In October 1961 violent volcanic activity on the small island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic led to an evacuation of the population. The authorities on the neighbouring island of St Helena, some 1,400 miles to the north-east, established a Relief Fund, and a supply of Tristan da Cunha stamps were surcharged “ST. HELENA Tristan Relief” with an amount for the fund.

This postcard bears three of the four values within the philatelic item set, and was sent by the Governor of St Helena the Rt. Hon. Reginald Maudling to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, informing him of the new stamp issues. Unfortunately only the Colonial Office in London could authorise the issue of new stamps and consequently the stamps were withdrawn.  Such a state of affairs has made these some of the rarest modern stamps as only 434 sets were ever sold.