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The Malaya Study Group exists for collectors of the stamps, postal stationery and postal history of the states of Peninsular Malaysia which until 1963 formed the Federation of Malaya, including the Straits Settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore, the Federated Malay States, Negri Sembilan and Sungei Ujong, Pahang, Perak and Selangor and the Unfederated States, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Trengganu. Many MSG members also collect & study all of modern Malaysia, Singapore, and the island of Borneo, comprising additionally  Sabah, Sarawak, Borneo, Labuan, and the states of Brunei & the peninsular state of Singapore. Study of the whole area so often adds to understanding and appreciation of the philately of Malaya. The Society has a JOURNAL, "The Malayan Philatelist" and a NEWSLETTER supplied free to members, EXCHANGE PACKETS, AUCTIONS and has produced a number of significant PUBLICATIONS on the stamps and postal history of the area.

There is a fuller report, with many more scans, and pictures in the Members Only Area

‘The Middle 50’: some postal history of Malaya
a display by Iain Dyce, at Spink, London, April 25th 2015


Scans by Iain Dyce, Photographs by Nick Hackney & Report by Dominic Morris

The scans from Iain which are grouped at the end of this report, provide better lit and clearer images

Spink, 69 Southampton Row, London, WC1

‘The Middle 50’: some postal history of Malaya
, April 25th 2015, Display by Iain Dyce, Spink, 25 April 2015
The Middle 50



Iain Dyce

Part of the audience

Iain’s display covered the 50 years from 1898 to the late BMA period.

It was in two rounds and contained many gems and a much larger than average number of items

that no-one else had ever seen before.

Round One started with a full study of the 1900 Perak provisionals.

This was a serious and well-researched study, with many earliest-known postmarks etc.

But, as Iain said, having Mr. Nelson as both post-master and stamp dealer, tested Victorian tolerance of conflict of interests, to the limits.

Basically, there was a lot of hokiness!

Iain showed some lovely Edwardian covers, including a Papan to London cover,

1902 with a perfect Papan Registration cachet;

and a 1911 very early printed Singapore C 002900 Registration label.

The display moved on to WW1 censorship,

including PoW mail from 1914 covering German internees and genuine PoWs from the German enclaves in China;

a 1915 Singapore transit from Italy to DEI with a rare ER censor label (presumably left over from the Boer War);

a cover with a perfect GR censorship label; a philatelic, but very nice, FMS War Charity Labels tied on cover;

a 1916 cover Singapore to London 5x1c and 1x3c Straits Settlements with a tied 3c Local Relief semi-official War Fund label.

The latter part of Round One was early airmails.

These included a 1930 Karachi acceptance Sungei Siput to London registered airmail on an FMS 15c Registration postal stationery envelope and 26 cents stamps;

a 1935 ‘City of Khartoum’ crash cover from 31.12.1935, lost off Alexandria;

an early 56c KLM airmail to London with Kangar, Perlis cancellation, Palestine to UK via Singapore with a 3/- rate in combined Palestine and UK value stamps;

Kelantan to Denmark 1940 60c value (a 50c and 10c Chef’s Hat combo) which went by the horse-shoe route via Durban.

The airmail etiquette was cancelled by jusqu’a marks applied in London(so sent by sea from London to Denmark).

Round Two started with airmails including trans-Pacific.

These included a 1December 1941 from North Borneo to Malacca (presumed the last flight out.

It arrived the day the Japanese invaded North Borneo) and some lovely transit airmails including one from Egypt to USA,

with the distinctive D 13 Singapore sorter mark, China to DEI,

Sudan to USA, a BOAC from Hong Kong via the ‘horse-shoe’ route

and a Negri clipper with $2 Negri stamp cancelled in state

and another from the same correspondence stamped with four 50c Perak, used in Negri due to the stamp shortage.

Iain moved on to four Volunteer Brigade covers,

one from Johore on official envelope with the gold-yellow coat of arms seal,

one from Kedah, one from Penang, and one from FMS (with a scarce 1940 Port Dickson Camp skeleton cancel, Proud D1).

Then came military mail from civilian POs before the advent of FPOs.

These included the scarce Johore 5c purple postal stationery envelope from Kukup,

up-rated by a range of stamps including the 8c 1940 Portrait of HRH,

a 1941 Civil Administration ‘Food Supply Officer, Singapore’ circular cancel

(a cancel your correspondent has never before seen),

a February 1942 Pahang cover with the 15c and 10c.stamps (the 15c properly used is very scarce:

there are multiple forged postmarks of this late issue stamp, so lovely to see it on cover),

then some 1942 Kedah stamped covers used in different stages marking The Retreat,

the latest being 8 February 1942 with 6x8c Kedah rice-sheaf stamps plus 1x2c, one of the last letters out.

Similar, was a 27 January 1942 Singapore cancel on a Selangor 5c postal stationery envelope with the 3c red circular up-rating (a scarce pre-JapOcc example of such a cover).

There followed some ‘service suspended’/ ‘unable to deliver’ covers with one including a parcel tag with the ‘service suspended’ cachet (something no one else in the room had seen before).

Iain is not a collector of JapOcc, so included a limited amount of material, but, oh my goodness!

Stampless JapOcc from some of the smaller POs up to May 1942 including a superb Bagan Serai pre-War mail bag seal cachet with the stamp value written in by manuscript. (Sob! Your correspondent so wants this one).





Ian’s round finished triumphantly with some exceptional BMA covers

and some pre-BMA period usages of former JapOcc postmarks including the Padang Serai linear cancel, Lumut

and a Batu Gajah to Kuala Kangsar cover with a Kanji postmark.

This display was truly excellent, with the material carefully chosen

(one had the sense that for every item on display, Iain had another half dozen of almost equal interest and quality at home).

It made for a very enjoyable afternoon’s philately.

Thank you, Iain.

Dominic Morris CBE
Hon Sec

Scans by Iain Dyce - there are more on the Members Only Area

1900 PERAK stampless mail




1911 S.S.reg label



1915 WW1 E.R. label



1930 Johore Volunteers



1931 Perlis Air


Please go to the Members Only area for many more scans, and photographs [and join it today if you are an MSG Member!]

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