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10th February 2024

John Daynes’ Plate 15-page Competition


Our second meeting of the year with 11 members present (and a further member who came at the end of the meeting) and a slight increase in the number of entries this year - five entries of which two were postal entries printed on thin card which shows that our competitions are open to members who cannot attend in person.  Once again there was a wide variety of subjects displayed.  Voting was by the members present at the meeting.  After the presentation three of the five entrants gave a short talk on their entries.


I’m pleased to announce that Tony Walker was the clear winner by a large margin with his entry of “The Royal Naval Air Service Armoured Cars campaign in Russia 1915 to 1918”, beating the second place winner by 17 points.  In describing his entry Tony states that all the navy's armoured car squadrons (perhaps 17) were transferred to the army late in 1915, except Squadron No 15 which declined the army offer and opted to go to Russia instead to support our Russian allies.  A Division consisting of three squadrons left Liverpool in December 1915 commanded by Locker Lampson MP. This display of postal history items contains a range of Russian censor marks and cachets, some very scarce and is accompanied by a chronological description of the military context they illustrate and concludes with the dramatic escape of the remaining men in 1918 with the connivance of Trotsky after the capitulation of Russia, despite an order from Lenin that all such personnel should be detained.


Second was Richard Berry with his entry on “The Godfrey Longfellow RAF Correspondence 1917-1919”.  Richard displayed a small correspondence of letters covers and Christmas cards relating to Lieutenant Godfrey Longfellow. He was a private in the Suffolk Regiment who obtained a commission in the Royal Flying Corps in December 1917 and was trained as a pilot in Egypt. In June 1918 he joined 31 Squadron on the North-West Frontier of India.  Using his own words his time in the RFC and the RAF from its foundation on 1 April 1918 was shown. Of special interest was his involvement in the short Third Afghan War in 1919 where he was involved in bombing raids and reconnaissance. He left the RAF in late 1919 and died in India in August 1920 where he had taken up work in agriculture.  Also studied in the exhibit were the types of postal stationary available to Longfellow when writing home to England.


Third was Lorraine Maguire with her entry on “Patriotic covers used in New Zealand during World War Two”.  These illustrated covers had their origins in the Patriotic Covers used in N.Z. during WW2. There were at least five covers that had widespread distribution in N.Z.  In America, Patriotic Covers for WW2 were published even before that country entered the war. Some of these found their way to N.Z., the first being sent from Wellington on 11 September 1941.  During WW2 there were restrictions on the mailing of stamps from N.Z. to other countries, but no restrictions on the exchange of covers, subject of course to censorship regulations.  Patriotic cover collecting had a great following in the U.S.A. during the war years and made big business for some cover dealers. With the ceasing of hostilities this came to an end.  These are no officially issued covers rather they were created by dealers and collectors to exchange with other like-minded collectors. The Garrick family of Christchurch conducted extensive exchange of covers, particularly with American collectors.


Of the other two entries one was from Andrew Brooks with “The Leumnitz Turnerbund in World War One” in which he stated that between 1914 and 1918 soldiers from the village of Leumnitz in Thuringia sent home field postcards and letters to their Turnerbund (Gym Club) and one of the officials, Paul Schmidt.  They were sent from many military units.  Where possible the location of the soldier has been mentioned, at the time of him writing.


The other entry was from Simon McArthur with his entry on “German Propaganda Postcards”.  This was a collection of postcards aimed at Holland and the Low Countries - a series of cards showing the Wehrmacht (unified German armed forces) in action including the different armoured vehicles used, together with two Dienstpost items of a military nature.

First three pages of Tony Walker's entry (Click to view)

First three pages of Andrew Brooks entry (click to view):


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