British North Borneo 1945 "BMA" Overprints

1/05/2012     North Borneo Stamps

The British North Borneo Company was established by Arthur Dent in 1881 to oversee the timber, tobacco, and rubber plantations in the north eastern part of the island of Borneo (now known as Sabah), and which later became a British Protectorate administered by the company in 1888. During the Second World War all of Borneo and Labuan was occupied by the Japanese from January 1942 until June 1945, before being fully liberated by the Australian 9th Division in August of 1945. British Military Administration of North Borneo commenced on 5th January 1946 and lasted for several months until 15th July of the same year. It then became a Crown Colony with a civil governor until 31st August 1963, before uniting with the Federation of Malaya a few weeks later.

The 1939 pictorial set of 15 stamps printed by Waterlow of London was overprinted at the end of 1945 with the letters "BMA" (British Military Administration) and placed into service, not only at post offices throughout North Borneo, but also in Brunei, Labuan, and Sarawak, as was the similar "BMA" overprinted issue for Sarawak.

This beautiful set of stamps portrays a lovely range of Native and Wildlife designs, with the top values featuring the Badge and Arms of the British North Borneo Company showing a Dhow and a Lion, the $2 value also existing with an extremely rare double overprint variety.

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