Today in Postal History


Gambia to Bulgaria
March 21, 1912

This picture postcard was sent from Bathurst (now Banjul)
about 160 km south of Dakar on the west coast of Africa.

Gambia became a Crown Colony in 1888, self-governing in 1963,
and independent within the Commonwealth in 1965.

Bathurst is located on Saint Mary's Island at the mouth
of the River Gambia which flows the length of the nation.
The illustration on the card was a contemporary view of Bathurst from the river.
The description says, "Head town of the colony as seen from the harbour."

This card was franked on the view side with a 1909
1d. red King Edward VII key plate issue (SG 73).
The stamp was cancelled with a BATHURST | GAMBIA CDS.

The destination was Belovo which is inland from Varna on the Black Sea coast.

There is an illegible transit mark on the front which is dated March 25.
Can anyone identify it?*

*David Benson identifies the CDS as being from Belova
(faintly seen on the bottom) with the Cyrillic version on the top.
This, of course, raises the question of the date.
Bulgaria used the Julian Calendar until October 31, 1915.
The Julian March 25 of the Belovo CDS was Gregorian April 7.
That is consistent with the March 21 origination date.


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