece, who had visited the island 6 times previously, landing (among others) the photographer Sebastião Salgado on the island as part of his series, Genesis.


      The Planet Earth II expedition was carried out in January 2015 with a team of 8 (5 film crew and 3 yacht staff) voyaging 7 days by motor sail to reach the island. The seas were good on arrival, and they were able to land on the island via cliffs at the south east, unloading around 1 tonne of filming equipment, camping gear, water and fuel with which to be self-sufficient. The aim was for the Golden Fleece to anchor nearby, as the support vessel, but big seas meant it had to move at regular intervals and daily resupply to the island was not guaranteed or even possible. In total the team spent 14 days living and filming on the island – although the passing depressions of snow and rain meant only 6 of those had weather conditions that were suitable for operating camera kit.


      The resulting footage - made using long lens, gyro-stabilised hand-held cameras and a small drone – is the first filming of the largest colony and the first full portrait of the daily lives of these penguins, as they do battle with spectacular, and often deadly, waves in their mission to feed and raise their chicks.


      Planet Earth II launches in the UK and then globally in November 2016. Fronted by Sir David Attenborough (who himself visited Zavodovski on HMS Endurance some years ago), Planet Earth II aims to thrill and inspire audiences the world over.


      The story of the penguins of Zavodovski Island appears in the first episode, ‘Islands’, and the behind the scenes story of the challenges of filming in such a remote location features as the ‘Diary’ story for this episode.


      Text by Dr Elizabeth White, BBC Natural History Unit

      Producer ‘Islands’, Planet Earth II




      70p (Macaroni penguins) Although Zavodovski is best known as the largest chinstrap penguin colony in the world, several hundred thousand macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) also breed on the island.


      80p (Chinstrap penguins) Zavodovski Island is home to the largest penguin colony in the world – predominantly chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica) of which there are estimated to be around 750,000 breeding pairs, plus adolescent non-breeders and chicks.


      £1.05 (Chinstrap penguin chicks) Towards the end of January, the chicks are growing so quickly that both parents have to go to sea to feed. They leave the chicks in crèches, beginning as small groups of birds and increasing until they are huddles of ten or twenty individuals and more.


      £1.25 (volcano) On the west side of Zavodovksi Island is the volcanic cone of Mount Curry which daily spews out volcanic clouds. The plateau to the east of it - where the largest aggregation of penguins is found - is known as Asphyxia Plain, and there are other sub-colonies at Stench Point and in the northwest of the Island.


      First Day cover image: Zavodovski Island viewed from the northwest, with the crater of Mount Curry in the centre, with fumaroles emanating from the coast on the right side of the image.


      Technical details:

      Layout Bee Design

      Photography © Elizabeth White / BBC Natural History Unit

      Printer Cartor Security Printing

      Process Stochastic Lithography

      Perforation 13½ x 13¼ per 2cms

      Stamp size 28 x 45mm

      Sheet Layout 10

      Release date 28 November, 2016

      Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd


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