ST012162    Wrecks Part 4     Mint Set
ST012163    Wrecks Part 4     CTO Set
ST012164    Wrecks Part 4      FDC

The extraordinary voyages of 16th century seafarers transformed history. Newly-
developed deep-water sailing ships, equipped with the mariner’s compass, enabled
Europeans to venture beyond the horizon and scour the oceans for new land, dreams
and gold. During one such voyage in 1592, to the Magellan Straits, the little recognized
but most accomplished navigator, John Davis, in his ship Desire, was storm-blown
under bare poles amongst these apparently unknown and unpeopled islands. But it is
likely that the archipelago had been quietly known about for years by the major sea
powers. On maps published from 1507 onwards, an ill-defined cluster of blobs appear,
vaguely positioned, near the eastern end of the Magellan Strait. Amerigo Vespucci may
well have seen them from the deck of a Portuguese ship as early as 1502.

The 700 islands, islets, rocks and reefs which comprise the Falklands are situated some
315 nautical miles down-wind and down-stream from Cape Horn. Battered by frequent
gales and surrounded by strong currents, the Islands have always provided both peril
and sanctuary for the seafarer. Over 180 ships are known to have met their end in the
wild seas which surround the Falklands. Without doubt there will have been others
which sank without trace.

During the 1850’s there was a sudden upsurge in sea-borne traffic around Cape Horn.
Vessels trading in Californian and Australian gold, Chilean copper and Peruvian guano
began calling into Stanley for repair and provisions. The nearest alternative port was
Montevideo, a thousand miles to the north. Some ships attempting to round the Horn
were overloaded, some unseaworthy, and others simply unlucky. Many suffered severe
battering and, riding the prevailing westerlies, limped back into harbour to lick their
wounds. A few lame ducks never recovered. Others were deliberately wrecked and their
cargoes sold by unscrupulous dealers. The growing port gained a notorious reputation
and a flock of worn-out windjammers. Several are still stuck in the Stanley Harbour
mud. But time and tide and two pernicious sea worms, the teredo and the gribble, have
hastened their demise. In many cases their crumbling woodwork has all but

This issue, the fourth in the Shipwrecks series, depicts some of those vessels which
finished their days beached along the Falklands’ shorelines. They remain an integral
part of the Islands’ history and a reminder of the salty folk who sailed in them.

32p Samson
The 94’ tugboat, Samson, built in Hull in 1888, was brought down in 1900 by the
Falkland Islands Company in the aftermath of the City of Philadelphia disaster. Her
value was shown on Christmas Eve 1910 when the Samson towed the iron ship
Wavertree into Stanley after she had been dismasted off Cape Horn. In November
1912, the PSNC liner Oravia struck the Billy Rock near the entrance to Port William. At
night and in heavy seas, Captain Thomas took the Samson alongside the stricken
vessel, disembarking 150 passengers to safety. In 1924, the ageing tug was converted
and she finished her working life as a lighter. During a heavy gale in 1945, the Samson
broke her moorings and came ashore on the beach close to the north-east corner of
Stanley Harbour.

78p St. Mary
In the fall of 1889 veteran shipbuilder, Charles V Minott, laid the keel of an unusually
large vessel in Phippsburg, Maine. 241’ long and with a registered tonnage of 1942, St
Mary was to be one of the last-built, finest constructed, and shortest lived of all the great
“Downeasters”. She was launched just before noon on Thursday, 20th March 1890.
Under command of Captain Carver, St Mary departed Manhattan, bound for San
Francisco by way of Cape Horn. 67 days out and making good speed, she was about
130 miles west of Islas Diego Ramirez. It was a quiet moonlit night, at 1.13am on 7th
August, when she collided with the 176’ steel-hulled Magellan. The Magellan foundered
almost immediately with all hands, while the badly damaged St Mary limped downwind
for Port Stanley. Three days later, just a few miles shy of the port, St Mary struck the
Pinnacle Rock. The distressed Captain refused to leave his ship and later died on
board. The cause of his death was never confirmed. The crew took to the lifeboat
without him and made for the nearby farm at Fitzroy. Two weeks later the wreck split in
two with one half washing ashore at Whale Point, near Fitzroy. The oaken bones of the
St Mary remain today, like a stranded leviathan, where she washed ashore just five
months after her triumphant launch.

£1.04 Weddell
The Weddell was a carvel-built schooner, constructed of Sandy Point timber in 1940 by
Cia Doberti in Punta Arenas, Chile. She had a registered tonnage of 23.6 and was 44’7“
long. On February 1 1941, captained by Bill Radcliffe, she was registered in Stanley
under “John Hamilton Ltd” and thence sailed to Weddell Island where Chris Bundes
took over in charge. She was used mainly to transport sheep and wool around those
islands which made up the Weddell Island group. At first, the Weddell had no engine
and worked entirely under sail. In 1947 Duncan McRae took over as Captain and three
years later, she was taken to Stanley to have her first engine installed. In 1976, after 35
years as the Weddell Island Farm boat, Bob Ferguson sailed her to Stanley where she
was sold and gradually fell into disrepair. In June 1994, the Weddell was transported
down to the Stanley’s Canache where she now lies beached above the tide line near
Boxer Bridge.

£1.26 Garland
A three-masted, 599 tonne steel barque built in Liverpool in 1865, Garland put into
Stanley on 6th March 1900, under command of Captain H Meyer, together with a crew
of 16, while on passage from Hamburg to Talcahuano, Chile. Spillage from jars of acid
amongst the cargo had caused extensive damage to her bottom plates and she was
subsequently condemned. In September 1910 Garland was towed by the tug Samson
to Darwin Harbour in connection with the canning plant. By 1912 she was being used at
Goose Green to store coal from the Gaito. In October 1919 her owners, the Falkland
Islands Company, reported that she had become useless as a hulk. Three years later
she broke her moorings and came to rest, where she lies today, on the eastern shore of
Darwin Harbour across the water from Goose Green. In October 1966 divers discovered
the figurehead which had long since fallen off and lay covered in silt. It was brought to
Stanley and restored by the then Museum Curator, John Smith. Today the Garland’s
figurehead is proudly on display in Stanley’s Dockyard Museum. It depicts a young
woman dressed in white and holding a garland of golden flowers. Unfortunately the

head is missing.
Text by Tony Chater with special thanks to Tansy Bishop, National Archivist at the Jane
Cameron National Archives.

Technical Details:-
Photography Tony Chater
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Process Lithography
Perforation 13 x 13 ¼ per 2cms
Stamp size 30.6 x 38mm
Sheet layout 10
Release date 16 March, 2020
Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd