Boer War, "Tick" mark in lieu of censorship

A place to discuss items of censored mail from other periods

Boer War, "Tick" mark in lieu of censorship

Postby dannmayo » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:14 pm

I know the ABW isn't the main focus of CCSG, but I wondered if you could help me. Enquiries to Boer War collectors have yielded no answers.

In my collection/exhibit I have several covers from South Africa (Transvaal, Cape Colony, etc.) to POW Boers in Ceylon camps with South African censorship marks, usually of the “passed by press censor” type. Some covers have more than one such censor mark, such as one from a smaller town plus one from a major city. The vast majority of these covers also bear a Ceylon camp censor’s mark, such as the large mauve double oval Ragama mark. A few of these covers do not show any Ceylanese arrival marks. But have a large “tick” in blue crayon or or black pencil. The attached pdf shows a typical example. [Click on Attachment "DixonBoer.pdf" below to see this cover. DM]

A UK dealer told me that such “ticks” indicate “censored elsewhere”, and thus no need for censorship on arrival. I cannot find a literature reference to this dealer statement. Can you confirm the interpretation is correct and point me to some literature reference?

Michael D Dixon,PhD, FRPSL
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Re: Boer War, "Tick" mark in lieu of censorship

Postby gmark » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:52 pm

I sent this question to a friend who collects Ceylon.
I have seen a query on the CCSG website about big ticks in blue or black pencil on incoming mail to camps in Ceylon. Example attached. The suggestion is that this says the item has been censored elsewhere so no need for Ceylon to examine it. Any truth in this suggestion, or can you offer another explanation?
Graham Mark
The reply came:
Yes I have had the same question posed through xx and Boer War members. I must admit it was a question which never entered my mind and consequently I looked through my covers and found only two which might have been an example. I am attaching the scan for one.
It would seem to be an explanation but I have never seen anything which can confirm that it signified the item had been censored elsewhere and therefore did not need further censorship. I suppose that it is possible that someone other than the censor themselves could have done this and so reduced the workload of the censor. As it is suggested that it is on incoming mails more likely to have been already censored I have looked again at what I have and the majority seem to be censored within Ceylon as well. It suggests that there must have been a protocol for dealing with mails but I have not seen any official notes to support this in either way.
So for the moment it seems to be a sound suggestion but which has no supporting information to back it up !
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Re: Boer War, "Tick" mark in lieu of censorship

Postby dixonmd » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:35 pm

Many thanks for your input. Dann had posted the inquiry on my behalf, that is why I'm replying.

An aspect I should have included is that I have several other covers to POWs in Ceylon that have both a tick AND a local (camp) censor's hand stamp, e.g., the large ovoid Ragama Camp in mouve.

Michael Dixon

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