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Thursday 15 December 2022

Zoom Meeting


Our December Zoom meeting once again attracted members from across the world, with a total attendance of 15 enjoying four displays and discussion. Peter Harvey introduced the meeting and pointed members towards the meeting programme for 2023 and planned zoom meeting dates. All of the December displays as below are now available to view in display area of the FPHS website.


This meeting started with new topic for the society and the display France WW1 - Gardes de Voies et Communications (G.V.C.) given by Peter Stockton. Peter started by explaining that this was part of his collection which he had written up several years previously for display to the France and Colonies Philatelic Society. He then went on to explain the background to the GVC, their formation in 1887 by instruction from the War Ministry and details of unit manpower both military, police, and volunteers along with their unit organisation. The GVC role of providing sentries and surveillance patrols was explained and illustrated, along with a primary objective of protecting the extensive French railway network and lines of communication. Over 30 slides, members were shown mail from the GVC sent with a free postal franchise, including that authorised by the many GVC cachets along with covers and cards simply identified by the sender or recipient details. All the items shown avoided censorship, including those that managed to pass free of charge or tax (postage due) where sent overseas, including items to the UK. Members engaged in discussion regarding the transport of Allied mail through France from the ports in Northern France to the Mediterranean and how Peter’s display illustrated many of these routes and the extensive role the French took in protecting them.


FPHS Member Peter Stockton shows what must be a unique display related to the Gardes de Voies et Communicatios (G.V.C.) in France during WW1. He explains the G.V.C formation in 1887 and then changes made both to the use of manpower, explaining the size of the GVC and their organisational structure prior to WW1. Postal history displayed demonstrates arrangements for free post, it's authorisation and carriage of mail of the French railway network.


The second display from Mick Carter was the Dodecanese and the British Occupation 1945-1947. In his introduction Mick discussed with members the background to the Dodecanese both as part of the Ottoman Empire, the occupation by Italian forces in WW2, and then both the British Occupation and the subsequent German attacks, with the capture of 5000 Allied prisoners of war and reprisals on the civilian population. The postal history items shown started by explaining use of the MEF overprints on KGVI stamps, showing these primarily used philatelically, including the overprinted postage dues. Covers included the British Field Post Office 375 in 1946, MEF overprints on airmail covers including the cachets North Atlantic Air Service Via UK and By Air Throughout. Other items in the display included an Italian stationery card cancelled Castellorizzo (Isola) in 1947 to the Royal Navy Motor Launch ML 273 at Rhodes and British Army Signal Message Forms used from Rhodes during the occupation period.


A short display from FPHS Committee member Nick Colley showing covers from WW2 and airmen from the dominions. Includes redirected items to and from RAF stations including Catfoss, Leuchars and Kendrom, a POW and Deceased cover and airmail using the undercover address PO Box 1663 Santa Fe, the atomic bomb construction site in the USA


Our last display at the December meeting came from member Chris Grimshaw. This was part one of three displays planned to show members the use and wide variety of WW1 Silk Postcards. The display was dedicated to Eric Grimshaw. In this part Chris introduces the ‘golden years’ of 1914-1920 and WW1 embodied silks, giving some history to the popularisation of postcards and the transition to the silk mementoes that many collectors will be familiar with. The display includes details of how the cards were posted, information on inserts and messages, whilst showing a wide range of cards, with sentimental messages, holiday greetings and messages from the front line in Europe.


Part 1, of three planned displays from Chris Grimshaw showing the use of silk postcards. In this part Chris introduces the ‘golden years’ of 1914 - 1920 and WW1 embodied silks, giving some history to the popularisation of postcards and the transition to the silk mementoes that many collectors will be familiar with. The display includes details of how the cards were posted, information on inserts and messages and also shows a wide range of cards, with both sentimental messages, holiday greetings and messages from the front line in Europe.



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