Lanarkshire Philatelic Society




Ian Dyce FRPSL



The Lanarkshire Philatelic Society was delighted to welcome Mr Ian Dyce, FRPSL, to its meeting on Friday, 31st October. Ian has made a deep study into the Postal History of Malaya and his display of related material showed his thorough knowledge.

He began from the 19thcentury - 1812 - with a letter written from aboard a hospital ship stationed at Port Cornwallis, Prince of Wales Island (in the Straits Settlements – British settlement in Malaya) to Portpatrick in Galloway. This was postmarked with PO/PW handstamp.

With the aid of maps members were able to track the passage of mail from: 1837 Penang to Nantes; 1844 India to Penang; 1846 Singapore to Amsterdam (via Marseilles); 1847 Penang to USA (via London)

There was a letter of 1841 detailing opium prices on the Calcutta market during the Opium War with China.

Another letter sent from Singapore to London which travelled via the Cape and on to Port Glasgow!

When postage stamps came into use, stamps of India were used on mail. But on the 1st April, 1866 the Straits Settlements became a Crown Colony passing from control of the India Office to the Secretary of State for the Colonies. India stamps continued to be used but were overprinted for use by the British until in 1867 the Straits Settlements issued their own stamps.

On the 1st April 1879 the cost of postage to the UK was reduced and the stamps were overprinted with the lesser amount.

In the second half of the evening Ian continued his Display showing the later development of mail delivery.

Mailboat deliveries were made to Singapore and vice versa, while, within the country, the railway began to carry mail. In 1900 the railway was extended from Penak to the mainland and later the railway was built over the Strait of Jehore and carried mail from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.

1940 saw the advent of Air Mail – Kuala Lumpur to London by train and air. In 1941 came Trans Pacific Air Mail carrying the mail to the USA.

Ian also showed many covers of the First World War when mail was opened and checked by the ‘Censor’ before being sent on. This included two items of mail recovered from an air crash into the sea.


Dr Brian Dow, in giving his Vote of Thanks, remarked on the beautiful handwriting used to describe the material on each sheet – no PC used there!  He also praised Ian for such a wonderfully informative display.

Our next meeting in St Andrews Parish Church Hall, Avon Street, Hamilton, is on Friday, 7th November 2008, at 7:30pm - when we look forward to a display from Mrs Emslie MacPherson – with a display of ‘Famous Women’.   

Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc will be very welcome to attend.