Louis of Battenberg, the great-grandson of Queen Victoria, and second cousin of George V was born in Windsor, England, on 25th June 1900. His father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, had been born in Austria. As a result of the anti-German feelings in Britain during the First World War, the family changed its name from Battenberg to Mountbatten.
Mountbatten was educated at Osborne and Dartmouth, Royal Naval College (1913-16). He joined the Royal Navy and during the war, he served onboard Lion and Elizabeth.
Mountbatten remained in the Royal Navy and on the outbreak of the Second World War was captain of the destroyer Kelly. He saw action during the Norwegian campaign and the ship was sunk off Crete on 23rd May 1940 with the loss of 130 men. Louis Mountbatten Earl Mountbatten
Winston Churchill appointed Mountbatten head of Combined Operations Command on 27th October 1941. He launched a series of commando raids, including the disastrous Dieppe Raid in August 1942. The decision by Churchill to promote Mountbatten to vice admiral, lieutenant general, and air marshal ahead of older and more experienced men upset senior officers in the military establishment.
In October 1943 Churchill appointed Mountbatten as head of the Southeast Asia Command (SEAC). Working closely with General William Slim Mountbatten directed the liberation of Burma and Singapore. Louis Mountbatten Earl Mountbatten
In 1947 Clement Attlee selected Mountbatten as Viceroy of India, and he oversaw the creation of the independent states of India and Pakistan.
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma returned to service at sea and as Fourth sea Lord was commander of the Mediterranean Fleet (1952-55). He was also First Sea Lord (1955-59) and Chief of Defense Staff (1959-65). Louis Mountbatten was murdered by an IRA bomb while sailing near his holiday home in County Sligo, Ireland, on 27th August 1979.
This pretty collectible was offered to me once via my website. The seller was asking for a very high price. Unfortunately, never heard again from him… His passport would surely be a highlight in any collection. Louis Mountbatten Earl Mountbatten
FAQ Passport History
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1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
Question? Contact me...