Today in Postal History

Cocos Islands to England

April 5, 1954

This airmail event cover commemorated the visit of Queen Elizabeth II.
This was the first tour of the Commonwealth by Queen Elizabeth II after her coronation in 1952.

The Cocos Islands were discovered by Captain Keeling in 1609.
The Islands are about 1200 km southwest of Indonesia.
They were settled by westerners in 1827.
John Clunies-Ross, a British subject, was adopted as local ruler.
The Islands were declared a British possession in 1857.
Placed under Ceylon administration in 1876, the Islands were transferred to Straits Settlements in 1886.
In 1903 they were incorporated in Singapore.
After Singapore fell to the Japanese in World War II, the Islands were placed
under Ceylon and a  military administration from July, 1942, to April 3, 1946.
When Singapore became independent in 1955, administration of the Islands was transferred to Australia.
At the time of the 1954 Royal Visit, the Islands were administered as part of Singapore.

The cover is franked with Singapore King George VI stamps from the series first issued in 1948.
There is a 20c bright blue issued in 1952 and a 50c black and blue issued in 1850 (SG 24a and 27).

The cover has a handstamped cachet for the event.
There is a single rim COCOS ISLAND CDS.
The cover was addressed to a recipient in London.


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