Today in Postal History

  

Samoa to Netherlands
May 3, 1916

This registered cover was mailed during World War I and was censored before it left Samoa.
Censor 2 left his mark.

There are four Apia CDS.
I believe the pencilled 'Apia | 126 | 3527' are registry marks.
Note the pencilled red cross for registry on the front but not the reverse.

The routing went through Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on June 2.
There are two other transit marks on the reverse.
I believe the clearer of the two on the left is an arrival marking for Amsterdam on June 26.

The franking is interesting in that it includes all values
-  d. yellow-green, 1d. carmine, 2d. mauve, 2d. deep blue, 6d. carmine, and the 1s. vermilion -
of the New Zealand stamps overprinted SAMOA in 1914
(SG 115-121 less the 6d. shade variant 120).

It has all the looks of a mailing of new stamps to a dealer.

The 'paddle' stamp with 541 was not applied in Samoa.
It was likely that it was applied somewhere along the way to Switzerland.
I have had a correspondence with Nigel Sawyer of  the UK who suggests that it was applied in France.
He is a Samoa specialist and is convinced that the paddle is not a Samoan marking.
His suggestion of France is based on the similar paddle stamp with 541
shown on a cover from Samoa to Switzerland
which could have been routed through France as would this cover to Switzerland.

A second question arises as to the function of the numbered paddle mark.
Was it a registry mark applied to identify transit items in the country which applied it?

Can someone
extend my understanding of this paddle marking, please?

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