MarkI, this is a nice little cover you have shown us.
There are plenty of clues on it. First, the man's army number TX1776: numbers starting with "TX" mean the man enlisted in Tasmania (not Texas
), usually meaning he hailed from there. The letter was posted from Tasmania so that fits. Other numbers read: VX__ (Victoria), QX__ (Queensland), NX__ (New South Wales) etc.
The 2/8th Field Regiment was in North Africa as others have noted. So that fits. Generally, those at home did not know the exact location where their loved one was serving, for obvious reasons. The date is unclear but the cover looks to be about 1942. 2 1/2d was the basic surface letter rate.
The recipient was Paul B. Edwards who lived in Devonport, Tasmania. The letter was sent from Burnie, which is a nearby town so that fits as well.
Who was Paul Edwards? He is no longer with us: Paul Bathurst Edwards b. 10 Oct 1915 Burnie, Tasmania, Australia d. 2005. He was a well-known philatelist who wrote numerous postal history articles for Philately from Australia
in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. He was a co-author of Tasmania: Postal History and Postal Markings Vol.2
, published by the Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria in 1975:
Glen mentioned his self-published manuscript above. As a limited edition it would probably be hard to get hold of. The National Archives holds various military personnel files, but unfortunately in this case they are not yet digitised. His next of kin was his wife. Someone else sent your letter:
As for the censor tape and handstamp, this was applied in Australia. That is not really my cup of tea, but there are numerous journal articles explaining what tape and markings was used where, and when. Almost certainly the "6/1"
tape and markings were used in Tasmania as the State was called the '6th Military District' for internal army purposes:
T – 6th Military District (Tasmania)