O.H.M.S. Envelope Postmarked with Anti-Malaria Slogan Cancel

(Published: January, 2022, Volume 22, Number 1, Issue #53) (Table Of Contents)
(Author: David Frye)


In August 1962, 350 or more post offices in Great Britain joined a global effort to promote the work of the World Health Organization to combat malaria. Special slogan cancels shared the same artwork while varying details of the circular date stamps (Birrer and Fillion, 2021) The envelope shown in Fig. 1 illustrates the use of this slogan cancel on an official "On Her Majesty's Service" envelope.

OHMS Cover Figure 1. London to Sheffield, 30 August 1962 (original: 216.0 mm x 92.5 mm).

Birrer and Fillion note that this district post office-London S.W.1. / A - employed the slogan cancel in August 1962, with first and last known uses on 9 and 30 August, respectively. The return address noted in the instruction to follow of the letter remained undelivered is Room 7328 in the Board of Trade's building on Horse Guards Avenue, London. The edifice appears in Fig. 2.

Ministry Of Defense Main Building Figure 2. Ministry of Defence Main Building, occupied as well by the Board of Trade in 1962 (Wikipedia.org, 2021).

The recipient, Harrison Fisher & Co., Ltd., was founded in 1896 by Harrison Fisher (1871-1907), a twenty-five year old merchant's clerk, who was the only son of William and Sarah Fisher. William had been a grocer in Scotland Street and by 1891 was a man of independent means living at Oakfield, Upperthorpe. Harrison Fisher & Co specialised in plated goods and table knives at Trafalgar Works in Trafalgar Street (Geoffrey Tweedale, 2013).

The mark of the company appears in the detail view of a knife in Fig. 3 (True Antiques).

Harrison Fisher Knife Figure 3. Detail of knife by "Harrison / Fisher & Co Ltd / Sheffield / England."

The slogan cancel on this official envelope does not establish a new last known date of use, but it does help to show how Royal Mail used the postmark on various types of mail during the period in which the agency promoted WHO's fight against malaria.


Michael F. Birrer and Lawrence Fillion, Handbook of Malaria Philately, "Great Britain (1962) Slogan Cancel," http://www.malariastamps.com/mpi/handbook/Great%20Britain%20(1962)%20slogan%20cancel.pdf ; accessed 10 July 2021.

About the Author

David M. Frye collects items to inform his study of modern United States postal history and southern and eastern Africa's post-colonial postal history. His writings have appeared in The Airpost Journal, Auxiliary Markings, B.E.A. - The Bulletin of the East Africa Study Circle, Forerunners, The Journal of the Rhodesian Study Circle, The Miasma Philatelist, Postage Due Mail Study Group Journal, Postal History Journal, The Postal Label Bulletin, Scribblings, The Stamp Forum Newsletter, The United States Specialist, Vatican Notes, and The Vermont Philatelist. A past member of the Board of Directors of the Postal History Society, he lives in Franklin, Massachusetts, and works in nearby Framingham as a lead clerk for the U.S. Postal Service.