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.

(click to enlarge)

This picture gives you an idea how adventurous the travel thru the desert has been.
Please click on the image to view it in full size (1.65 MB). That image will open in a new image layer.


HELP REQUIRED / REQUESTED (Updated 6 July 2014) Whereabouts of known items (Updated 16 July 2017)
Norman Collins Archive, REQUEST FOR HELP TO IDENTIY ITEMS!  (Updated 20 APRIL 2017)  

Whats new!

  • August 7, 2017. Imprinted Envelope of Type IE-48 (2) in a new subtype discovered. That envelope has a larger size than the normal Imprinted Envelope IE-48 (1).

  • July 26, 2017. Previously not recorded Route Instruction Handstamp on a cover in the collection of the late Zvi Alexander, now listed as HS-N52. ThatHandstamp is Bi-Linguial (Arabic/English) and the English part has a nice misspelling OVRELAND instead of OVERLAND.

  • July 25, 2017. Cover from the Archive of Norman Collins with a previously unrecorded Route Instruction Handstamp, now recorded as HS-N51, sent on 21 January 1934 from Iran to England added. A color copy is appreciated from the current owner.

  • July 21, 2017. High resolution scan of covers with Receiving Handstamp RH-1 (3) and RH-1 (4) added.

  • July 16, 2017. Whereabouts of a Overland Mail cover from German Empire to Iraq solved.

  • July 14, 2017. New discovered Handstamp HS-N50 on cover from Feluja (Falluja) added.
    Additional cover with Rerouting and Receiving Handstamps RRH-1 (2) added.

  • July 13, 2017 Cover from UK to Baghdad, dated 22 November 1923 from the first Overland Mail acceptance of Overland Mail from UK to Iraq. The only such covers known.

  • 25 June 2017. Another cover with Receiving Handstamp RH-1 (5) added.

  • 15 June 2017. Additional cover with Route Instruction Handstamp HS-08 (7) added. That cover is dated 20 January 1931 and represents the currently latest date of use of this Route Instruction Handstamp.

  • 14 June 2017. Previously unrecorded Route Instruction Handstamp HS-N50 added.

  • 13 June 2017. Additional explanations related to HS-76 added, furthermore, sender of cover with handstamp HS-73 (3) added.

  • 27 May 2017. Cover with Route Instruction Handstamp similar to HS-76 sent from Hillah added. 

  • 19 May 2017. Original scan of cover with new discovered Route Instruction Handstamp HS-N48 added.

  • 07 May 2017. High resolution image of the share issued in 1924 by the Eastern Transport Company. added. It turned out that the share still have the coupons attached.

  • 21 April 2017. Share issued in 1924 by the Eastern Transport Company. That company was taken over by Nairn in 1926 and merged with his company and the new company was named Nairn Eastern Transport Company

  • 20 April 2017. Further unidentified/unrecorded items from the Paper Archive of Norman Collins added.

  • 19 April 2017. Images from the Archive of Norman Collins of reference cover showing Handstamp HS-55 (1), HS-59 (1) and both reference covers of Handstamp HS-62 (1) / HS-62 (2) and HS-71 (1) have been added.

  • 18 April 2017. Another cover with handstamp HS-10 (3) added.
    Black/White images of the reference covers from the Archive of Norman Collins showing Handstamp HS-29, HS-21 (2) and HS-N01 (3) added.
    Cover ex collection of the late Zvi Alexander showing handstamp HS-09 (1) added. That cover shows that the user of that handstamp is indicated wrongly in the book by Norman Collins.
    A page has been created showing unrecorded items found in the paper archive of the late Norman Collins. Please check this page if you know one or more of these items and the current owner so the items may be recorded and listed properly.

  • 14 April 2017. Copy of Road Map issued by Public Works Department of Iraq added. This map also indicated the routes issued by the Nairn Transport Company and Eastern Transport Company as the company was called later on.

  • 13 April 2017. Copy of cover showing Handstamp HS-76 (1) added. That cover bears the recorded senders name and address. After comparing that cover with the other covers with Handstamp HS-76 (2) and HS-76 (3) it may well be that the latter handstamps are in fact subtypes or different types of HS-76. Your comments are appreciated.

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