Smith Elder & Co Precancel

Precancels of Great Britain

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Henry S. King & Co Precancel
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Smith Elder & Co Precancel Henry S. King & Co Precancel William Dawson & Sons 1st Precancel W. H. Smith & Son 1st Precancel Public-Precancel Frank-Precancel Times-Precancel Railway-Precancel Army-Precancel
Smith Elder & Co H. S. King & Co W.Dawson & Sons W. H. Smith & Son 'Public Precancels' Precancel Franking Newspapers Railway Precancels Army Telegraphs
Private Telegraphs Booklets T.O.6 obliteration ENT.O.1 Cancel Calendar Embossed Perfin Sloper Contributions
Private Telegraphs Booklets T.O.1 to T.O.6 Anomalies Time frame Embossed Perfins Sloper punch Contributions


Military and Army Telegraphs.


Precancelled ZAR Telegraph Form

This is a pre-cancelled Telegraph form cancelled with the British Army Telegraphs GR 27.VI.00 M- of Germiston.
The stamps are overprinted V.R.I. but not 'Telegraphs' or 'TF' or 'AT' or any other Telegraphic marking.


These cancellations are explained in the book written by Peter Langmead and Alan Huggins entitled "The Telegraph Stamps and Stationery of Great Britain 1851-1954".
There are two code wheels each side of the date that can be set to the telegraph code of the office.
I would imagine that since the number of these obliterators was limited in the wartime scenario, they were only permanently emplaced at major offices
with the minor ones being serviced on a round-robin basis, setting the code and precancelling a number of forms at each office before moving on to the next.
Though there was scope for pre-cancelling in some situations, the item shown is purely philatelic.

The obliterators were originally intended to be used on stamps like the ones below. Due to problems of supply, other stamps were sometimes pressed into service.

Army Telegraph 1d Army Telegraph 2d Army Telegraph 2d Army Telegraph 1s Army Telegraph 1s





British Army Telegraphic cancellations are found on stamps of various countries in the area:


Orange Free State.

The Orange Free State used definitive stamps overprinted 'TF' for Telegraph purposes. Some of these were additionally overprinted 'V.R.I.' and used by the British Army:

Orange Free State Telegraph 3d   Orange Free State Telegraph 6d
B-  FN was used at Bloemfontein and -S  FN was used at Springfontein


Later(?) the definitive stamps were overprinted 'V.R.I./AT' and used by the British Army:

Orange Free State Telegraph 1s  Orange Free State Telegraph 3d
Code B-  DN was used at Brandfort from 3/5/1900 as a cancel on letters to POW.
The 3d value could have been B-  DN though I would not have expected the 'AT',
alternatively it could be K-  DN or -K  DN for Kroonstad.
The shilling is more likely to have been B-  FN for Bloemfontein.

Orange Free State Telegraph 10s
-R 25.VII.00 -R (Rhenoster Bridge)


Note: I have been given some scans of a list of the code letters used in the Boer War which I am told came from The Anglo-Boer War Philatelist of 1988.
It is a great pity that Langmead & Huggins do not include a more complete listing.


ZAR / Transvaal.

This is a ZAR 2Sh.6Pence overprinted 'Transvaal Telegraphs' and additionally overprinted One Shilling. (1902, Hiscocks type H19).

Transvaal Telegraph 1s on 2s6d   Transvaal Telegraph 1s on 2s6d

Both postmarks are feint but the left one looks to start with 'J-' which would make it J-  HN for Johannesburg.
The right has 2 strikes luckily so all but the month is visible giving -S 25.??.01 -R which presents a puzzle.
The only   -S   -R   that I have on the list for South Africa is Elandslaagte in Natal ! Also this is dated 1901, Elandslaagte supposedly closed May 1900.

There is a picture of a mint example without the shilling overprint in an article written by 'Oscar Van der Vliet', together with a better example of the Rhenoster Bridge item above.


If you are interested in Telegraph stamps, more can be found HERE.


Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.


Please include the word 'Precancels' in the subject.


Last updated 12th October 2021

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