Samoa in the First World War – the long way to independence

December 22nd, 2014

According to info received by Samoa Post has released a set of commemorative stamps dedicated to the First World War. The set consists of four stamps that were released on the 5th of December.

The Occupation of Samoa – the takeover and subsequent administration of the Pacific colony of German Samoa – started in August 1914 with landings by an expeditionary force from New Zealand called the "Samoa Expeditionary Force". This represented New Zealand's first military action in World War I.

The force occupied German Samoa until 1920. The administrator Colonel Robert Logan tried to win local sentiment but struggled with complex economic and indigenous issues. He significantly mishandled the arrival of the influenza pandemic in November 1918, resulting in over 7,500 deaths.

New Zealand then governed the islands as the Western Samoa Trust Territory from 1920 until independence in 1962 – firstly as a League of Nations Class C Mandate and after 1945 as a United Nations Trust Territory.