Queensland - Colonial: 1861-1900.
Urgent rate delivery form: QC-DU-1.

General characteristics:

Heading and notes: URGENT above Crest which is above
Message area: 60 boxes in 12 rows numbered at left.
Reverse side: Blank.
Colours (text & form): Red on cream.
Size of form overall: ?? mm.
Distinctive characteristics of this form:

In the January 1880 Postal Guide, it is noted that "Urgent telegrams for stations within the colony will in future be forwarded, if desired, taking precedence of ordinary messages, on payment of double the fee for an ordinary message". 

On 13 March 1880, the Brisbane Courier reported a Government decision as follows: "It is notified for general information that the system of urgent telegraphic messages has been extended to the transmission of telegraphic money-orders. Orders advised by urgent telegram will therefore obtain precedence over all other money orders sent by wire, double rates being charged".

In the proceedings of the Intercolonial Postal Conference held in Adelaide in May 1890, there is the following statement:

"In Queensland, the system (of urgent rate telegrams) was adopted as far back as 1880 and it worked very well. The Post Office authorities would no more think of abolishing the urgent telegram system than they would think of raising the rates of telegrams. No complaint had ever been made against the system, which has really worked admirably from the time it had been started".

So 1880 can be taken as the year in which Queensland introduced the system although no exact date can so far be identified. It was at least 10 years later that Victoria introduced such a system.

The following image is one of two recorded for either transmission or delivery purposes. It is not known if other formats were even produced or whether the system of simply writing URGENT on the form was sufficient.

Prestige Philately September 2006 as Lot 500.

Townsville to Brisbane.
24 August 1892.

Has an early Telegraph Branch/GPO date stamp.


  • has URGENT marked at top;
  • heading is in large gothic font and first E has clear horizontal bars;
  • date begins "188__";
  • boxes numbered 1 to 60 on left only in 12 rows of 5.
DU-1 QC-DU-1.

Ipswich Railway to Rockhampton.
6 February 1893.

Has a rare oval date stamp of Rockhampton.

Details of use and rarity.

Schedule number Earliest recorded date Rarity rating
DU-1 Difficult to decipher. 24 August 1892 at Telegraph Branch GPO. RRRR