12th July 1905
A Guernsey man posted himself to Sark
Sometimes there can be no better reason for doing something simply that “you can”. That seems to have been the attitude of Henry Tudner when he posted himself to Sark on 12 July 1905.
Tudner was a resident of Guernsey who, according to a December 1919 round-up of short stories in the Dundee Evening Telegraph, “asked to be expressed to Sark, a commission which was actually given effect to”.
He wasn’t the only person to have been sent through the post, either. The same correspondent outlines how a Suffragette attached a tag to her clothing and paid 3d to be delivered to Winston Churchill.
A letter-writer in the 14 January 1930 edition of the Birmingham Gazette, who signs himself “Guernsey Man”, tells the story in more detail:
Quite 25 years ago a man living in St Peter Port… one day presented himself at the counter of the head post office and requested that he be posted to the neighbouring island of Sark, some 12 minutes away, and, of course, reached by steamer.
The postmaster was rather taken aback, and at first refused the commission as being outside his duties. However, the applicant (whom I knew personally) persisted, and pointed out the regulation in the official Post Office Guide, and the postmaster then assented.
The applicant was accordingly “posted” and delivered to an address in Sark… the messenger was well treated.
The fee for posting a human to Sark was apparently 5s 10d.
If you’re wondering which regulation of the Post Office Guide Tudner relied on, it would appear to the one concerning an Exceptional Express Service. The Londonderry Sentinel of 1 February 1906, which also includes the reference to the 5s 10d charge explains,
“Postmasters may arrange for the conduct of a person to an address by express messenger”. The paragraph will be new to many, but it has been in the guide since 1898.