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Saturday 11 Mar 2023

Military Occupations, any periods - Members’ Displays

Michael Dobbs was first to show and he had his own take on the subject “military occupations” by showing items from his career and military occupation as a staff clerk in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, serving in both Brunssum, The Netherlands (HQ AFCENT) and Rheindahlen, Germany (HQ NORTHAG) during his seven years service after leaving school. He then went on to show covers connected with the British occupation of Germany after the end of WWII, including POW mail, covers from UNRRA.

Following on was Geoff Hanney with a small selection of Australian postage stamps overprinted BCOF / JAPAN / 1946 used on covers with various Australian military cancellations used in Japan during the period of Allied occupation of that country.

Next it was the turn of Simon McArthur showing covers from the German occupation of The Netherlands during WWII and in particular German censorship of mail going overseas. Such mail was censored in Germany, mainly at Frankfurt, others in Kȍln. Mail with AC cachets indicated that it hadn’t been inspected by the censor. There was also a selection of covers showing censorship by Allied Censor Netherlands (ACN) following the German surrender on mail to Germany or Austria.

Then it was the turn of Peter High with a display connected with Italian hospital ships (what else could we expect!). His showing commenced with items from the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-12 and included a number of picture postcards showing Italian troops in Libya. He then moved on to the invasion and occupation of Ethiopia during the Italo-Ethiopian War of 1935-36 followed by the Italo-Greek War of 1940-41. The items shown included mail from and postcards of Italian hospital ships during these conflicts. His last item was a single sheet on the Italian occupation of part of France during WWII.

After Peter came Peter Burrows with a variety of items showing labels, cachets and forms: After the end of WW2 and following the occupation of Austria and Germany the Allied allowed business mail but such mail had to have labels or cachets applied or printed on the envelopes stating that it contained business matters only. He showed a number of such items including various permits and passes issued by the Control Commission for Germany including a driving licence, registration card and a pass for a postman. From the US Army “Military Government of Germany” he showed temporary registration forms. In Japan there was a civil censorship detachment run by the Americans who applied cachets on mail which read in Japanese “Released by censor”; he also showed various other forms in English and Japanese.

Lorraine Maguire was next with material from New Zealanders in Italy during WW2, including various maps showing the progress of NZ troops in Italy. She also showed picture postcards and photos by taken by a NZ soldier in 1944 of Monte Cassino, Florence and Rome. There were also Macintyre photos of his drawings of NZ troops in Italy “from Taranto to Trieste”.

Last to show was Richard Berry with material connected to the Palestinian Arab revolt of 1936 against British administration. He showed a selection of covers with British FPO cancellations (FPOs 16, 17, 20, 22, 23, 25 & 26).


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