Welcome to Rainer's
Overland Mail Baghdad-Haifa Pages



The Overland Mail Baghdad-Haifa is a relatively little known part of the middle east postal history, formed after the 1st world war by two young New Zealanders (Captain Norman Nairn and Driver-Mechanic Mr. Gerald Nairn) who had served with the Royal Army Corps

These Pages try to explain primarily the postal history aspect of this company, however, for a good measure also historical facts and background information's like company pamphlets and other miscellaneous items are shown.

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This picture gives you an idea how adventurous the mail transport and travel through the desert has been.

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HELP REQUIRED / REQUESTED (Updated 14 July 2018)Whereabouts of known items (Updated 14 July 2018)
Norman Collins Archive, REQUEST FOR HELP TO IDENTIY ITEMS!  (Updated 20 APRIL 2017) 

Whats new!

October 28, 2020 Size and original scan of the new discovered Route Instruction HS-N65 on cover sent from Cairo, Egypt, dated 3 November 1924 added.
October 21, 2020New discovered Route Instruction Handstamp (HS-N66), added.
October 19, 2020After long time i could discover a not recorded Route Instruction NOT used in Iraq. This cover is sent from Cairo, Egypt, dated 3 November 1924. The Route Instruction Handstamp is now listed as HS-N65 and the cover is correctly franked with 45 MM for a registered Overland Mail cover up to 20 grams.
October 15, 2020New discovered Route Instruction Handstamp (HS-N64), added.
September 25, 2020Imprinted Envelope type IE-38 (2) used from Iraq added. The first of this type recorded used from Iraq.
September 7, 2020A letter head dated 18 November 1933 from the little known company Haim H. Nathaniel, which at some point of time also carried mail through the Syro-Iraqi desert, added.
August 20, 2020Original scan of the Postal Notice of the Iraqi Post of 27 August 1925, informing the public abut the issue and use of Route Instructing Labels, added.
August 8, 2020A new discovered cover carried on the 1924 Special Christmas Mail from Baghdad added.
July 6, 2020I could discovers quite a number of new sub-types of Imprinted envelopes in the past and the new subtype of an item listed as IE-NL03 i could find just yesterday. A similar imprinted envelope i noted last year but could not purchase it, this new subtype is even of a different size so i listed the earlier discovered one as IE-NL03a and the new ne as IE-NL03b.
Transcripts of the Greek postal regulations for the use of the Overland Mail have been added.
June 30, 2020Original scan of Imprinted Envelope IE-06 (1) added. Collins reported 2 such envelopes, this is now the third recorded.
Original scans of Imprinted Envelope IE-15 (1) and E-15 (2) used in Iran added. Collins reported 2 such envelopes used from Iraq, these are the first such envelopes used from Iran, original scan of Imprinted Envelope IE-16 (1) and original scan of Imprinted Envelope IE-22 (1), original scan of Imprinted Envelope IE-29 (1) as well as Imprinted Envelope IE-32 (1) added
June 29, 2020After over 20 years i finally can add a Imprinted Envelope of type IE-11 (1).
New discovery. Imprinted Envelopes of type IE-19 were previously reported in the envelops size of 156 x 102 mm. This new discovered imprinted envelope is smaller in width and slightly higher than the previously reported type 19. Hence i have renumbered the old type from IE-19 to IE-19a and this new type to number IE- 19b (1). Used from Hillah, dated 14 April 1928, to Berlin, Germany. Any covers sent from locations aside of Baghdad, Basrah, Mosul or Kirkuk are very scarce.
June 22, 2020New earliest recorded use of Route Instruction Handstamp HS-52 (4) added.
June 21, 2020After over 20 years i finally can add a cover with Route instruction Handstamp HS-90 (1) to my collection. It is dated 14 March 1927, a new earliest reported date of use.
The cover which is illustrated on the Collins Handbook on page 104, bearing Publicity Handstamp PH-3 (1) has been added as original scan.
June 18, 2020Original scan and measurements of Route Instruction Label L-12 (2) (New earliest recorded use) and Route Instruction Label L-12 (3) added.
May 27, 2020With the help of a collector friend i can provide a copy of Imprinted Envelope IE-20.
May 16, 2020Transcripts and download of the Cyprus decrees pertaining the Overland Mail have been provided.
May 15, 2020Translation of Greek Postal Circular No. 277653 dated 20 August 1934. This circular gives a good explanation why letter from Greece carried by this route are so rare as only about 1 KG of mail from Greece was carried by the Overland Mail compared to 8 KG by the ordinary, slightly cheaper, but slower route.
April 13, 2020Forerunner pages for mail from Baghdad via Beirut (Austrian Post Office) to Switzerland as well as Great Britain created. More details will be added as being received.
March 12, 2020The third reported copy of Imprinted Envelope type IE-13 (2) added, the latest reported use.
March 10, 2020In an old auction offering i noted tow cover with the Route Instruction Label L-12. Both covers with number L-12 (2) and L-12 (3) are now added.
March 3, 2020New discovered picture postal card form UK to Iraq with Route Instruction Label L10 of the British Post, the latest reported date of use, added. This is also the only Postal Card sent by the Overland Mail. Correctly franked with 4 1/2d (1 1/2d Postage, 3d Overland Mail surcharge).
January 21, 2020Transcripts and translations of the postal regulations from Hungarian Post pertaining the Overland Mail Haifa-Baghdad (Service Transdesertique) have been found.
January 19, 2020The first postal regulations from Hungarian Post pertaining the Overland Mail Haifa-Baghdad (Service Transdesertique) have been found.
January 07, 2020Dimension of the new discovered Route Instruction Handstamp (HS-N63) on cover from Baghdad to Jerusalem / Palestine added.


For older updates, please view the "Revision History" Page!