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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

Cableship Stamps - B & C

Thanks to Bill Glover for providing the stamp images and text for this page.

All material on this page is copyright © 2006 Bill Glover

Baudot Malagasy 200f 1976.JPG (50155 bytes)


Malagasy Republic 1976 200f

Built 1917, Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd

Length 222.5 ft Breadth 32.2 ft Depth 19.2 ft Gross tonnage 1049

First cable repair ship owned by the French PTT and based at Le Havre for maintaining French coastal and Anglo French cables. During WW2 manned by Royal Navy personnel and used for harbour defence work. Returned to the French PTT in 1945. Then based at Brest maintaining Anglo French cables and French Atlantic cables. Sold for scrap in 1962


1957 France - Algeria

Bayard Cyprus 50m 1975.JPG (24579 bytes)


Cyprus 1975 50m

Built 1961, Chantiers et Ateliers Angustin Normand

Length 387.1 ft. Breadth 51.3 ft. Depth 21.6 ft. Gross tonnage 4500

Named after a Submarine Cable Department chief engineer. Owned by the French PTT and used to maintain the French Atlantic cable network. In 1982 the ship caught fire and was completely gutted whilst undergoing repairs at La Seyne sur Mer. It happened the day before she was due to sail to Bermuda for maintenance work on the Atlantic cables. Sold to Spanish shipbreakers.

Reg Blain, who served on the Marcel Bayard when it was stationed in British Columbia, writes:
"In 1969 summer, this ship laid submarine Hydro cables from the British Columbia mainland to the islands.
"Previous to that, it had been stationed in St. John's Newfoundland for maintenance to the trans-Atlantic cable system.
"In 1969 they had a Newfoundland dog as their mascot."


1962 Oran - Perpignan
1965 TAT 4 French shore ends
1966 France - Corsica
1967 France - Morocco
1968 France - Israel
1969 France - Tunisia
1970 St Raphael - St Tropez
France - Lebanon
1972 France - Algeria
1973 France - Morocco
1974 ARIANE France - Greece
APHRODITE Greece - Cyprus
ADONIS Cyprus - Lebanon
1976 Palma - Algeria

Cable Enterprise Br Virgin Is 60c 1986.JPG (32708 bytes)


British Virgin Islands 1986 60c

1986 50c

Ghana 1983 2c30

1989 200/2c30

Built 1964, Cammell Laird & Company, Birkenhead

Length 371.3 ft. Breadth 49.2 ft. Depth 19.1 ft. Gross tonnage 4058

Owned by Cable & Wireless. Based at Manila, Philippines for the maintenance of cables in the Indian Ocean and South East Asian waters.

CS Cable Enterprise was taken out of service at the end of 2001 and was expected to be sold for scrap early in 2002.


1964 SEACOM shore ends Singapore - Hong Kong section


Cable Enterprise Br Virgin Is 50c 1986.JPG (270798 bytes)


Cable Enterprise Ghana 2c30 1983.JPG (40125 bytes)

Cable Venture Br Virgin Is $1 1986.JPG (39080 bytes)


British Virgin Islands 1986 $1

British Virgin Islands 1986 $1.50

Built 1962, Lubecker Flenderwerke A.G.

Length 493.8 ft. Breadth 61.7 ft. Depth 29.5 ft. Gross tonnage 8910

Owned by Union Kabellgungs & Schiffarts and named NEPTUN (3) operated as a cable ship by Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke. Sold in 1965 to the United States Undersea Cable Corporation. In 1971 she was sold to International Marine Operations Inc., a subsidiary of ITT. Purchased by Cable & Wireless in 1975 who refitted and renamed her CABLE VENTURE. Sold in 1998 for scrap.


1963 Eastern Test Range No 1 cable
1964 Philippines - Vietnam
1966 Hawaii - Johnston Island
1967 Vietnam coastal cables
Vietnam - Thailand
1971 Taiwan - Okinawa

All these cables were for military use. Neptune 3 was based at Subic Bay, Philippines as repair ship for the above.

1961 ICECAN section of SCOTICECAN

(CABLE VENTURE continued)

Cable Venture Br Virgin Is $1.50 1986.JPG (304799 bytes)


1978 ASEAN - Philippines - Singapore
ASEAN - Singapore - Indonesia
PENCAN 3 - Spain - Gran Canaria
1980 TAILU - Taiwan - Luzon
1981 IOCOM - India - Malaysia
1982 ANZCAN - Canada - Norfolk Island section
ATLANTIS - Brazil - Senegal
APOLLO - Palermo - Cagliari
SHT - Hong Kong - Singapore
SHT - Hong Kong - Taiwan
1984-5 SEA-ME-WE 1
1989 PTAT 1 UK - USA
AIS 1 - Australia - Indonesia - Singapore
1990 NORTH PACIFIC CABLE Japan - USA - Alaska
1993 ASIA PACIFIC CABLE Singapore - Malaysia - Taiwan - Japan
1993-4 SEA-ME-WE 2
1997 GEMINI South system USA - UK

See also the Cableships page on Neptun/Venture

Cambria Ascension 35p 1999.JPG (34380 bytes)


Ascension 1999 35p

Built 1905, Swan, Hunter Wigham Richardson Ltd.

Length 283.0 ft. Breadth 37.1ft Depth 16.2ft Gross tonnage 1959

Built for the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company Ltd. Sold to the Eastern Telegraph Company in 1912. Chartered shortly after by the Western Telegraph Company for repair and renewal of cables on the east coast of South America. Followed by similar work for the Eastern in the Red Sea and down the east coast of Africa. In 1919 based at Zanzibar for the maintenance of cables in the area. Severely damaged in a storm, repairs were carried out in Durban and Cambria remained there as repair ship for the St Helena - Cape Town cable. Put up for sale in 1928, but was taken over by Imperial & International Communications Ltd. in 1929. Transferred to the West Indies in 1930 as repair ship. Refitted in 1935 then carried out renewal work on cables between Montevideo and the Amazon delta. This was followed by a transfer to the Mediterranean and then back to the West Indies and South America. 1939-41 was spent in the Atlantic before a final return to the West Indies. On the 8th November 1945 while anchored in Montevideo harbour Cambria was hit by the Uruguayan ship Almirante Rodriguez Luis and sank.


1906 Shetlands - Faroes - Iceland
1905 Ireland - Canada
1910 Cape Verde Islands - Ascension - Buenos Aires

Chantik Norfolk Island 30c 1983.JPG (33447 bytes)


Chantik Norfolk Island 45c 1983.JPG (34852 bytes)


Norfolk Island 1983 30-45c

Oil rig supply vessel normally based in Singapore, chartered especially for this task


1982 ANZCAN Norfolk Island shore ends

Colonia Ascension 50p 1999.JPG (37146 bytes)


Ascension 1999 50p

Built 1902, Swan, Hunter Wigham Richardson Ltd.

Length 487 ft. Breadth 56 ft Depth 27.6 ft Gross tonnage 7891

Built for the Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Company Ltd., specifically to lay the Bamfield - Fanning Island section of the Pacific Cable. No other ship was capable of carrying the cable in one piece. In 1928 the vessel was sold to the Norwegian Whaling Company A/S Thar Dahl of Sandefjord who converted her into a factory ship and renamed her Torodd. In 1934 she was sold to another whaling company, Norseke Hvalproduktor A/S Oslo who renamed her Sydis. Again sold in 1937 to a German company Oelmuhlen Walgang Konsortium, Berlin and renamed Sudmeer. The vessel was sunk during the early part of World War 2.


1902 Bamfield (Vancouver Island) - Fanning Island
1903 Honolulu - Midway Island - Guam - Manila
1905 New York - Nova Scotia - Ireland
1906 Porthcurno - Fayal
Cape St Vincent - Fayal
1907 Durban - Mozambique
New York - Cuba - Panama
1908 Cadiz - Tenerife
1910 Cape St Vincent - Ascension - Buenos Aires
Bay Roberts - Penzance
1912 Gibraltar - Malta - Alexandria
1913 Aden - Colombo
1914 Freetown - Accra
Suez - Aden
1915 Peterhead - Alexandrovsk
New York - Cuba - Panama
1919 Ascension - Rio de Janeiro
1920 Miami - Maranham - Barbados
Miami - Barbados
Atalya - Rio de Janeiro
Montevideo - Santos
1921 Gibraltar - Malta
Madras - Penang
Key West - Havana (3 cables)
1922 Suez - Port Sudan - Aden
Aden - Seychelles - Colombo
Maceio - Rio de Janeiro
Pernambuco - Maranham
Santos - Rio de Janeiro
1923 Penang - Colombo
Horta - Le Havre
1924 New York - Azores
New York - Cuba - Panama
Malaga - Horta (Azores)
Rio de Janeiro - Montevideo
Montevideo - Buenos Aires (2 cables)
1925 Porthcurno - Bilbao
1926 Cocos (Keeling) Is- Cottesloe (Australia)
Penzance - Bay Roberts - New York
1927 Alexandria - Port Said (No 2)
1928 Alexandria - Port Said (No 3)
Larnaca - Haifa
Bay Roberts - Horta

Cory Ireland 13p 1979.JPG (24918 bytes)


Ireland 1979 13p

Built 1857, C. Mitchell & Company, Newcastle

Length 244.4 ft Breadth 35.2 ft Depth 24.3 ft Gross tonnage 1578

Built as a collier. Chartered by Glass Elliot & Company and later by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company.


1858 Suffolk - Holland
Cromer - Emden
1859 Cromer - Heligoland
1861 Algiers - Toulon
Otranto - Corfu
1866 Irish shore ends of Atlantic cable
Lowestoft - Norderney section Indo European cable
1869 French Atlantic Cable: St Pierre et Miquelon - Duxbury
1870 Laid part of the Red Sea cable for the 1870 British-Indian cable expedition.
Marseilles - Bona
1870 Penang - Singapore

Next page: Cableship Stamps D - G

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Last revised: 12 March, 2013

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