Thursday 10 April 2014

393. War In Togoland.

   On the 5th August 1914, one day after the British declaration of war on Germany, the British and their allies cut the German sea cables between Tenerife and Monrovia with the result that the cable station at Kamina in German Togoland was left as the only means of communication between Germany and its West African colony. The British governor of The Gold Coast sent a representative to the German acting Governer of Togoland, Major von Doring, on 6 August demanding the surrender of the colony with 24 hours notice and the next morning intercepted a cable from von Doring to Berlin saying that he was withdrawing inland to Kamina and if Lome, the colony's capital, were attacked then it would be surrendered.
  Meanwhile, French troops crossed the border from the French colony of Dahomey and occupied customs posts near Athieme and the next day occupied Agbanake and took Aneho on 8 August. Local civilians at Aneho welcomed the French and burnt down Government House at Sebe. The British invaded Togoland on 7 August - the first British action of the First World War - and the Union Flag was raised over Lome on 9 August. British troops arrived off Lome aboard the Elele on 12 August and disembarked from the ship through the surf.

  The British and French agreed on a converging march on Atakpame. On 13 August, the French and Germans were involved in a skirmish at Bafilo. The British engaged the Germans at the Battle of Agbeluvhoe on 15 August and the Germans lost a quarter of their force in their defeat there.
  On 21 August, British troops heading for Kamina encountered a force of German troops entrenched on the north bank of the Chra river and the following day, the West Africa Rifles supported by a French Force launched several assaults on the German positions but were repulsed and suffered 17% casualties with Lieutenant George Masterman Thompson becoming the first British officer to be killed in action in World War I. On 25 August the British forces found that the Germans had withdrawn from the Chra and on 25 August the British and French arrived at Kamina and on 26 August they found that the wireless towers there had been demolished and von Doring surrendered the colony to the British commander, Lieutenant Colonel Bryant. 
  In 1916 Togoland was split into a French-administered territory and a British-administered area and in July 1922 British Togoland and French Togoland became separate League Of Nations Mandates. British Togoland was later incorporated in the colony of The Gold Coast. The current Togo Republic is the successor state of the former French colony and its stamps would not normally feature in this Blog but, given that British Empire forces played an important role in Togo's role in World War I, it is worth mentioning that Togo's New York-based philatelic agents have produced an issue to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. What a pity that the designs seem to have nothing to do with the First World War campaign in Togo but instead use random photographs of the war in Europe. I am not sure of the significance of the design at the right of the sheetlet of 3 which features a ship (the inscription is difficult to read) - whether or not it is anything to do with the Togo campaign I can not say but all the other designs seem to relate to the war in France. If only Togo's philatelic agents took the trouble to research subjects it produces stamps about, in the excellent way that Pobjoy Stamps does, how very much more satisfying the products would be for any collector who chooses to buy them.

  The British introduced postage stamps for use in its occupied areas in Togo on 1 October 1914 by overprinting former German colonial stamps of 1900 and 1909 to 1914 with the 3 line inscription "TOGO/Anglo - French/Occupation" In a wide setting. Eleven values were produced in the range 3pf to 2m but on the same date 2 additional values were also issued with the 3 and 5 pfennig values also surcharged Half penny and Penny. At the end of October 1914, 13 values were produced by overprinting the German colonial stamps with the same inscription but in a narrow setting. Half penny and penny values were also produced in the narrow setting.

  Further overprints followed on 7 January 1915 (5 values with the same overprint but with another different setting) and in May 1915 when stamps of The Gold Coast were released with a 3 line overprint, "TOGO/ANGLO-FRENCH/OCCUPATION" in 12 values from a half penny to 20s.
 In April 1916, 12 more overprints on stamps of Gold Coast were produced in London with a heavy type and thicker letters than before in values again ranging from half penny to 20s:-

  Returning to the products of the agency mentioned above, a sheetlet of 4 stamps and 2 miniature sheets have been produced in the name of St. Kitts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the late US President Kennedy - clearly an anniversary of no direct relevance to the island:- 

  The same agency is also responsible for a sheetlet of 6 stamps issued on behalf of St. Kitts which features "Hummingbirds of The Caribbean". In fact only 3 species are found in St. Kitts Nevis - the purple-throated Carib, the green-throated Carib and the Antillean crested hummingbird - bizarrely none of the 3 native species are depicted on the stamps and none of the 6 depicted hummingbirds are found in St. Kitts-Nevis. 
  This is probably another example of someone not being bothered to do any research to find out just which hummingbirds are found there - it's easy, just google the subject or look it up on Wikipedia. Frankly, if the people who produce these stamps can not even be bothered to do something as simple as finding out which bird lives in the country they are producing stamps for, or, as at the head of the piece, seeking out some photographs which relate the First World War to a particular country, then I can not be bothered to spend my money on their philatelic products. 
  The First World War centenary theme is important to most countries in the world but an issue has also been produced in the name of Grenada which again has designs which have no relevance to the country. The set is comprised of 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-

  In addition to the above there are a large number of new issues from Grenada and other countries which allow the same New York-based philatelic to inscribe their names on their products:-


2014 - Commemoration of Pope Francis - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-

2014 - "World Famous Paintings" - 1 sheetlet of 3 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-

2014 - Early steam locomotives - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  Grenada Grenadines -

2014 - Centenary of the beginning of the First World War - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-

2014 -Early locomotives - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-

2014 - Commemoration of Pope Francis - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-

2014 - 'World Famous Paintings" - 1 sheetlet of 3 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-

2014 - "Downton Abbey" (British television programme) - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps:-

  Antigua And Barbuda

2014 - Parrots of the world (there are NO species of parrot resident in Antigua And Barbuda) - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-

2014 - Aloes - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  Guyana  -

2014 - Definitives (Guyana wildlife) in new values to meet revised postal rates - 19 stamps - 

2014 - Animals of South America - 1 sheetlet of 4 spdifferent stamps and 1 m.s.:-

2014 - Worldwide Fund For Nature (Guiana Spider Monkey) - sheetlet of 16 stamps (4 setenant strips of 4 different designs):-

2014 - 50th anniversary of the University of Guyana - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps:-

  Nevis -

2014 - "Modern Art" - 1 sheetlet of 3 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-


2014 - Worldwide Fund For Nature (Caribbean Reef Shark) - 1 sheetlet of 16 stamps (4 se-tenant blocks of 4 different stamps):-

  Finally Niue and Tokelau will both issue a set of 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 23 April 2014. Both issues were designed by New Zealand Post Ltd. and lithographed by Collectables and Solutions Centre, New Zealand Post, Whanganui. The Niue issue is on the subject of Traditional Dress:-

  and the Tokelau issue is on the subject of Weaving in Tokelau:-


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