John Thomas Gosling

John Thomas Gosling


John Thomas Gosling became acting Postmaster General of British Central Africa on 29th July, 1897, succeeding Edward Alston on 28th September, 1898. He received his training from the Imperial Post Office.

Gosling was a specialist Postal Officer and helped speed up internal mails, partly by a system of nightly postal runners. By 1899, over 300 mail bags a month were being carried by the postal runners, covering 10,000 miles a month (with 3,000 miles conducted at night).

He also introduced a number of new postal services, opened up new post offices and introduced the first annual postal guide. In 1897 stocks of 1d stamps were near exhausted. Three shilling stamps were overprinted to assist. However, in 1898 Gosling designed and printed his own stamps known as ‘cheque stamps’.

He remained in office until 9th April, 1904 at which time he was transferred to East Africa and Uganda Protectorate.


  • The Society of Malawi Journal Vol. 24, No. 2 (July, 1971)
  • The Society of Malawi Journal Vol. 29, No. 2 (July, 1976)
  • East Africa (British) Its History, People, Commerce, Industries and Resources.
  • Peter Gorton