Oriental Philatelic Association of London

© Martin Lovegrove 2011

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JOURNAL 211 - Where is Khartoum?
By: Martin Lovegrove

Khartoum cancels on the stamps of Hejaz, Saudi Arabia, are uncommon but not rare; but how did they get there?  As far as I know, Khartoum has always been in the Sudan.  The answer is speculative, but with enough logic to provide the probable answer.  Much of the information given below appeared in articles by John M. Wilson and Rudy Thoden in various issues of Random Notes, the journal of the Arabian Philatelic Association.

We can actually add some Hejaz and other cancels to the puzzle; they are all part of the same story.  Examples of these are for MEKKE dated 9-11-916 (9 November 1916) and various JEDDA or JEDDAH with illogical dates.  The former can be found on stamps not released until 1922 and later, so is obviously not correct.  In fact many of the Hejaz stamps bearing this cancellation would not have been available in Mecca that, at the time the stamps were issued, was not under the control of the Hejaz government.  An example of another foreign cancellation is that of CAIRO dated 16 JAN; the year is unknown to me.  It is perhaps worth mentioning here that care must be taken when interpreting western dates on Hejaz stamps.  The postal staff when setting the date made many mistakes, and errors of several months are possible, as are impossible dates such as 31st September.  The Hegira date is more reliable, but even this should be checked against any transit marks that may be applied to covers.  However, for the cancellations that are the subject of this article, any date errors can be disregarded.

Part of a ‘Khartoum’ cancel

MEKKE 9-11-916

OPAL 211 Where is Khartoum 2.
OPAL 211 Where is Khartoum 2.