12th July 1905

A Guernsey man posted himself to Sark

Sometimes there can be no better reason for doing something simply that “you can”. That seems to have been the attitude of Henry Tudner when he posted himself to Sark on 12 July 1905.

Tudner was a resident of Guernsey who, according to a December 1919 round-up of short stories in the Dundee Evening Telegraph, “asked to be expressed to Sark, a commission which was actually given effect to”.

He wasn’t the only person to have been sent through the post, either. The same correspondent outlines how a Suffragette attached a tag to her clothing and paid 3d to be delivered to Winston Churchill.

First-hand account

A letter-writer in the 14 January 1930 edition of the Birmingham Gazette, who signs himself “Guernsey Man”, tells the story in more detail:

Quite 25 years ago a man living in St Peter Port… one day presented himself at the counter of the head post office and requested that he be posted to the neighbouring island of Sark, some 12 minutes away, and, of course, reached by steamer.

The postmaster was rather taken aback, and at first refused the commission as being outside his duties. However, the applicant (whom I knew personally) persisted, and pointed out the regulation in the official Post Office Guide, and the postmaster then assented.

The applicant was accordingly “posted” and delivered to an address in Sark… the messenger was well treated.

The fee for posting a human to Sark was apparently 5s 10d.

If you’re wondering which regulation of the Post Office Guide Tudner relied on, it would appear to the one concerning an Exceptional Express Service. The Londonderry Sentinel of 1 February 1906, which also includes the reference to the 5s 10d charge explains,

“Postmasters may arrange for the conduct of a person to an address by express messenger”. The paragraph will be new to many, but it has been in the guide since 1898.

 

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Other events that occured in July

Guernseyman Edward Tupper killed by cannibals 1st
Alderney is occupied by German forces 2nd
Seigneur of Sark, Michael Beaumont, dies aged 88 3rd
Guernsey hosted the Island Games 2003 closing ceremony 4th
New coins are minted for Guernsey 5th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum opens 6th
Victor Hugo statue is unveiled in Candie Gardens 7th
First Commando raid of the Second World War 8th
Birth of Sark-based writer Mervyn Peake 9th
Guernsey nurses go on hunger strike 10th
ITV broadcasts first episode of Island at War 11th
A Guernsey man posted himself to Sark 12th
Murderer Peter Robin sentenced to death 13th
Victor Hugo plants his United States of Europe oak 14th
Point Law runs aground off Alderney 15th
Racing yacht Westward is blown up off Guernsey
BBC made its first ever Channel Islands broadcast 16th
The Star received some “grave” news 17th
The Guernsey Martyrs were burned at the stake 18th
Prince Charles and Camilla visit Guernsey 19th
President Garcia is re-floated in Saints Bay 20th
Typhoid suspect holidaymaker flies home 21st
Guernsey Controlling Committee’s Sir John Leale died 22nd
Alderney to Guernsey radio connection established 23rd
Val des Terres was first opened for traffic 24th
The BBC broadcasts from Sark for the first time 25th
Guernsey court escapee was caught again 26th
Braye du Valle was gifted by the crown 27th
Murderer sentenced to death in three hours 28th
Guernsey bought Herm from the mainland 29th
Albert Lamy appointed Guernsey Police Chief Officer 30th
Guernsey to Jersey plane crashed into the sea 31st