Bechuanaland Protectorate Postmarks

<< Back to the Bechuanalands

Crocodile Pools

Initially a telegraph office only, opened in 1897. When the Boers cut the railway and occupied the area, 21st October 1899, the datestamp accompanied the Imperial Forces retiring north towards Mahalapye. It probably then was used at the Base Camp Post Office based on the evidence of covers and the following statement by the Bulawayo Postmaster which appeared in S.G.M.J. November 1900: “I might add that all letters received from Mafeking were checked at the base Camp Post Office, and again in my office here, with a view to checking the postage. The examining clerks at both offices initialled the envelopes and marked the value of the stamps affixed.” The datestamp often appeared on letters received by the bi-weekly nothern runner mail (but not the initials) from besieged Mafeking which was relieved on 17th May 1900. Crocodile Pools itself was re-occupied shortly after the Boers evacuated it on 25th February. The datestamp returned to its own office by October 1901 which evidently then reverted to becoming a telegraph office by 1902, until it closed 1st November 1914.

Base Camp Post Office Mochudi: 16.12.99-6.1.00
Base Camp Post Office Gaberones: 7.2.00-5.6.00
Crocodile Pools: 30.10.01-17.12.01

Crocodile Pools cds
Usage: 16.12.99-5.6.00 & 30.10.01-17.12.01

Francistown (or Francestown)

Named after Mr. Daniel Francis prospector and one of the founders of Tati Concessions Ltd. It was the headquaters of the Tati district. The post office was transfewrred from Tati which had been bypassed by the railway. Under the control of the British South Africa Company until September 1898, when Bechuanaland stamps replaced the Rhodesian issue.

Francestown cds iFrancestown cds ii Francestown cds iii

Gaberones BONC:568

Gaberones Station BONC: 1000

Gaberones Village


The first postal service in the region was that operated by John S. Moffat, Assistant Commissioner of Northern Bechuanaland and son of Robert Moffat, who inaugurated a regular system of mail runners between Mafeking and Gubulawayo on 7 August 1888 and for which Bechuanaland postage stamps were used. It lasted for a year before being superceded by a mail cart service. The first postmaster was Rev. Charles D. Helm at Hope Fountain. Although situated in Rhodesia, it was under the control of the Bechuanaland Protectorate until 5th May 1894, when the British South African Company took over the Administration of Matabeleland and the postal agency became a Rhodesian post office.

Gubulawayo cds
Usage: 21.8.88. Probably never used postally, as it is possible the unadapted datestamp was never sent from headquaters. Only known used cancelling stamps to order, probably for souvenirs

Rarity: Very Rare (14 recorded according to Peetoom (2))

Gubulawayo 678 Numeral CancelGubulawayo cds i
Usage: 10.11.88-1.8.91Usage: 10.11.88-4.5.94

Rarity: Rare (census)

References and further reading:
(1) The Bechuanaland Connection with Gubulawayo by Otto Peetoom, The Runner Post no.100, Feb 2019, p.2434
(2) The Discovery of the Century for Rhodesia & Bechuanaland, the End of a Myth by Otto Peetoom, The Rhodesian Philatelist No 16 April 1998

Lobatsi BONC: 1159

Lobatsi Railway Station BONC: 1003

Macloutsi BONC:968


Mochudi BONC:398

Molepolole BONC: 674


Palapye Station BONC: 1052

Palapye Village BONC: 676 (see also Shoshong)

Palla BONC:758

Pitsani BONC: 1014

Ramoutsa BONC: 836

Ramoutsa Village

Sandpits BONC: 669


Shoshong BONC: 676 (see also Palapye Village)

Tati BONC: 679

Francestown barred oval numeralFrancestown cds

Unknown: 270, 1054, 1061, 1145