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Port Said Soldier Postcard From 1915

 
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Valued Member
United States
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Posted 05/10/2019   06:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Linus to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I recently attended the Iowa City Postcard Show and came home with a bunch of new postcards to research and figure out. Scanned below is one of them. The picture side is Port Said, Egypt, where the Suez Canal meets the Mediterranean Sea. It appears to be a soldier's card mailed with no postage stamp, but handwritten "On Active Service", with a FIELD POST OFFICE T.52 cancel dated August 9, 1915 (during the World War I time period) to Glasgow, Scotland. The most curious thing is the censor cancel: Passed By Censor - INDIAN EXPEIDTIONARY FORCE 102, in which the word "Expeditionary" is misspelled. The D and I are reversed. Does anybody know the history here? Any comments are welcome. I am still researching this one.

Linus





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Posted 05/10/2019   09:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modernstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I can't help with the history, but that is a nice post card!
I like the photo. A lot of history there from the World War I era.
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Posted 05/10/2019   10:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Joy Daschaudhuri to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


The datestamp (dt. 08.09.1915.) is of Br. FPO T52 which was located in Port Said from 07.25.1915. (Proud incorrectly records it 06.23.1915. ) to 10.10.1915. when it was sent to Thessaloníki, Ellada on 10.14.1915.

This datestamp was allotted to 52 (Lowland) Division Train (hence T in T52 denoted Division Train) with 155, 156, 157 Brigades which used datestamps of FPO D.L.L. in 6/1915 and thereafter FPO T.L.L. till T52 ds was issued.

The Indian Expeditionary Force PASSED BY CENSOR censor mark with Censor No. 102 (Firebrace type IEF3) was exclusively used by the Br. FPO T52 in Port Said.

References:
1. British Empire Campaigns and Occupations in the Near East, 1914-1924 A Postal History
John A Firebrace.
Christie's-Robson Lowe, Bournemouth, England 1991
Chapter IV: British Infantry Divisions, Brigades and Battalions
Divisonal Trains; pp.26-7
Chapter V: British Infantry Divisions, Brigades and Battalions (cont.)
52 (Lowland) Division; pp.55-6
Chapter XXVIII: Military Censorship
Indian Censor Handstamps; pp.301, 303

2. The Postal History of the British Army in World War I Before and after 1903 to 1929
Alistair Kennedy and George Crabb.
private, Epsom, England 1977
Chapter XVII: Egypt. (Including Sudan, Palestine, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and Cicilia); p.155

3. History of British Army Postal Service (Vol.II: 1903-1927)
Edward Wilfrid Baxby Proud.
Proud-Bailey Company Limited, Brighton, England 1980
Part I
Chapter V: Egyptian Expeditionary Force; p.40
Part II: List of Offices
Chapter XIV: 2nd Series 22.1.15.-1920 FPOs
FPO T52; p.294

4. Army and Field Post Offices of Egypt and the EEF, 1914-20
Michael M Sacher.
The Royal Philatelic Society, London, London, England 1970
Appendix B: The Post Offices
Section 2: Field Post Offices; p.25
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Posted 05/10/2019   11:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for that information, Joy. It is much appreciated.

My research found this on Wikipedia: "The Force in Egypt was a British Army formation established in August 1914 to administer garrisoning armed forces in Egypt at the beginning of the First World War. The force had the objective of protecting the Suez Canal and was originally commanded by Major General Julian Byng, but he was replaced by General J. Maxwell, who took command on 8 September 1914. Initially, the main threat to the Suez came from Germany and throughout the early months several of the force's elements were sent to Europe to take part in the fighting on the Western Front. On 5 November 1914, Britain and France declared war on the Ottoman Empire, after which the Force in Egypt faced a direct threat from Ottoman forces, which was realised in February 1915 with a raid on the Suez Canal. This threat remained until 1916 when the British forces went on the offensive.
The composition of the force changed several times due to the varying availability forces. By the end of 1914, the forces deployed in defence of the Suez Canal under Maxwell totaled approximately 30,000 troops. The main elements of this force were the 10th Indian Division (Major General A. Wilson), the 11th Indian Division, the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade, and the Bikaner Camel Corps, as well as elements from the Indian Mountain Artillery and the Egyptian Army Artillery. In addition, several British and French warships in the canal served as floating batteries and there were several aircraft available for reconnaissance. Following the opening of the Gallipoli Campaign, the Force in Egypt was reduced mainly to a training and reinforcement camp until forces were withdrawn from the Gallipoli Peninsula and returned to Egypt in December 1915." (Source: Wikipedia)

This postcard was mailed in August after the February 1915 raid mentioned above, and Indian troops were definitely used due to "varying availability" of forces during World War I.

Linus
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Rest in Peace
United States
4052 Posts
Posted 05/10/2019   11:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
'
Wow, Joy, raise the bar on well-documented posting, why don't you?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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407 Posts
Posted 05/11/2019   11:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
References:
1. British Empire Campaigns and Occupations in the Near East, 1914-1924 A Postal History
John A Firebrace.
Christie's-Robson Lowe, Bournemouth, England 1991
Chapter IV: British Infantry Divisions, Brigades and Battalions
Divisonal Trains; pp.26-7
Chapter V: British Infantry Divisions, Brigades and Battalions (cont.)
52 (Lowland) Division; pp.55-6
Chapter XXVIII: Military Censorship
Indian Censor Handstamps; pp.301, 303


Joy -

One additional question: What exactly is a "Divisional Train?" Is it a railroad locomotive train or a wagon train/supply chain to the division? Pages 26-27 of the book above might explain it, if you have access to a copy.

Thank you very much,
Linus
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India
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Posted 05/11/2019   3:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Joy Daschaudhuri to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Train here is in the sense of a number of vehicles or pack of animals moving in a line, not a railroad locomotive.

A Divisional Train was a part of Army Service Corps, which in WW1 consisted of about 450 men, 450 horses/camels/mules and different varieties of horsed and mechanical vehicles carrying comestibles, potables, forage, fuel etc. for supply to the respective Army Division.

But not all Divisional Trains were provided FPO.
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Posted 05/11/2019   3:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Joy Daschaudhuri to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Linus

Quote:

...if you have access to a copy.


I don't know what to make out of it.
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United States
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Posted 05/11/2019   8:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Joy -

I just meant, if you had easy availability to the book mentioned above, to look up the additional question that I asked. You must own one of the copies of this book. I found this book for sale on the internet book sites for $275. I would love to own a copy of this book, but it is difficult for me to pay that much for it, especially when the Port Said postcard only cost me 20 cents.

Thank you for educating me on the type of train this postmark refers to. You are most generous with your time and patience, and you are a valuable member of this stamp club.

Regards,
Linus

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