Today in Postal History


China Expeditionary Force to Rhodesia

May 18, 1906

This picture post card was sent after the Boxer Rebellion by someone sent to assure order.
This card was dropped in the base post office mail 'box'
where its passage was noted by a CDS for BASE OFFICE.

The organization's mail clerk got the mail to the
Field Post Office - F. P. O. No. 1 (Peking?) - where the two stamps were cancelled.
The destination was Bulawayo in Rhodesia,  presently Zimbabwe,
about 400 miles north of Johannesburg and an
equal distance west of the African coast of the Mozambique Channel.

En route it passed through Victoria Post Office, Hong Kong, on May 30.
There are no receiving marks in Rhodesia.
The picture on the postcard is of Hatamen Street in Peking.
There is no message.
There appears to be a rubber stamp at the base of the picture:  SERGT. W. MERCHANT xxMC.
Although this may have been added by the card's producer, I think it is associated with the sender.

The card is franked with a pair of the ½ Anna green stamps of India's 1882-99 Victorian stamps
with a C. E. F. overprint for the China Expeditionary Force (SG C2).
The overprints, first issued in 1900,  were intended to prevent currency speculation
and could only be used from the Field Post Offices.

Indian troops did not leave North China until November 1, 1923.


Today in Postal History
January February March April May June
July August September October November December

Pastnotes Index - The First 300 and the Next 208
provides more tidbits about stamps and collectors.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.