Saturday 11 January 2014

Southern Rhodesian Stamps to the UK - 1970

By Marcus Main-Baillie (RhAF)

Thought you would like to document the attached picture. The Pom's even went as far as surcharges/stamps on normal family mail from Rhodesia. I never knew this........ makes my blood boil. So my poor Gran had to pay to receive mail !!!!! Grrrrrrr....

Found about 10 of these in my mothers "Glory Box"

The Text on the rubber stamps reads:
Southern Rhodesian Stamps
The Government has announced that stamps issued in Rhodesia of the kind used on this postal packet have no legal basis. The packet is accordingly surcharged.


Thanks to Marcus for sharing this memory and information with ORAFs

Comments are welcome  please mail me on

(Please visit our previous posts and archives

Ref. Rhodesia



At 12 January 2014 at 07:50 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Nick Baalbergen (Intaf) Writes:-

Yes and remember how our passports were only recognised by Portugal and Spain (I think). I seem to remember Rio in Brazil was also a destination for Rhodesian passport holders. Most 'Brits' of course had the benefit of 'dual nationality' (not an option available to most of us) and never had to face the humiliation of being 'held' by immigration, on arrival in Europe!

At 12 January 2014 at 10:59 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Pete Simmonds (RhAF) Writes:-

I remember well the time that the British Govt decided to put a surcharge on all Rhodesian mail entering Britain.
I was a teenager then and used a bit of pocket money to fill a few envelopes with a note in each using a single four letter word that began with a P and ended with a t. I then addressed each envelope to Mr H Wilson at 10 Downing St , London and stuck a nice new 25 cent stamp on top of the address before posting each letter.

Please tell Marcus that thousands of Rhodesians did the same and letters like mine began turning up with great regularity at the offices of many political leaders in Britain until the surcharge was eventually done away with.

At 12 January 2014 at 11:01 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Mike Hamence (RhAF) Writes:-

I found a similar envelope from my wife in Gwelo to my mother in Cambridge UK. Sold it to a Uk stamp collector a couple of years ago for, I think, £20.

At 12 January 2014 at 15:53 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

George Galbraith (RhArmy) Writes:-
It is a sad indictment on the British Government that it stooped to the petty punishment of Rhodesian and British families and friends, who, as depicted in the above article, were subjected to double payment of postage during the Rhodesian/British hiatus.

Add to this the treatment that it subsequently meted out to the families of a people who voluntarily sacrificed much, including their lives in droves during the two World Wars, as well as other wars out of their sense of loyalty to the British Commonwealth.

What I speak of here is the manner in which the British Government financially speaking, washed its hands of the people in the most vulnerable stage of their lives, many of whom died in penury because it stood by as its choice of government deliberately trashed their pension rights. This is a matter of human rights and not principle.

The Lancaster House Agreement made provision for the British Government to sponsor an orderly land reform policy. After the first tranche of these payments was misappropriated by Mugabe, Britain halted further payments and rightly so. But it should have then made provision to channel assistance to Rhodesians/Zimbabweans who were systematically deprived of their human rights directly arising out of the dispensation over which it presided.

No amount of trying to explain this away can ever assuage the suffering of huge numbers of these fine, brave people. Could it be that British intransigence in this regard is a reflection of its apathy born out of a retributive mentality? Perhaps legal responsibility needs to be tested.

At 12 January 2014 at 20:51 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Just seen the postage dues on the airmail to your Gran. I have a number of these as I collect Rhodesian stamps and memorabilia as I’m trying to build some postal history for possible publication one day if I’m clever enough. You may see this sort of thing from time to time on E-bay.
You say you have a number of such examples. I note this was posted from Hatfield on 5th May 1970 I would be most interested to know other dates if you are able to decipher them and possible routing to UK.
I am particularly interested in mail that went out via Umtali via Mozambique, it seems that not much research had been done in this area especially early mail, most of it going via Byo in those days.
Should you wish to dispose of these letters I may be interested in taking them off your hands, think of a number and let me know.
I would be particularly interested in any family history that covered that period (not personal of course but who and where and why etc).
FYI my wife and I are both ex Rhod/Zim’s ex Harare although we lived in Umtali (1970 -1981) both my children were born there, I’m ex 104 Umtali Sqdn hence my interest in that particular part of the world. I now live on a hill in the middle of mud island (the dry bit) and confess to being comfortable, fishing lousy but hey one can’t have everything.

Yours sincerely

Philip Clarke

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