The Bi-colours of the Rhodesia Double Head Issue – Reah-Johnson & Underwood


The Bi-Coloured Double Heads – Edition XI (Revised 10 November, 2021)

Major David C. Underwood & Stephen Reah-Johnson

Edited by: Alan Hanks & Simon Hensman (Previous Editor: John Michael)

The 1d Double Head: The greatest stamp of the British Empire?

Around twenty years ago, the noted Double Head collector and connoisseur, Bob Gibbs, reflected that the 1d Double Head was the greatest stamp of the British Empire. Bob will be the first to state that all the research of today is built upon the shoulders of some fine Rhodesian philatelists of yesteryear –  such people as C.C. Woolacott, Oswald Marsh, H.C. Dann, Alan Deal, Arthur Strutt, David Forgan, Bernard Livermore, Vivien Ellenberger and Ian Hamilton.  In their collecting, research and writings, they leave a rich legacy upon which the current era of interested philatelists (Keith Watkins, Andrew Wilson, Arnold Brickman, Bob Looker, Stephen Reah-Johnson and, of course, Gibbs) build and broaden.

With over 14 million of these stamps printed from two plates between 1910 and 1913, their colours and the multitude of flaws, provide a rich field for research. Literally dozens and dozens of printings from the two plates occurred.  The multitude of printings resulted in a deterioration of the plates which, along with the use of many different inks, resulted in many flaws and a wonderful spectrum of colours.

SG 123

SG 124

SG 125

The current state of classifying the 1d is diverse and large with the present Gibbons classifications probably requiring an update. Here is a brief summary of the current situation:


S.G. Perf. Colour
123 14×14 Bright Carmine (aniline) (shades)
123a 14×14 Imperf. Between (vertical pair)
123b 14×14 Imperf. Between (horizontal pair)
124 14×14 Carmine-Lake (shades)
125 14×14 Deep Rose-Red
170 15×15 Carmine (shades)
170a 15×15 Carmine-Lake (shades)
170b 15×15 Carmine
179b 15×14 Scarlet (shades)
183 13½ x13½ Bright Carmine (shades)
Gibbs 14×14 Rosine (shades)
Gibbs 15×15 Rosine (shades)

The ‘OD’ Flaw

One of the real challenges for the new collector surrounds the plating and positioning of the stamps. From the Master Plate, it is believed that an electroplate was produced (Plate B.) So, a collector is faced with three options: The Master Plate, Plate A (which was originally the Master Plate) and Plate B (the electroplate.)

There are not many full sheets in existence. Bob Gibbs has kindly had high resolution copies made of the full sheet of his Master Plate (the only one known), a Plate A and a Plate B. He has made them available to RSC members via a Dropbox link. If you would like to receive a copy, CONTACT US and you will be sent the link.

Here is some useful reading:

Gibbs, R.M., The 1d Double Head – “The Greatest Stamp of the British Empire”. Journal of the Rhodesian Study Circle (June, 2016) No 257, pp. 64-65.

Gibbs, R.M., Brickman A., Burke, S., Memoir 34: Postmarks on the 1910-1913 Double Head IssueParadise Revisited. (2018)

Hamilton I.T., Rhodesia. 1d. The Double Head Issue of 1910. Journal of the Rhodesian Study Circle (September, 2016) No 261, pp. 172-177. (This paper was originally written in September, 1952, but not published.)

Livermore, B., The King and Queen Issue of 1910 One Penny with Compound Perforation. The Philatelic Journal, April/June, 1963, pp 39-40.

Looker, R.J., The Penny Double Head – where are we now? Journal of the Rhodesian Study Circle (December, 2016) No 262, pp. 219-220.

Reah-Johnson, S., Observations on the Colours of the 1d Double Head.  Journal of the Rhodesian Study Circle (September, 2003) No 251, p. 81.

Reah-Johnson, S., The 1d Double Head – S.G. 123, 124 and 125. Journal of the Rhodesian Study Circle (June, 2014) No 208, pp. 100-110.

Watkins, K., A Penny Passion – 1d Double Head. Journal of the Rhodesian Study Circle (June, 2004) No 211, p. 67.

Watkins, K., A Penny Double Head Analysis. Journal of the Rhodesian Study Circle (December, 2003) No 209,

The 1924 Double Head “Remainders” (CTO’s)

British South Africa Company

1910 – Double Heads – the CTO’s

In RSCJ 279, there was an article by Robert Gallimore adding to the list of known CTO’s on Double Heads. This adds to the work already done in this area. In June 1987, Robert M. Gibbs and Stephen Reichek published a list of the Double Head “remainders”; stamps left in the London Offices of the B.S.A.C. at the conclusion of their operations in Rhodesia [see RSCJ 138 (June 1987)]. The devices produced for this operation were 1) double circle with arcs joined (DCAJ) for Bulawayo with six different dates; 2) double circle (DC) for Gwelo with six different dates and 3) double circle with arcs joined (DCAJ) for Salisbury with six different dates – the sixth date was only added in 2010, after it appeared in the appendices to Rhodesia – The Bi-Coloured Doubleheads 1910-1914, Edition XI by Stephen Reah-Johnson and Alan J. Hanks . The quantity of duties available varied from a low of 174 of the 2d duty to a high of 16,757 for the 1d duty. These “cancelled to order” Double Heads were regarded as being not worthy of consideration by many collectors when they appeared on the market. Since that time, numerous other discoveries have added to the list. In RSCJ 246/55, Alan J. Hanks and Peter Merrick, came together and published yet another comprehensive list. Since that date, a few new discoveries have been added, mostly noted in the Journal.

We now again publish an updated comprehensive list including all the new discoveries.  This list will be updated on a regular basis.  This will also act as a useful tool for the continuing and new collectors in this area.

Table of CTO’s

B1  12 Feb.  11  7:30 p.m. G1  22 Feb. 12 S1  22 May. 11  6:30 p.m.
B2  16 Apr.  11 9:25 a.m. G2  23 Mar. 12 S2  17 Jul.   11  8:00 p.m.
B3  12 May. 11 9:10 a.m. G3  25 Jul.   12 S2a 17 Apr. 12  5:00 p.m.
B4  22 Aug.  11 11:20 a.m. G4  24 Dec. 12 S3  17 Apr.  13  5:00 p.m.
B5  3  Dec.   12  4:30 p.m. G5  6 May.   13 S4  27 May.  13  7:00 p.m.
B6  22 Oct.  13  11.20 a.m. G6  13 Sep.  13 S5  27 Nov. 13  10:50 a.m.

Click Here for link: DH CTO Update 2020



The Gold Mines of Southern Rhodesia to 1924 – D A Mitchell and G W Begg

The Gold Mines of Southern Rhodesia to 1924

D A Mitchell and G W Begg

This well researched book of 304 pages provides an in depth study of the gold mines in Southern Rhodesia. Early chapters cover mining history, mining law and mining documents. Then follows a listing of 125 mines each with its history, postal history, output of the mine and its location shown by both a map and geographical co-ordinates (an example of the map for Shamrock Mine is shown in the September 2019 Journal).

The manuscript of the book is dated 1996 when reproduction techniques were not as advanced as they are today, thus the quality of the black and white illustrations of covers and documents is not up to modern standards. The sections on mining documents and postal history are perhaps better covered elsewhere but the strength of the book lies in the history and geography of each mine. All mines are covered even if they had no post office and even towns which had a mine but “mine” was not in the post office name.”


  • Price:
    • Digital Copy (PDF) – £12.50 (Member), £15 (Non Member)
    • Reprint to Order – £20 +P&H (Member), £24+P&H (Non Member)

Order form below.

Roman Catholic Church: Kutama Mission

Roman Catholic Church

Kutama Mission

Jesuit Jean-Baptiste (John) Loubiere, with his assistant Joseph Dambaza, are credited with the founding of Kutama Mission, located near Norton, approximately 80 km southwest of Salisbury (Harare). Father Loubiere named it Kutama after his first convert the chief.

The mission began as an outstation of Chishawasha Mission. Cassiano Ushewokunze, who was trained at Chishawasha, was posted as the first teacher-catechist at Kutama in 1913. Fr Loubiere became the first resident priest in September 1914 (the date generally given as the mission’s founding date) and through his efforts, Kutama became a fully-fledged mission independent of Chishawasha.

Fr. Loubiere’s initial focus was on evangelism, but realizing that educational development was needed as well, he began primary education. By 1926, the Jesuits had established a two-year Teacher Training course for primary school teachers, which would become St. Francis Xavier (Kutama) College. After the death of Fr. Loubiere in 1930, Father Jerome O’Hea arrived in 1931 to become the school’s headmaster.

Fr. O’Hea established a hospital on the mission site using his family’s resources after a request for government funding was turned down. The hospital was later named Fr O’Hea Memorial Mission Hospital (Kutama Hospital) in his honor.

The Jesuit were challenged to both perform pastoral work and run the school, so in 1939 Bishop A. Chichester S.J invited the Marist Brothers to come to Kutama and assume responsibility for education. Under their leadership, Kutama was one of the first missions in Southern Rhodesia to offer secondary (high school) education to Africans.

President Mugabe was born in the village of Kutama and educated at Kutama College.



  • Mark Loomis

Webb, Low & Barry

Webb, Low & Barry


In 1897 Rhodesia Railways asked one of Cape Town’s top lawyers Mr Webb to come to Bulawayo to open Bulawayo’s first legal firm. Webb quickly established a firm which provided top quality legal services to the fledgling colony.

Webb soon invited Henry Low, another lawyer practicing in South Africa, to join him. Henry Low was later knighted for his services to Bulawayo and lends his name to the Henry Low primary school in Bulawayo. Michael Barry, the firm’s third named partner, joined the firm in 1922 creating Webb, Low & Barry.

In 1983 Bob Cole became senior partner on Michael Barry’s retirement and the following year David Coltart, the current senior partner became a partner. Norman Pattison became a partner in 1985, with Josephat Tshuma becoming a partner in 1989. David Coltart became senior partner in 1998 when Bob Cole retired.

The firm prevailed through the harsh economic climate and hyperinflation in Zimbabwe from 2000 to 2008. In 2006, Webb, Low & Barry took over and incorporated another old Bulawayo firm, Ben Baron and Partners. The firm migrated to larger premises in 2008 in the Belmont suburb of Bulawayo.

Since dollarization in 2009, the firm has continued to grow and expand its client base both within Zimbabwe and internationally. Webb, Low & Barry is a full service law firm with a dedicated team of lawyers that practice in all areas of Zimbabwean law.



Peter Forrestall

Peter Forrestall


Peter Forrestall was born in 1864 in Nova Scotia. He worked for the Native Affairs Department as Native Commissioner of the Chibi District at Chibi Station. He was referred to by locals as Ndambakuwa – ‘the one who refuses to budge on anything.’ Forrestall also managed Nyazuguwi Ranch, Victoria – one of the first lowveld ranches.

He died 30 August 1921. He never married.


  • Transient Workspaces: Technologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe – Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga


Methodist Episcopal Church: Mtoko Mission

Methodist Episcopal Church

Mtoko Mission


Mtoko (Mutoko) Mission, located approximately 65 km north of Mrewa (Murewa) in Mashonaland East Province, was founded by Dr. Samuel Gurney of the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) in 1911. The Mutoko area had a large population and Dr. Gurney saw it “as a way to move on from there toward Nyanga” and “as a final link that would connect Methodist work in the Mutasa area.”

The British South Africa Company granted MEC an old police camp containing several brick buildings from which the missionary work could begin. Dr. Gurney, then residing at Mrewa Mission, was appointed head of the Mrewa-Mtoko (Murehwa-Mutoko) Circuit, while African evangelist James Apiri was stationed at Mtoko itself.

For the first several years, the Mtoko Mission suffered from the lack a resident missionary. Eddy H. Greeley and his wife were appointed to Mtoko in 1916-17, but were transferred after only six months to Old Umtali Mission. Another missionary was appointed in 1919, but again his stay lasted for only six months. Dr. Gurney managed the mission from his base at Mrewa while juggling his other duties. He wrote in a report to the Methodist Rhodesia Mission Conference in 1919 that in most “respects this Mtoko child of our mission family seems to have suffered from arrested development.” With my time fully occupied and living forty miles distant, “the poor little Mtoko mission received much more of absent treatment than was good for it.”

Nonetheless, with the help of African evangelists (pastor-teachers), and later missionaries, including Wilfred Bourgaize (beginning 1921 – still in the field as of 1954), the mission prevailed. As of 1924, a new church building had been built and there was a small primary boarding school consisting of six boys. By 1944, the Boy’s Boarding school had increased to nearly 100 students.

Today, under the control of the United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, Mtoko (Mutoko) consists of the Mutoko Central Primary School, Mutoko Methodist Center/church, and it serves as the base of the Mutoko/Nyadire District.


  • Mark Loomis

Postcards: Percy Missen Clark – General Series IA – Printed in England

Percy Missen Clark

General Series IA – Printed in England

No.sDescriptionEarliest PMK Date
N/AMatopo Post Office (Rhodesia)


Andrew Milroy Fleming

Andrew Milroy Fleming


Andrew Milroy Fleming was the son of Reverend John Fleming of Edinburgh. After his education at Durham School he received his medical training at the University of Edinburgh, qualified as Bachelor of Medicine (MB) and Master in Surgery (CM) in 1893, and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FRCSE).

During 1893 he served briefly as assistant physician to Victoria Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest in Edinburgh. Towards the end of that year he went to the Cape Colony and was licensed to practice there on 22 February 1894, was appointed junior house surgeon at Carnarvon Hospital, Kimberley.

In October 1894 he was appointed as medical officer in charge of Salisbury Hospital. He married Philadelphia Alice Fisher in 1896 and they had two children. That same year he acted as principal medical officer to the forces of the British South Africa Company in Mashonaland.

In April 1897 he became medical director and inspector to the British South Africa Company and principal medical officer to its police force. His post was subsequently named medical director of Rhodesia, a position he retained to about 1931. During these years he played a leading role in establishing a medical service in that country. He was honoured as a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1898. By that time he was a member of the [second] South African Medical Association.

Fleming probably returned to England for some time, as he was awarded the Diploma in Public Health by Cambridge University in 1903.



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