Friday, December 3, 2010

Bicentenary of the British Conquest of Mauritius

The Mauritius Post issued today 3rd December 2010 a set of 2 postage stamps on the theme: 'Bicentenary of the British Conquest of Isle de France (1810 - 2010).  This issue fits into the 'Bicentenary of the Battle of Grand-Port' issue of August of this year.

So, after being defeated by the French at Grand-Port, the British decided to conquer Mauritius again.  They landed their troops on the northern coast of the island, between Grand Baie and Poudre d'Or, at noon on the 29th November 1810. 

After a skirmish with some opposing French soldiers in the region of Montagne Longue and elsewhere, the British forces continued their march towards Port Louis.  On learning that other British forces were about to land, Isidore Decaen, Governor and Commander in Chief of Isle de France, delegated his men to negotiate for a cessation of hostilities.

The French acknowledged defeat and the 'Acte de Capitulation' was signed on the early hours of the morning on the 3rd December 1810 in the British camp in the outskirts of the Pamplemousses district.

The Rs7 stamp portrays the onward march of the British towards Port Louis, while the Rs2 stamp shows the 'Acte de Capitulation' signed by the French.  The FDC features a map of Mauritius illustrating the itineraries (dark arrows) of the triumphant march of the British forces.

It should also be noted that an unbelievable flaw occurred while printing the Rs2 stamp.  In fact, the Rs2 should have been Rs21 (which is the local fee for registered mails)...

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