Sunday, 7 October 2012

Straits Settlements Postmarks of the King George V Era

Looking for the Small Post Offices

One of the endearing, and frustrating, things about our hobby is the way that it will lead you off on tangents when you least expect it to. 

I've been a King George V collector for many years, but since my first visit to Singapore a few years ago, I've kept an eye on the postmarks on the KGV Straits Settlements issues. I noticed that fully 90-95% of the postmarks are from Singapore (in all it's variations - Registered, Parcel etc), Malacca and Penang. However, there are dozens of smaller post office postmarks to find, and they are elusive. I use Proud's "The Postal History of Malaya Volume 1" as my reference.

Serangoon Road, located in Singapore. This postmark, that was in use from December 1929, is Proud type D3, and is the least common of the Serangoon Road postmarks

North Canal Road, located in Singapore. This postmark appears to be Proud D3, although it doesn't have a 
time code from A to E. It was in use from January 1918 to August 1923

Kampong Glam, located in Singapore. A good strike of Proud D5, in use from October 1923 to January 1929

Anyone who's been to Singapore knows that THE place to shop is Orchard Road. If you posted a letter at the Orchard Road Post Office in 1922, it would have received this Proud D4 postmark

The other place to be seen in Singapore is, of course, Raffles Hotel. A Singapore Sling at the Long Bar is compulsory. Very nice and very expensive! The Post Office at Raffles operated from 1910 to 1929. This postmark of May 1924 is type D4

I also find postmarks that fit some of my other interests, like this Paquebot postmark of 1933

and this extremely scarce British Empire Exhibition postmark of either 1923 or 1924

So, when you're flicking through your holdings of Straits Settlements, or shopping at an online auction site, and come across a postmark from Sepoy Lines, Kandang Kerbau or Seletar, remember where you read about the "unknown" postmarks of the Straits Settlements!


  1. Interesting article! I really like the British Empire postmark. I will have to troll through my Straits Settlement stuff...

  2. I'm very pleased you enjoyed it! Postmarks are a fascinating collecting area. Let me know if you find anything you need identified!

  3. Atanasio Soriano FILBASTIWednesday, October 10, 2012

    Great article David,

    Moreover, postmark collection is one of the many reasons why this hobby has not to be expensive. It is possible to create a comprehensive research and collection of different postmarks on a cheap stamp.

    Greetings from Spain.

  4. Hi Atanasio, thanks for your kind comments! I've always been attracted to postmarks because they show the history behind the stamp. As you say, it can be done very cheaply!