The following countries have used British stamps overprinted for postal use:
Click on the country name for a list of the stamps.
Perforations and watermarks are not mentioned unless needed to differentiate issues. "Cancelled" and "Specimen" overprints are not included.
The images and illustrations are not to scale, nor should the scanned colours be taken to be a guide to shades.
Some other countries have overprinted postal matter other than stamps, and so only appear under Revenues (eg Barbados, Jamaica, Solomons, Trinidad & Tobago), Stationery (eg Gold Coast), and Postal Orders (many countries, including New Zealand, South Africa etc).
Note: for much of the historical background I am indebted to Tom Current
- Bahrain (1948-1960)
- Bechuanaland Protectorate (1888-1932)
- British Bechuanaland (1887-1895)
- British East Africa Co (1890)
- British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia (1948-1966)
- British South Africa Co (proposal 1890; see note at end of British East Afica list)
- Channel Is (1940)
- Crete (essay 1898)
- Cyprus (1880-1881)
- East Africa Forces (1943-1948)
- Egypt (British Forces) (1935)
- Eritrea (1948-1952)
- Great Britain
- - Definitive Surcharges (1883-1884)
- - Protective overprints (1858-1882)
- - Postage dues (unauthorised 1951)
- - Railway Letter stamp (essay 1890)
- - Official and postal fiscal stamps (1881-1904)
- Ireland (1922)
- Kuwait (1948-1959)
- - Turkish currency (1885-1923)
- - British currency (1905-1923)
- - Salonica field post office (1916)
- Mafeking (1900)
- Mafia Island (1915)
- Middle East Forces (1942-1950)
- Morocco Agencies
- - Spanish currency (1907-1956)
- - British currency (1907-1956)
- - French currency (1917-1938)
- Muscat - see British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia
- Nauru (1916-1924)
- Oil Rivers (1892-1894)
- Qatar (1957-1961)
- Somalia (1948-1950)
- Southern Rhodesia (1951-?1961)
- Tangier (1927-1957)
- Tripolitania (1948-1951)
- Zululand (1888-1894)
British postage stamps have also been officially overprinted for the following uses:
- Palestine revenue (1918)
- School Specimens (ca. 1940 onwards)
- MAP by Bag handstamp (early 1940s)
- Great Britain Army Telegraphs (1896-1901)
- Great Britain Additional Medicine Duty (1915)
- Tidal Testing (formerly listed here is now known to be bogus)
The following cachets and markings have often been mistaken for overprints:
- Australia "CA"
- Colombia "GB" overprint on Colombian stamps
- Gibraltar, Las Palmas etc
- Gough Island, Enderby Land, Tristan da Cunha
- Great Britain "OHMS", "Army HMS" etc
Some stamps have been overprinted for political or other propaganda:
- Cauty (James) political protest gas mask "overprints"
- Jersey local post
- World War II "Japan", "India" overprints
- World War II Nazi propaganda, "Liquidation of Empire" etc
or phantoms just for fun:
- Snark Settlements
- Tristan da Cunha "local overprints"
- Tristan da Cunha King George V Silver Jubilee
- Stamp shop and stamp congress souvenirs
- King Edward 8th anniversary
or (presumably) to deceive collectors:
- Great Britain "War Tax"
- Great Britain "V V" Victory
- Great Britain provisionals and officials
- Hong Kong
- Levant, "Constantinople"
- Oil Rivers
- Trucial states: Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al Qaiwain
Not included on these pages are the large numbers of private overprints applied to the margins of stamps and miniature sheets, or the covers of stamp booklets, purely for souvenir purposes by event organisers or philatelic speculators.
Postage stamps overprinted with the names of companies as an anti-theft device were often used fiscally on receipts, and outside the scope of these pages (see COSGB); however with the abolition of stamp duty on receipts at the time of UK decimalisation companies were permitted to use them up for postage from 15 February-31 December 1971, though this too is outside the scope of these pages.
Some stamps do not have overprints, but look as if they do.
Some of the above countries have issued commemorative stamps to mark the centenary or other anniversary of the issue of GB Overprints. See "GB overprints on stamps on stamps"
page last updated: 3 May 2007, 21 December 2010, 2 May 2012, 14 August 2012, 10 September 2014
gbos: GB Overprints Society