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Western Samoa

FIRST STAMPS Samoa and German Samoa.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED New Zealand overprinted July 1920.


Comprising the four islands of Savaii, Upolu, Apolimo, and Manono, this New Zealand mandated territory replaced German Samoa after its capture in 1914. In 1920 the islands were placed under New Zealand civil control.

With American Samoa, the group was an important base during World War II, and subsequently became a trust territory of the United Nations under New Zealand. Samoa was the first territory in the Western Pacific to become independent on 1 January 1962. It then became known by its native name of Samoa I Sisifo.

Postal History
First stamps issued continued the pattern of New Zealand overprints which had started in 1914. The main mail link with New Zealand continued and a range of cancellations was used between the wars. The first 'Western Samoa' postmark was introduced at Apiain 1931.

At the time of independence there were 17 POs on the islands.

FIRST STAMPS Samoa and Germany in 1900



1900, as Germany.

Created from the western part of the kingdom of Samoa by the three-power convention of 1900. Germany controlled Savaii, Upolu and the smaller islands of Apolimo and Manono.

When World War I started, the German authorities surrendered to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 29 August 1914. Military administration was maintained until 1920, when the western islands were placed under New Zealand mandate by the League of Nations.

Postal History
When Germany took control in 1900, German stamps without overprints were issued. These were quickly replaced by the standard German colonial design in the same year. Before World War I there were nine POs.

On the evening of the invasion by New Zealand forces in 1914, the German issues were demonetized, and the confiscated stocks were overprinted GRI with a sterling value.

During the military administration, New Zealand stamps were used overprinted SAMOA.

Samoa to 1920
Click map for larger view

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