Wednesday, 21 March 2012

early japanese occupation 'English' cancels

Continuing from the previous war time topic. This stamp has a post date of 11 Mar 1942 which was during the early part of the japanese occupation of North Borneo. The japanese landed in Labuan on New Year's day of 1942. Jesselton fell by 9th of January and the governor in Sandakan surrendered on the 19th January.
The then current unoverprinted stamps  and hand stamps were allowed for postal purposes until the invading force had their system in place. This state of affairs continued until the English pre-war cds were phased out by October/November of 1942. The Train Mail cds were in use for a bit longer.
It is not surprising that these stamps are uncommon. A number of years ago, the full 1939 pictorial set with 1942 postmarks was sold well in excess of catalogue prices. I assume that most of the values of this set would have had philatelic cancels.

This is a Train Mail war tax stamp with the date of 17 Oct 1942. The 2 in the year is faint but I am fairly sure it is there. The train service was obviously still functional. The use of the train mail cds during occupation apparently ended on the 12th December 1942.

This is not strictly a war time stamp being dated 3 Nov 1941. This is just before the outbreak of the war. But there should not be many of these stamps around as most of Europe was already at war and not much mail would have made it there. Whatever were used locally were probably mostly destroyed during occupation or allied bombing.

Reference: The Sarawak Journal

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