25th September 2021 - Zoom meeting - Open meeting
I am grateful to Peter Harvey for this report as I was not able to attend the meeting due to attending the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain in Harrogate. For our September meeting we had a slightly smaller turn out than usual with 15 people attending, including a number of overseas members. The meeting was hosted by Geoff Hanney and included four short displays followed by questions and discussions around individual covers shown by members.
Once again Chris Grimshaw stepped in with two displays (also providing a spare 10 sheets for the October meeting) and we started with a 1923 card from HM Transport Huntsend before a correspondence on 11 cards from Sister Martha Jackson with the London Unit of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals (SWH), beginning with their crossing from Liverpool to Archangel in August 1916. Chris discussed the hospitals travels, displaying cards through to August 1917 and their journeys end at Cernavoda in Romania. Last but not least he displayed a map showing similarities in the route taken by the SWH and that of the Russian Armoured car Division 1915-1918.
Our second display was from Tommy Samuelsson from Sweden. Tommy displayed sheets from his thematic collection of Air Force material, starting with a sheet related to the US Pacific Fleet at Hawaii and the Japanese air attack, which included an early 1941 provisional censor with a Hickham Field Hawaii cancellation. Then the US Eight Army Air Force at British bases, including registration labels from RAF Watton and Bassingbourn, followed by a Missing In Action 579th Bomb Sqn cachet on a returned cover initially sent to APO 634 at Wellingborough. This was followed by an illustrated US Air Force V-Mail and then a very early US Navy cover mailed with the return address APO 86 located at Iwo Jima.
Third up was Jim Mackay with a display of WW2 airgraph and V-mail items, starting with a strip of the original Kodak microfilm. Jim discussed the process put in place to both write airgraph and V-mail letters and then send them, with the differences between the British Commonwealth and the US systems. His display included illustrated Christmas forms and airgraphs, including a V-mail from the South Pacific with the cachet RECEIVED IN CHICAGO PRIOR TO 1 DECEMBER AND HELD FOR APPROPRIATE CHRISTMAS DELIVERY. Jim completed his display with further airgraphs, including returned and Missing In Action covers and finally a letter dated January 1943 from the British Army Home Postal Depot at Nottingham stating an airgraph to APO 4330 could not be delivered as the address had no service available.
Last we had a further display from Chris Grimshaw. This display focussed on the British Army datestamp Army Post Office S.X.5, with Chris explaining that this was part of a larger research project and future publication. Chris went on to show 10 examples alongside various censor cachets explaining unit allocations. He explained that APO S.X.5 was first used at Likovan Greece in July 1916 with a latest recorded date of 9th August 1918. Two particularly nice items were Robert Sinclair Tobacco Fund cards, one to Heaton Newcastle in April 1917 and a second specifically printed for reply to the Wokington Star in Cumberland July 1918.
Following members discussions Richard Berry, managed to show a further APO S.X.5 item after Chris Grimshaw and then Karl Winkelmann showed a number of covers and cards including a card from HMS Thrush in 1896 at Lourenco Marques Mozambique, prior to the ship taking part in the Anglo-Zanzibar War, reputably the worlds shortest war lasting between 38 and 45 minutes.
You can view the material displayed on our website by opening and or downloading the following:
Initial research from Chris Grimshaw in a brief display explaining the use of Army Post Office S.X.5 at Likovan in Greece during WW1. Includes the dates of known use and examples of censor cachets, along with Robert Sinclair Cigarette Fund cards.
A Jim Mackay display of various V-Mail letter forms and airgraphs, including original Kodak microfilm. Shows illustrated Christmas examples and military unit illustrated items, along with a number returned to sender, including Missing in Action.
Part of a larger thematic display from Tommy Samuelsson. Shows 1941 U.S. Pacific Fleet at Hawaii, the Eight Army Air Force in Britain, a Missing In Action cover from the U.S. 579th Bomb Sqn and U.S. APO 86 at Iwo Jima.