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 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 (NEW, Updated 12 December 2014),

Whats new!

  • 27 January 2017. Cover with Route Instruction handstamp HS-74,

  • 23 January 2017, Cover with new discovered Route Instruction handstamp HS-N49 added.

  • January 22, 2017. Copy of cover with Route Instruction handstamp HS-21 added.

  • January 10, 2017. Another Advertising Pamphlet has been added, including scans in pdf format for free non-commercial download.

  • December 19, 2016. Scans of front and reverse of the cover as well as measurements of HS-32 (2) added.

  • November 21, 2016. Another cover with Route Instruction Handstamp HS-32 added.

  • October 16, 2016. A 1931 cover from Egypt with a "Special Service" handstamp was added. Any information on that handstamp is welcomed. Furthermore, a 1931 cover with an apparently complete route instruction label L16/L17 has been added.

  • October 9, 2016, Foreign Letter Rate for mail from Iraq modified to reflect the latest research.

  • October 3, 2016. A variety of Imprinted Envelope IE45 has been added. I have listed that envelope as IE45-3 which has a size of 156x126 mm. Furthermore, a similar size variety of Imprinted Envelope IE46-4 has been added, that envelope has a size of 135x107 mm

  • August 20, 2016. An new Imprinted Envelope has been discovered, listed now as IE-N07.

  • August 11, 2016. A wax seal used by Nairn Eastern Transport Company has been found used on a Nairn Advertising Envelope. More details will be added in due time

  • June 21, 2016. New discovered Imprinted Envelope, listed as IE-N06, added.

  • June 7, 2016. Nairn Publicity Envelope (NPE) Type (Fuchs) 7d added. This item was purchased during NY2016 show and showed for the first time in color. The only such Nairn Advertising Envelope known in that size (Image follows shortly).
    Cover with perforated label L-10 issued by British Post added.

  • May 16, 2016, It was noticed in 2003, but reported here for the first time that Route Instructing Label L-10 from British Post that label exist also rouletted instead of perforated.

  • March 18, 2016, New discovered handstamp used from Baghdad, Iraq, added as as handstamp HS-N48

  • February 2, 2016, Scan of Nairn Advertisement Pamphlet "Baghdad by the Nairn Transport Company / The Overland Desert Mail" uploaded in large and small size version for free non-commercial use download.

  • January 3, 2016, Postal Rates for Palestine completely revised

  • December 29, 2015. A forerunner of the Overland Mail within Palestine has been added.

  • November 30, 2015. A January 1924 cover from Amman/Jordan to Baghdad added.

  • October 14, 2015. After discovering 8 different postage rate periods for the time during which the Overland Mail had been in place (7 of them implied a surcharge), i started to revise the Postage rate and Surcharges Pages for Iran.

  • October 13, 2015. I run across an image from an old collection page with the shown cover that carries an unusual "By Overland Route Or Air Mail" Route Instruction Handstamp which i now listed as HS-N47. Unfortunately the image i have is of low resolution but i can recognize the year 1927 as year of use. Any information on the whereabouts of that cover is highly appreciated.

  • October 11, 2015, An Imprinted Envelope used from Iran of the group IE-28-35 (2) has been added which does not completely match any of the listed types. The first copy of Imprinted Envelope IE-38 added. That is the only Imprinted Envelopes with an apparent variety on as it has two (2) hyphens) between BAGHDAD and HAIFA and was used from Nasseri, Iran. A sixth copy of Imprinted Envelope IE-34 (6) added.
    Some of the Imprinted envelopes are hard to separate, most likely caused by the unclear images and poor explanations in Collins Handbook. Certain Imprinted Envelopes i therefore list grouped. Here is IE-28-35 (2) and at last, another copy of an imprinted envelope as IE-34 but slightly different has been listed as IE-34-similar-2.
    Route Instruction Handstamp HS-22 added, the second copy known and the earlier of the two. It would be interesting to see an image of the other cover with that handstamp to verify the sender. a

  • October 10, 2015, Second copy of Route Instruction Handstamps HS-38 (2), a fourth copy of HS-40 (4), a second copy of HS-43 (2), a first copy of HS-60, the tenth (HS-79 (10) and eleventh copy (HS-79 (11), a second copy of HS-86 (2), a third copy of HS-87 (3) and finally, after having received some time ago a scan of a similar card, i could add a Picture Postcard with new Discovered Handstamp HS-N38 (1) to my collection.
    Third copy of Imprinted Envelope IE-04 (3) and and third  IE-05 (3) and forth copy of IE-05 (4), second imprinted Envelope IE-08 (02) used from Iran added.

  • October 9, 2015. Cover from Iran to France / Paris with a Route Instruction Label L-15 as well as 2 strikes of Route Instruction Handstamp HS-88. Furthermore, the second known copy of Route Instruction Handstamp HS-35 (2) has been added

  • September 23, 2015. Two additional copies of Rerouting Handstamps (RH 1-3 and RH 1-4) have been added, One of these handstamps is struck on a letter originating from USA.

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