Today in Postal History

   

Canada to Switzerland
April 17, 1945

This cover was sent from Smiley, Saskatchewan,
a small, small town about 210 km west southwest of Saskatoon.
Although Smiley is on the map of my road atlas it is
not listed in the index so the population is very small.
The 1996 and 2001 Census Data for Saskatchewan list a decline from 68 to 56 residents!

The sender appears to have been a fraternal organization.
Prairiedale No. 321 is a Canadian Wheat Board District.
The Canadian Wheat Board manages the export of most of
the wheat and much of the barley produced in western Canada.

The cover was addressed to the International Red
Cross Committee
in Geneva, Switcherland [sic].

The cover received two Smiley CDS.
There is a censor tape at the left.

En route the carrier had an accident which led to the
straight line explanatory marking DAMAGED BY FIRE&WATER.
There were probably two stamps which were soaked off as a result of the accident.

There is also a red straightline marking COUPON-RÉP0NSE.
This was a marking added by the IRC to incoming mail returning a coupon of some sort.*

We can only speculate on the intent but it was probably associated with the
activities of the IRC as a neutral link between the combatants in World War II.
It perhaps dealt with a contribution or an inquiry about a prisoner of war.

*Thanks to Jim Whitford-Stark for his help in identifying the Coupon-Réponse marking.

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