February 2017

Richard Stock (pictured above) gave us a fascinating afternoon with the stamps and postal history of Sudan. The first section of the display featured early mail to and from merchants, administrators and explorers including Carl Giegler, James Grant and General Gordon. The cancellations used at Egyptian territorial post offices, Wadi Halfa, Berber, Dongola, Khartoum, Kassala and Massawa were shown together with Interpostal seals and consular mail.During the campaigns of the 1880’s and 189’s mail services expanded to cater for contingents from Britain, Egypt, Australia, Canada and India. Officers’ and soldiers’ rate covers from each campaign were shown. Items with letters which refer to postal services, particularly the Sandbach correspondence, emphasised the importance of mail to soldiers on active service. Others, signed by Kitchener, Haig and Wingate described military operations.
The second half opened with the famous “Camel Postman” stamps and the unique letter signed by Maj. Gen. Sir Herbert Kitchener, requesting Messrs. De La Rue & Co., to prepare dies and plates for the stamps. Each issue was illustrated by proofs, essays and colour trials from the De La Rue archives to illustrate the development of the design.
The display concluded with material from the De la Rue archives relating to the 1951 pictorial issue; the 1931 ‘Gordon’ and 1950 pictorial airmail issues; the 1935 General Gordon commemoratives; the ‘Gunboat’ postage dues and the ‘Camel Train’ telegraph stamps.
A wonderful and entertaining afternoon, thank you Richard.