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.