Postage stamps and postal history of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands

A 1911 stamp of the islands
3-pence value showing an island scene, 1939
1956 stamps of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands
A first-day cover franked with all of the four UPU stamps of 1949.

The first mail service to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands was ad hoc, depending on which ships were calling at the various islands. A regular service began in 1911;[1][2] Edward VII postage stamps of Fiji were overprinted GILBERT & ELLICE / PROTECTORATE and put on sale on 1 January of that year, followed in March by a set of four stamps depicting a Pandanus tree, inscribed GILBERT & ELLICE ISLANDS / PROTECTORATE.[1][2]

George V and George VI

These were followed in 1912 by George V stamps of the common type, inscribed GILBERT & ELLICE ISLANDS. A new definitive series came out starting 14 January 1939, featuring local scenery and a profile of George VI. These were updated in 1956 with a profile of Elizabeth II.[1][2]