Postage Stamps and Postal History of The Ross Dependency - King Edward VII Land

King Edward VII Land

Before leaving New Zealand on the 1908 British Antarctic Expedition, Captain Ernest Shackleton was appointed as a New Zealand Postmaster, and provided with 23,492 New Zealand “Penny Universal” stamps, overprinted “King Edward VII Land”, for use on the expedition.

Postmaster Shackleton was provided with a circular date stamp, “BRIT. ANTARCTIC EXPD.”, with “N.Z.”, and time, date, year on four lines in the centre, which used to postmark mail from the continent.

Due to ice conditions, Shackleton was unable to reach King Edward VII Land, and established his base in McMurdo Sound.

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King Edward VII Land

King Edward VII Land or King Edward VII Peninsula is a large, ice-covered peninsula which forms the northwestern extremity of Marie Byrd Land in Antarctica. The peninsula projects into the Ross Sea between Sulzberger Bay and the northeast corner of the Ross Ice Shelf, and forms part of the Ross Dependency. Edward VII Peninsula is defined by the Ross Ice Shelf on the southwest, Okuma Bay on the west, and to the east by Sulzberger Bay and the Saunders Coast, all essentially on the Ross Sea / Southern Ocean in Antarctica. The northwest extremity of the peninsula is Cape Colbeck. Edward VII Peninsula is located at 77°40′S 155°00′W / 77.667°S 155°W / -77.667; -155.

The western coast is Shirase Coast. In the north and east the Swinburne Ice Shelf is located. Edward VII Peninsula was discovered on January 30, 1902, by the British National Antarctic Expedition (BrNAE) (1901–1904) under Robert Falcon Scott, who named it King Edward VII Land for King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. The coastline was further explored by the Nimrod Expedition under Ernest Shackleton in 1908-09, and the first landfall was made by a party of the Japanese Antarctic Expedition led by Shirase Nobu in 1912. The region was renamed "Edward VII Peninsula" after the peninsular character of the region was determined by exploration conducted by the Byrd Antarctic Expedition (1933–1935) and the United States Antarctic Service (USAS) Expedition (1939–1941).

Most of the peninsula is within the Ross Dependency, claimed by New Zealand (see Territorial claims of Antarctica).

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