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Telegraph stamps of the World

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a good reference:
Post Office Telegraphs Ceylon Telegraphs HongKong Telegraphs India Telegraphs Jamaica Telegraphs Orange Free State Telegraphs Orange Free State Telegraphs Australia
GB Ceylon Hong Kong India Jamaica Natal OFS Australia and states
Up a level by Dave Elsmore.
Matabeleland Telegraphs Sarawack Telegraphs Sudan Telegraphs Transvaal Telegraphs Uganda Railway NSW Telegraphs Western Australia Telegraphs Western Australia Telegraphs
Other Africa Sarawak Sudan Transvaal Uganda New South Wales Western Australia Other Australia


  I have brought these prices up to date and added currency selection.  
CheckList         Setup


Uganda Railway Telegraphs (1902 to 1908).

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The Uganda Railway telegraph stamps, while very much a 'home-made' job, were clearly based on the Indian telegraph stamps of the time in that
each stamp was vertically double. The stamps were attached across the counterfoil/message junction so that both customer and telegraph operator
had evidence of payment in that each had half the stamp on his part. They were typeset in sheets of 56 (14 x 4) for Anna values and 48 (12 x 4) for
Rupee values. In preparing the plates a half row was evidently set in each case and repeated eight times since there are seven and six subtypes of
Anna and Rupee respectively. Only major varieties are given below. All were printed in black on various coloured papers and roughly pin-perforated
between stamps but not between halves. Used copies consist of upper halves only. I am not aware of any leakage of lower halves from the checking offices.
They were used between 1902 and 1908 and are rare.

My note:
There are several examples of used lower halves shown below.



Here is a counterfoil of 1903 used in Mombasa (the only one I have seen)

Uganda Railway counterfoil.
Image courtesy of Steve Taylor.


Uganda Railway 2, 4 and 6 Anna.
H1, H2 and H3, courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.
Uganda Railway 2, 4 and 6 Anna.
H1, H2a and H3a 'CANCELLED', courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer.
Uganda Railway 8 and 12 Anna + two used
H4, H5a 'CANCELLED' with H1 used and H10a used, courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer.
These Rupee values are larger and have different varieties.
Uganda Railway 1, 2 and 3 Rupee.
H6a, H7a and H8a 'CANCELLED' courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer.
Uganda Railway 4, 10 and 20 Rupee.
H9a, H11a and H12a 'CANCELLED' courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer. Ex Grosvenor Sale 99, Lot 182.

Roger de Lacy-Spencer has a mint set (minus the 5R) punctured with "CANCELLED. 3." (some upward, some downward)
These are not listed by Hiscocks. I presume they were used as specimens.


1902 Type-set and printed on wove papers of various colours as indicated in
No watermark, pin-perf. 12

The Anna values were in sheets of 56 (4 rows of 14) and the Ruppee values were in sheets of 48 (4 rows of 12).

Hisc. Description Mint Half Used
H1 2A black on blue-green. 110.00 50.00
H1a         'G' in lower 'TELEGRAPHS' with serif at top.   125.00 75.00
H2 4A black on yellow. 110.00 50.00
H2a         'G' in lower 'TELEGRAPHS' with serif at top. 125.00 75.00
H3 6A black on magenta. 130.00 60.00
H3a         'G' in lower 'TELEGRAPHS' with serif at top. 150.00 75.00
H3b         'SIK' for 'SIX' (whether top or bottom not known).   160.00 78.00
H4 8A black on rose. 150.00 70.00
H4a         'G' in lower 'TELEGRAPHS' with serif at top.   * 170.00 100.00
H5 12A black on green. 180.00 80.00
H5a         on greyish blue. (10R colour ?) 250.00 120.00
H5b         'G' in lower 'TELEGRAPHS' with serif at top.   * 200.00 120.00
H6 1R black on white (laid paper). 240.00 100.00
H6a         stop instead of comma after lower 'TELEGRAPHS'.   270.00 150.00
H6a         no stop after 'RUPEE' on lower half.   ** 270.00 150.00
H7 2R black on yellow. 250.00 120.00
H7a         stop instead of comma after lower 'TELEGRAPHS'. 280.00 180.00
H7b         'S' of 'RUPEES' omitted (not issued). - -
H8 3R black on blue-green. 300.00 140.00
H8a         stop instead of comma after lower 'TELEGRAPHS'. 340.00 210.00
H8b         'S' of 'RUPEES' omitted (not issued). - -
H9 4R black on magenta. 320.00 150.00
H9a         stop instead of comma after lower 'TELEGRAPHS'. 360.00 225.00
H9b         'S' of 'RUPEES' omitted (not issued). - -
H9c         no stop after 'RUPEES' on lower half.   ** 360.00 225.00
H10 5R black on rose. 360.00 170.00
H10a         stop instead of comma after lower 'TELEGRAPHS'. 400.00 250.00
H11 10R black on greyish blue. 480.00 220.00
H11a         stop instead of comma after lower 'TELEGRAPHS'. 530.00 330.00
H12 20R black on white (laid paper). 600.00 250.00
H12a         stop instead of comma after lower 'TELEGRAPHS'. 670.00 375.00
H12a         no stop after 'RUPEES' on lower half.   ** 670.00 375.00


According to Hiscocks "Used copies consist of upper halves only. I am not aware of any leakage of lower halves from the checking offices."
The used examples below include both upper and lower halves.

Uganda Railway H5b Uganda Railway H11a Uganda Railway H12a
Used H5b, H11a and H12b, courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer.

Roger de Lacy-Spencer also has a complete set, all used in Kenya mostly cancelled (in violet or black) with "PORT FLORENCE" on Lake Victoria (later renamed Kisumu City)
but the two highest values are cancelled with "NAIROBI". Though named Uganda Railways, the entire length was within Kenya.

*   The 12A above clearly shows the 'G' with serif at top variety that Hiscocks did not list, but see his Note 1.
I have added H4a and H5b to his list with the same 50% mark-up.
All of Rogers high values have the "stop instead of comma after lower 'TELEGRAPHS' " variety, which suggests this was actually the norm.

Here are another three used in Kenya.
Nick of kalombo on eBay has informed me that the website revrevd.com gives information on the Kenyan usage.
All the used ones I have seen so far are cancelled with Kilindini, Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Naivasha or Port Florence.
I have also seen a top half of a 1 Rupee stamped in black with 'MNARA'. This has to be a forgery, since Mnara is on an island north of Mombasa
and a long way from the rail route, in addition to which, these cancels are not normally black.

Uganda Railway used in Nakuku
Postmarked 'NAKURU' derived from Wikimedia Commons.


Uganda Railway H11a Uganda Railway H12a Used in Naivasha
No stop after 'RUPEE/S' on used 1R, 4R and 20R(above),   courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer. Used in Naivasha, Kenya,  courtesy of Grosvenor Auctions.

**   Roger has pointed out to me (something I had missed) that his used one Rupee has no stop after 'RUPEE' and his used four and twenty Rupees have no stop after 'RUPEES'.
I have added them to Hiscocks list (with a similar mark-up). This may also be present on other values.

Uganda Railway strange 1R A rather unusual 1R stamp on the left. It has a thick border all the way round,
wrong fonts and has no sign of a connection to the other half.

It also does not have any 'Italic' style characters and some of the characters are very different. Compare the 'G' of 'UGANDA' with the stamp above,
the curve at the top in particular. 'RUPEE' is narrower.

The top-left looks like it has the remains of another couple of small letters.
The stamp also appears to be on green paper.

It would be easy to dismiss this as a fake, and indeed it may be, but the
cancel looks fairly convincing. If it is a fake, then whoever made it could have done better. Perhaps it is a contemporary forgery ?

Possibly an early Edwardian forgery, or possibly a genuine second issue ?

UPDATE: I noticed this image in the Grosvenor Archives.
It was part of a lot 181, Sale 99 they sold   for £780 with description:
"2a. to 20r. set (less 6a) also extra 2a. and 1r. forgery, upper or lower halves".

John Barefoot brought to my attention the item on the right.
This could be the 2a referred to. It is without any cancel.
I understand that it was sold on eBay, but do not know who to attribute.
If you, then please get in touch.
Uganda Railway strange 1R
Image courtesy of  Roger de Lacy-Spencer. Is this yours? Please get in touch.


Hiscocks added the following 4 notes:

Note 1. The 'G' with serif at top variant occurred on the first and eighth stamp of each row.
                It may also occur on the 8A and 12A — it has not been possible to check.
Note 2. The 'SIK' for 'SIX' error occurs on the seventh and fourteenth stamp of each row.
Note 3. The bar is occasionally missing from the 'A' of 'TELEGRAPH' making it an inverted 'V'.  
                This is poor printing and not a variety.
Note 4. The sheets had an embossed seal of the Uganda Railway in the centre of each margin
                which can occasionally overlap marginal stamps a little.



Route Map.

Uganda Railway route
This map shows the route taken. Mentioning place names that I have seen on cancels, ships would dock at the newly created Kilindini Harbour on the south side of Mombasa.
The Train would then go up through Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru, eventually arriving at Port Florence, now called Kisumu.
Initially there were no steamers on Lake Victoria, these were disassembled ferries from Scotland, shipped to Mombasa and carried up by train.
This allowed crossing of the lake to a place that would later be named Port Bell, a little to the east of Port Alice (now Entebbe).
From Port Bell it only needed 7 miles of track to reach Kampala. Port Florence was named after the wife of George Whitehouse, the chief engineer of the project.
It was only called Port Florence for a year.



Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.


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Last updated 6th. November 2021

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