British Somaliland

3/05/2012     Somaliland Protectorate, Somalia

British Somaliland
In 1884, due to the activities of the Mahdi (or 'Mad Mulla'), the Egyptian garrisons were withdrawn to bolster the ultimately doomed Egyptian presence in Sudan; so to avoid a relapse into barbarism, agreed areas of Somaliland came under British, French & Italian control.

Stamps were not produced by the British until 1903, as the area was administered from India as the Somaliland Coast Protectorate (but generally referred to as British Somaliland, to distinguish it from the French and Italian areas); the overprinting of Indian stamps began in 1903.

Obviously there were very few Europeans in the area, and with the Red Sea to the north and Abyssinia to the south- west, little mail from this dangerous part of the world actually exists. Even today, sadly, the Somali Coast is a by-word for lawlessness, with a structured government controlling only small areas.

The early 'India used in' mail is elusive, and is chiefly cancelled by an India 'Bombay Circle' type 'B' hand-stamp, which is not identifiable without a supporting cancellation from Berbera or Zaila.

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