Censored and Military Postal History

World War II - Civil Censorship - United Kingdom

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United Kingdom


Internal censorship operated between several areas within the United Kingdom at various times during World War II.

Belfast, 28 Sep 40, Northern Ireland, to Glasgow, Scotland with 'Tombstone' censor handstamp Torrance/Morenweiser Type H2C in use between Sept - Nov 1940 only.

Belfast Censor Office was opened on 1st October 1940, so this cover was most likely censored at the provincial Branch in Glasgow.

The British WAR OFFICE controlled export permits that were required for exporting certain goods including stamps. In 1941 the MINISTRY OF INFORMATION took control of censorship and several changes took place.
United Kingdom


This was BPA, British Philatelic Association, 'Consignment No. 5339' dated 26 Sept 1940 from London to Dublin, Ireland.

The red boxed 'RELEASED BY / CENSOR' handstamp (used until the introduction og the 'PER 34' handstamp in 1941 by MOI) was used in conjunction with, on philatelic mail, the certifying oval handstamp of the BPA who acted as overseer of all stamp exports.

The Permit system had started on July 11, 1940.

United Kingdom


Mosley/Birmingham, 27 August 1942, to U.S.A.

Returned to sender by Liverpool censor 5723 (A.G.J.) using resealing lable PC90 type 1B2 (51-8589) and PC23 type B with cds 'LIVERPOOL 28 Au 42'. Reason for returning is noted on Postal Censorship Memorandum 157 (PC157) (not shown) which states:
No permission to ask for parcels of rationed good or of rationed foods from Overseas.
The sender wrote to the Liverpool Censor Station contradicting the return of his letter.

Ex: Morenweiser

British censorship held this cover for over 4 years, finally releasing it in Jan 1946. Posted in Dublin '29 November 1940'
United Kingdom


Black '(Wavy lines) / RELEASED used to overstrike large red 'CONDEMNED' censor marking. Remains of the removed PC 93 label, used to record reason for detention, on right together with pencil annotation (bottom left) partly under censor label No. 932.

The 'HELD BY ... JAN 1946' cachet was thought to be British but the inclusion of the word 'BRITISH' indicated that the USPS was not responsible for the delay.

'CHICAGO Feb 7 1946 duplex hnadstamp on reverse together with two Chicago redirection marks.

Updated: 26 April 2003
Copyright © 1999-2003 Karl Winkelmann