George VI succeeded to the British throne following the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII, in 1936. Born on 14 December 1895, he was the second son of the future George V. In 1923 he married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
A shy man, George VI struggled successfully to overcome a speech defect and won wide respect for his dedication and courage. During World War II, to encourage morale, he risked his life visiting war zones and recently bombed cities. He also created the George Cross for civilian gallantry, awarding it to the people of Malta for heroism under air attack. The King's frail health was weakened, and his life probably shortened, by his determination to carry on with his public duties despite serious illness. He died on 6 February 1952, and was succeeded by his elder daughter, Elizabeth II.
The stamp printers developed the stamp design from a photograph of the King by Dorothy Wilding Portraits Ltd. The pence values were printed by Bradbury Wilkinson & Co., England, the frame having been designed by W.J. Cooch. The shilling values were printed, and frame designed, by Thomas De La Rue & Co., England.
From 1891 stamps affixed to official government mail were overprinted by rubber stamps at time of posting with the letters 'O.P.S.O' - 'On Public Service Only'. In August 1906 Government decided that the existing system of franking letters, packets and telegrams sent on public service, was to be abolished, and that in lieu thereof such correspondence "is to be paid for by means of official stamps". Fourteen of the King George VI series were overprinted with the word "Official".
New Zealand Post would like to acknowledge the following for their assistance and guidance in bringing together this stamp issue:
Historical information included on this page sourced from The Postage Stamps of New Zealand published by the Royal Philatelic Society of NZ. Their web site offers further information useful to those interested in the stamps and postal history of New Zealand. Link: https://www.rpsnz.org.nz/
Product Listing for King George VI Officials
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||1 March 1938|
|Designers:||Bradbury Wilkinson, England; Thomas De La Rue, England and W.J. Cooch, Wellington|
|Printers:||Bradbury Wilkinson, England and Thomas De La Rue, England|
|Stamp size:||1/2d - 9d : 20mm x 22mm; 1s, 1s 3d, 2s and 3s : 24mm x 27mm|
|Sheet size:||Pence Values: Sheets of 240 stamps; Shilling Values: Sheets of 160; Booklets of 1/2d, 1d and 11/2d stamps|
|Process:||Recess printed - Intaglio|
|Perforation gauge:||1/2d - 9d : 14 x 13.5; 1s - 3s : 14|
|Paper type:||Wiggins Teape 'Esparto' and 'Royal Cypher', multiple NZ and star watermark; St Cuthbert's 'Esparto' and 'Royal Cypher', multiple NZ and star watermark|