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25 Piastres 1968, Sudan

in Krause book Number: 6с
Years of issue: 07.02.1968
Edition: A/26 - A/30 5 000 000
Signatures: Governor: Abdel Rahim Mirghani (1967 - 1970)
Serie: Camel Postman
Specimen of: 06.07.1955
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 122 х 65
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

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25 Piastres 1968




25 Piastres 1968

Sudan Defence Force Sudan Defence Force

Sudan Defence Forces, with the savannah in the background..

The Sudan Defence Force (SDF) was a locally recruited British-led force formed in 1925 to assist the police in the event of civil unrest, and to maintain the borders of British administered Sudan. During the Second World War, it also served beyond the Sudan in the East African Campaign and in the Western Desert Campaign.

Between 1898 and 1925 Sudanese soldiers served in separate infantry battalions of the Egyptian Army, under British and Egyptian officers. These were designated as either "Sudanese Battalions" or "Arab Battalions" according to their region of recruitment within the Sudan. By contrast to the bulk of the Egyptian Army, who were recruited through annual conscription, the Sudanese units enlisted only long-serving volunteers.

Following a mutiny of Sudanese troops in 1924, and at a time of unrest in Egypt itself, the garrisoning of the Sudan was put on a new basis. Egyptian military units and Egyptian officers of Sudanese battalions were transferred back to Egypt itself. The Sudanese troops remaining were incorporated into the newly created Sudan Defence Force. The junior commissioned officer and NCO positions previously held by Egyptian personnel, were now open to "Sudanisation". A military academy was opened in Omdurman to train the new Sudanese officer corps, most of whom were Muslims from the north. By 1939 the SDF numbered 5,000 officers and men.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners, in words centered.


25 Piastres 1968

camel postman

"The Camel Postman".

The first appearance of the design was in 1898, after which it was used more or less consecutively for the next 50 years, and even today the “Camel Postman” appears on Sudan stamps in modified form. And as usual, the stamps design has an interesting historical story.

The story begins in 1820, when Egypt invaded and conquered Sudan. As British occupied Egypt in 1882, Sudan became part of the British Empire. But things didn’t go as planned from here on. The ruling Khedivial government became shortly very notorious for mismanagement and corruption; and finally a revolt broke out in Sudan. Followed by several years of battles, the British forces were required to interfere and establish a permanent position in Sudan. Under these condition in Sir Herbert Kitchener, took Sudan under his iron first for administrative matters in 1896.

In 1897, Sudan used Egyptian stamps. The first stamps of Sudan issued in March 1897 were nothing more than overprinted Egyptian stamps. But Sir Herbert had more glorious plans. As Sudan was no longer part of Egyptian Union, Sir Herbert looked out for new postage stamps that would specific to Sudan.

First place a traveling artist was asked to submit a design, but the depiction of the rock temple at Abu Simbel was not utilized as Sir Herbert found the price of 25 guineas too excessive. Instead, Sir Herbert ordered Captain E.A. Stanton, a distinguished illustrator, to make a design for the stamp. As Stanton was a member of Anglo-Egyptian Army, his services would be at no cost.

Stanton was given generous five days to complete the design. Inspiration escaped Stanton until the regiment’s mail was delivered by camel instead of the usual river steamer. Soon Stanton was on full run staging the design. Camel and rider were “borrowed” from local tribe, bags filled with chopped straw were attached to the saddle to imitate mailbags. And soon Stanton had finalized a sketch of the Sheikh, riding through the desert. Names of "Khartoum" and "Berber", two towns in Sudan, were added afterwards to the mailbags on stamps design. To Stanton’s great relief, Sir Herbert accepted his drawing and, in March 1898, postage stamps prepared by Thomas de la Rue with Stanton’s illustration were issued at Berber.

The ‘Camel Postman’ continued to be used on Sudan’s postage stamps till 1954. Besides being used as long standing definitive stamp, the design has also been incorporated in various commemorative issues. And of course there’s lots of varieties to collect like watermarks and overprints. The Camel Postman has not only appeared the postage stamps of Sudan, but also on banknotes and coins as well.

Denomination in numerals are in all corners, in words centered at the bottom.


coins coins

A set of Sudan coins (proof), 1967, in my collection. Issued 7268 pieces.