17 July 2021 - Zoom meeting - Open meeting
Another open meeting for our July Zoom meeting - anything from your collection, once again hosted by Nick Colley. For this meeting we had 21 attendees.
Julian Bagwell started off the displays with a selection of items from his Guernsey collection, the first being an early letter from July 1803 sent from London to Guernsey via a forwarding agent in Weymouth; not in itself forces mail but talks about British and enemy property in British Guiana seized by the navy condemned as prize. This was followed by a penny farthing pre-printed stationery card from Smyrna to Brighton in 1875. Then we jump to Guernsey philately under German occupation 1940/41 showing local mail some with bisected stamps and lastly a Jersey mixed franking cover (Jersey, British and German stamps) from 1942 cancelled with FELDPOST 712 cancellation. Richard Flemming thought that this was philatelic in view of the mixed franking and use of a numbered Feldpost datestamp which would normally only be used on registered mail and also a wrong postage rate.
Jim Mackay was next with a showing of covers carried by the RAF Despatch Rider Letter Service (DRLS) in WW2. He started off by showing the cover of Air Publication 947 - General Instructions for the Treatment of Correspondence. He then went on to show a selection of mail which featured various cachets, large and small, from UK RAF Stations which included “BY D.R.L.S.” or something similar. Each appeared to be unique. Lastly he showed a cover to the American Embassy with a typescript heading above the address “By Car Messenger Service. URGENT”, and then a July 1944 cover from Ordnance Directorate, HQ 21 Army Group to its Rear HQ in London with in manuscript “N.B.D.S.” (for Naval Boat Despatch Service).
Jim Etherington had a single cover to show - from an RAF Sergeant interned in Algeria. There were no postal markings or other indication as to date, but it showed a French CONTROLÉ censor label and a censor cachet, but it also had what appears to be a locally produced SM (Service Militaire) cachet. This was a follow up from a previous meeting on POW material.
The next showing was from Nick Colley on the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). It was a selection of covers, including a number of registered covers (in one case with the location deliberately cut out of the registration label) and air mail letter cards. They were mainly from naval ships or bases in Australia with the majority being censored using the tombstone censor cachet although other cachets, some non-standard including one not recorded by “Daynes”, were also used. There was also a variety of other cachets used to indicate “H.M. AUSTRALIAN SHIPS” or something similar or on active service.
He was followed by Karl Winkelmann with a small selection of mail associated with Ireland. This included a HQ PAIFORCE Christmas air mail letter card to Dublin where the censor had cut out part of the unit address; a much redirected cover from Ireland in March 1941 showing “discharged” with Karl wanting to try and find out more information and also a postcard from Kenya postmarked EA APO 55 on 23 July 1943 and addressed to Co Limerick, Eire.
Last but not least we had Chris Grimshaw with a fascinating collection on the Italian Occupation of Albania during WW1; he started off with an introductory sheet explaining the complex political situation in Albania with the Italians, French and Greeks. There was also a map showing the division of Albania and this was followed by a number of postcards, including several picture postcards, from the Italian occupation, showing a variety of unit cachets and Italian POSTA MILITARE postmarks. This included POSTA MILITAIRE 111 to 116 which later became POSTA MILITAIRE TRUPPE OCCUPAZIONE 1 to 6. There were also some naval mail postcards and lastly a picture postcard showing the Italian HQ at Valona.
You can view the material displayed on our website by opening the following links: