»  The Virtual Attic — Documents — JD's 1969 British Passport


This passport was issued on April 30th, 1969 in Liverpool. At that time I was 24, in the last few months of my short, unsuccessful career as a schoolmaster.

The stamps in it cover three trips abroad:


The passport has some pages of front matter showing date of issue, my picture, and so on: here, here, and here. There is also a page at the back showing money taken out of the country, a thing British governments were fussy about at the time. The rest of the pages are stamps of visas and entry/exit permits.

I have listed these stamps below in chronological order. That's not necessarily the order they appear in if you just flip through the passport's pages. A later stamp may be on an earlier page. The location of a stamp is entirely at the whim of the stamping official. Clicking on the date at left will bring up the page with the stamp.

Taiwan-Hong Kong-Thailand-Laos
7/21/71 Entering Hong Kong for a two-day stopover en route to Taiwan.
7/23/71 Leaving Hong Kong.
7/23/71 Entering Taiwan.
8/23/71 Extension to my Taiwan visa. (I don't know why the original visa doesn't make an appearance in this passport.)
9/5/71 Leaving Taiwan, entering Hong Kong.
6/26/72 My first Thai visa, issued in Hong Kong.
6/28/72 Leaving Hong Kong, and …
6/28/72  … entering Thailand …
6/28/72  … with a "journey performed" stamp. I don't know why.
7/28/72 Getting on a bus for Laos at the main depot in Bangkok. It was a ten-hour ride; that probably accounts for the discrepancy in dates between this and the next.

I had no particular wish to visit Laos. I wanted to stay in Bangkok. However, I could not afford the colossal bribe fee to extend my Thai visa. The only solution was to ride a bus up to Laos and apply for a new one-month visa at the Thai embassy in Vientiane.
7/29/72 Leaving Thailand. "Embarked by boat" signifies crossing the Mekong River into Laos. I remember the boat as a dug-out canoe, but that can't possibly be right.
7/29/72 Permit to stay in Laos 15 days.
7/29/72 My second Thai visa, issued in Vientiane.
8/1/72 Leaving Laos.
8/1/72 This seems to be my second Thai visa all over again, also issued in Vientiane, but this time in English rather than French. I don't know the reason for this.
8/1/72 Entering Thailand.
8/1/72 "Journey performed."
8/28/72 My third Thai visa. The dates here are really baffling. According to the exit stamp on page 12, I embarked by boat (i.e. across the Mekong again) from Nongkai in Thailand on August 30th to get into Laos. So … how did the Thai embassy in Vientiane issue me a visa on August 28th to get back into Thailand? I don't think these immigration clerks were paid very much.
8/30/72 Leaving Thailand for Laos gain.
8/30/72 My third Thai visa all over again. See my note on the second.
8/30/72 Permit to stay in Laos 15 days.
8/31/72 Leaving Laos.
8/31/72 Entering Thailand.
8/31/72 "Journey performed."
9/21/72 Leaving Thailand.
9/21/72 Entering Hong Kong.
1/20/73 Leaving Hong Kong for England, stop-over in Bangkok.
1/20/73 Bangkok customs check.
1/20/73 Leaving Bangkok.
The U.S.A.
7/10/73 My first U.S. visa, category B-2 (tourist). I arrived in the U.S.A. three weeks later, but there is no record of that in the passport. Possibly my entry was marked on some separate sheet of paper which was then pasted in to the passport; there are marks of some kind of adhesive on page 30.
Revisiting Hong Kong
1/25/79 I lived in the U.S.A. from August 1973 to October 1978, without any traces of it surviving in my passport.

In the latter month I returned to England. Early the following year, 1979, I returned to Hong Kong for a three-month stay. Here I was arriving in Hong Kong on January 25th …
4/18/79  … then leaving to return to England on April 18th.