Three Melbourne-origin covers, were presumably sent by the same person over a period of 3 days to the same individual, and they all finally finished up at the same address in London, but the addressee’s rank was not identical on all 3 covers.
The first cover was sent to Captain E.A. Mustard C/o an address in Linden, Berlin, Germany, and it was re-addressed to the Bank of Adelaide, Leadenhall Street, London E.C. 3. The blue 3d KGV head stamp was postmarked with a roller cancel, MELBOURNE/ 430 AM/ 12 DEC/ 1927/ VICTORIA (Figure 1).
The reverse was back-stamped with the company’s purple reception hand-stamp 14 JAN 1928/ MAIL DEPT./ BERLIN (Figure 2).
The second cover was sent to Flight Lieut E. Mustard, The Bank of Adelaide, Leadenhall Street, London and the red 1½d KGV head stamp was postmarked with a roller cancel MELBOURNE/ 14 DEC 27 430AM/ D/ VIC (Figure 3).
The third cover was sent to Captain E.A. Mustard, C/o Bank of Adelaide, Leandenhall (sic) St, London E.C. 2, England and the red 1½d KGV head stamp was postmarked the same day with a roller cancel, MELBOURNE/ 14 DEC 27 4-PM/ VIC. The reverse of both the second and third covers were not seen. (Figure 4).
Ernest Andrew Mustard saw service in the First World War with the rank of Army Lieutenant, in the Australian Flying Corps, and he won the Egyptian Order of the Nile – 4th Class as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1918 a photo was taken of him with (the future Sir) Captain Ross Macpherson Smith in a Bristol Fighter with Mustard behind his Lewis gun (Figure 5).
Ernest Mustard was born in Oakleigh Victoria on 21 September 1893, son of William Edward Mustard, labourer and his wife Alice. He was educated at State schools and enlisted as a private in August 1914. He served in Gallipoli at the landing and was promoted corporal in November 1915. He served with the Signals in the Sinai campaign and promoted sergeant , and served in the Imperial Camel Corps, as second Lieutenant. In June 1917 he joined the Australian Flying Corps and he was well respected on account of his ‘bag’ of German planes shot down. He returned to Australia in April 1919.
He had a short period of flying commercially, then joined the R.A.A.F. as captain. He conducted aerial surveys of Lake Eyre in 1922, of Australian mandated territories in 1923, and the Barrier Reef in 1925. In 1927 as chief pilot of Guinea Airways he visited Dessau, Germany and purchased a Junkers monoplane, in which he made extensive flights. In 1931 he married Margot Sara Munro who persuaded him to change his name to Mustar! He spent the early 1930’s in New Guinea and in 1934 he returned to Australia as managing director of Australian Transcontinental Airways. In WW II he served at R.A.A.F. headquarters at Laverton and was promoted to the rank of Group Captain. He died suddenly on holidays in Queensland on 10 October 1971, and was survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Part of this paper was derived from the on-line edition of the Australian Dictionary of Biography.