Stamp Issues by the Polish Government in Exile
Edward Nowak, Sr.

Of the several stamp issues for Polish Nationals living outside Poland's borders-during or after World War II-the most important and known emissions were those of the Polish Government in Exile, with a seat in London, England.

In December 15, 1941, the Polish Emigre Government in Great Britain inaugurated the "Polish Postal Service" in a limited way.  The emission of Polish postage stamps and the service was dictated by the necessity of contacts with Poles still fighting, Polish Nationals in the world and to propagandize the fact that Poland still fights and the Polish Army, Air Force, Navy, and Merchant Marine are still fighting as the fifth world power, although fighting beyond Poland's boundaries.

In order that adhesives issued by Polish Emigre Government would retain its full monetary values and philatelic recognition, special postal agencies were created on Polish battleships and on the medias in Merchant Marine sailing the seas under the banner of Poland, thereby giving this philatelic venture a status of postal service operating on Polish soil.

In this manner 38 postal agencies were established; the centrum of this postal network being the "Postal Department" under the authority of the "Ministry of Defense" of the Polish Emigre Government.

In compliance with the mandates of the World Postal Convention, the regular and registered correspondence was accepted exclusively on ships of the Merchant Marine at sea, or the regular Polish Naval Forces.  The mail franked with the stamps of the Polish Government in Exile was accepted only for delivery in Great Britain and friendly or neutral nations.  This mail-prepaid with Polish stamps-was delivered through the regular postal channels.

This humble postal service has established full philatelic recognition for covers and stamp issues by the Polish Government in Exile.  These stamp emissions not only gained great popularity among stamp collectors, they also established a financial income for the Ministry of Finance and a great war propaganda that kept ablaze the fighting spirit among the Poles.

Heroic Defenders of Warsaw
Heroic Defenders of Warsaw
February 3, 1945

One of the best single stamp issues by the Polish Government in Exile was an adhesive of one zloty denomination plus a two zloty surcharge [1z+2z] for the victims of the Warsaw Uprising against Hitler in 1944.  On this stamp are depicted Polish Scouts manning the barricades under Nazi fire.

1945 cover mailed from London to New York
1945 cover mailed from London to New York

Cover Reverse

Weekly Philatelic Gossip, February 21, 1959