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Gallery » Danzig Report 80 - July, August, September 1993 » British Field Post Office H2 used in Danzig during 1920

 

British Field Post Office H2 used in Danzig during 1920 by John Whiteside


Under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, signed on the 28th June 1919, Danzig was to become a Free City. This occured on 10th January 1920. To assist in the establishment of the new administration and to discourage a possibility of annexation by Poland, contingents of British and French troops were sent to Danzig early in 1920, probably during January.

The French troops were from the 10th Battalion of the Chasseurs Alpines. No post office was set up in Danzig, their mail being forwarded through the French garrison in Memel. The address for the mail was Secteur Postal 190, but no backstamp was employed.

The British contingent was the 1st Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. There were probably also other specialist staff, such as signaflers, etc. The troops were acting on behalf of the League of Nations, whose Chief Commissioner was Sir Reginald Tower. Lt. General R.C.B. Raking commanded the troops.

Field Post Office H2
To provide a postal service for the British soldiers, a field post office was stationed in Danzig. Until 22nd November 1919, the office, H2, had served as headquarters of II Corps in Laverkusen. The actual date of its transfer to Danzig is not known, but the earliest recorded date of use is 16th February 1920. It ceased to operate in Danzig on 27th November, 1920.

As well as serving the Danzig garrison, the field post office also handled mail from officers and men attached to the Allied Boundary Commission surveying the German-Polish border in the northern area, especially in the Marienwerder district.

The office used two similar double-circle datestamps, distinguished by the code letters A or B above the date in the centre. These were used concurrently, but code A is the most frequently found, as will be shown later.

Examples have always been considered to be scarce and desirable. E.B. Proud, in his History of the British Army Postal Service, gives it the highest scarcity classification (for up to ten examples known).

 

Danzig Report Vol. 1 - Nr. 80 - July - August - September - 1993, Page 3.


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