British military post offices in Africa

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East Africa Forces overprint, 1943.
Middle East Forces overprint, 1942.

The British post offices in Africa were a system of post offices set up by the United Kingdom to be used by its Middle East Forces and East Africa Forces in Africa during and after World War II.

Middle East Forces[edit]

Definitive British stamps were overprinted "M.E.F." beginning in 1942. They were available in Cyrenaica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, as well as in the Dodecanese islands in the Aegean. At the beginning of 1943, the color-changed definitives were also overprinted, and in 1947, the 5-shilling and 10-shilling stamps received the overprint. In 1950, the British government declared that the remaining overprinted stamps were valid for postage throughout the UK, and so many of the surviving stamps have British inland rather than foreign postmarks.

East Africa Forces[edit]

The East Africa Forces in Somalia also received British stamps, but overprinted "E.A.F." instead, beginning 15 January 1943.

Eritrea, Somalia & Tripolitania[edit]

From 1948 on, the military administrations in Eritrea, Somalia, and Tripolitania used their own overprints.


Further reading[edit]

  • Sirotti, Luigi and Nuccio Taroni. Le Occupazioni Britanniche Delle Colonie Italiane 1941-1950: storia postale = Postal History of the British Occupation of Italian Colonies 1941-1950. Rome: Sassone S.R.L., 2006 363p.
  • Tregurtha, Alan R. British Occupation of Former Italian Colonies. Bridgwater: The G.B. Overprint Society, 1987/8.