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|Officers and representatives of...|
|A message from the President|
|Life of the society|
|40th anniversary of "Rossica" by...|
|The 1918 control labels in the...|
|Report on "Sophia-69" by A....|
|Some cancellations of Vladivostok...|
|Problems of Russian philately,...|
|Confusion about the surcharged...|
|Mail from the Canadian Siberian...|
|About the Russian Zemstvo post...|
|Methods of despatching mail by...|
|Collectors nook by R. Polchani...|
|Paper money Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva...|
|A cover with the 10 kop. "Kitai"...|
|Printing varieties of Soviet air...|
|Early Soviet first flight philately,...|
|The first standard issue of the...|
|Ukraine forgeries by C. W....|
|The postal history of Eastern Slovakia...|
|The "Bez. Plat." marking by K....|
|A typical letter from Eastern Roumelia...|
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|An unusual Russian Levant cover...|
|Notes from collectors|
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|Table of Contents|
Officers and representatives of the society
A message from the President
Life of the society
40th anniversary of "Rossica" by E. Marcovitch
The 1918 control labels in the M.V. Liphschutz collection by A. Cronin
Report on "Sophia-69" by A. Cronin
Some cancellations of Vladivostok by Sam Robbins
Problems of Russian philately, 1908-1917 by Barrie Evans
Confusion about the surcharged North Pole - Moscow airmail set (Scott C95, 96) of 1955 by K. Adler
Mail from the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force, 1918-1919 by Edith M. Faulstich
About the Russian Zemstvo post by E. Marcovitch
Methods of despatching mail by K. Adler
Collectors nook by R. Polchaninov
Paper money Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva by Yu. Pakhomov
A cover with the 10 kop. "Kitai" overprint on vertically laid paper by K. Adler
Printing varieties of Soviet air labels by J. Posell
Early Soviet first flight philately, 1922-1930 by Fred W. Speers
The first standard issue of the Soviet Union, 1923-1926 (addenda and corrections by K. Adler)
Ukraine forgeries by C. W. Roberts
The postal history of Eastern Slovakia 1939-1945 and afterwards by Miroslav Blaha
The "Bez. Plat." marking by K. Adler
A typical letter from Eastern Roumelia by D. N. Minchev
"Identifying characteristics of the Wrangel plain 1000 - ruble surcharge" by Edward L. Wisewell, Jr.
The stamp commemorates by Dr. G. Wember
An unusual Russian Levant cover by Sam Robbins
Notes from collectors
S"WIPA" 1933 BRONZE MEDAL "UNIPEX" 1960 SILVER MEDAL
"PRAGA" 1935 BRONZE MEDAL "POLSKA" 1960 SILVER MEDAL
"OSTRAPA" 1935 SILVER MEDAL "PRAGA" 1962 SILVER MEDAL
"ZEFIB" 1937 SILVER MEDAL "MELUSINA" 1963 SILVER MEDAL
"BEPHILA" 1957 SILVER MEDAL "PHILATEC" 1964 SILVER MEDAL
"EFICON" 1958 SILVER MEDAL "WIPA" 1965 SILVER MEDAL
"TEMEX" 1958 SILVER MEDAL "SIPEX" 1966 SILVER MEDAL
"INTERPOSTA"1959 SILVER MEDAL "PRAGA" 1968 SILVER MEDAL
"SICILIA" 1959 SILVER MEDAL "APS-68" 1968 SILVER MEDAL
"BARCELONA" 1960 SILVER MEDAL "EFIREX" 1968 SILVER CERTIFICATE
"SOFIA-69" 1969 SILVER CERTIFICATE
No. 76-77 1969
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Box 806, Church Street Station
New York, N.Y. 10008
Martin L. Harow
K. Adler, Emile Marcovitch, C.P. Bulak,
J. Terlecky (Ukrainian Editor)
2 Officers of the Society
3 A Message from our President
4 Life of the Society
6 40th Anniversary of 'ROSSICA' by E. Marcovitch
7 The 1918 Control Labels in the M. V. Liphschutz Collection by A. Cronin.
8 Report on "Sofia-69' by A. Cronin
14 Some Cancellations of Vladivostok by Sam Robbins
17 Problems of Russian Philately 1908-1917 by Barrie Evans
26 Confusion about the Surcharged North Pole Moscow Airmail Set (Scott C 95,96) of 1955-by Kurt Adler
28 Mail from the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force 1918-1919 by Edith M. Faulstich
58 About the Russian Zemstvo Post E. Marcovitch
63 Methods of Despatching Mail Kurt Adler
66 Collectors Nook by R. Polchaninov
69 Paper Money Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva by Yu. Pakhomov
71 A Cover with the 10 Kop. "KITAI" Overprint on Vertically Laid Paper by Kurt Adler
74 Printing Varieties of Soviet Air Labels J. Posell
77 Early Soviet First Flight Philately, 1922-1930 by Fred W. Speers
81 The First Standard Issue of the Soviet Union, 1923-1926 (Addenda and Corrections by Kurt Adler)
83 Ukraine Forgeries by C. W. Roberts
85 The Postal History of Eastern Slovakia 1939-1945 and Afterwards by Miroslav Blaha
88 The "Bez. Plat." Marking by Kurt Adler
90 A Typical Letter from Eastern Roumelia by D. N. Minchev
92 "Identifying Characteristics of the Wrangel Plain 1000 -Ruble Surcharge" by Edward L. Wisewell, Jr.
94 The Stamp Commemorates Dr. G. Wember
96 An Unusual Russian Levant Cover by Sam Robbins
98 Notes from Collectors
106 Book Reviews
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
PRESIDENT: Kurt Adler, c/o Metropolitan Opera Inc., Lincoln Centre Plaza, N.Y., 10023
VICE-PRESIDENT: Gordon H. Torrey Ph. D., 5118 Duval Dr. Washington, D.C. 20016
SECRETARY: Joseph F. Chudoba, 426 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, N. Y. 11225
TREASURER: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave., Brooklyn, N. Y. 11226
CHAIRMAN OF AUDITING COMMITTEE: Andrew Cronin, Box 806, New York, N.Y. 10008
CHAIRMAN OF MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Mr. Martin Harow, 17 Second St., Brentwood, L.I. 11717
LIBRARIAN: J. Lee Shneidman, Ph. D., 161 W. 86th. St., Apt. 5-B, New York, N.Y. 10024
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Emile Marcovitch, 65-61 Saunders St. Apt. 4-Q, Rego Park, N.Y. 11374
Boris Shishkin, 3523 Tunlaw Rd., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007
Fred W. Speers, 118 N. Caroline Way, Escondido, Calif. 92025
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SOCIETY
G.B. Salisbury Chapter: Joseph F. Chudoba, 426 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn,, N. Y. 11225
San Francisco: K. Jansson, 624-16 Ave., San Francsico, Calif. 94118
Washington, D.C.: Boris Shishkin,, 3523 Tunlaw Rd., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007
Western USA: Lester S. Glass, 1553 So. La Cienega Blvd,, Los Angeles, Calif. 90035
The views expressed in this JOURNAL by the authors are their own and the Editors disclaim any responsi-
At the present time the Membership Dues are $5.00, due January 1, for all members. Application forms,
which must be filled out, are available upon request. Membership lists, codes, bulletins and supplements to
the membership lists will be sent out annually. Kindly make all checks payable to:
ROSSICA Society of Russian Philately, c/o
Mr. Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave.,
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11226
We have a very limited number of back issues of the Journal for sale, both in Russian and in English at
$2.50 each: Russian Editions No. 44 to 69; English Editions (10 various only). Others are sold out.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The 40th anniversary of the Rossica" Society gives us much reason to reflect and to rejoice. To reflect
in deep humility; to remember our beginnings; the almost superhuman efforts by our first president, E.M.
Arkhangelsky who, in exile, under the worst possible personal conditions of living had the vision and the
courage to found the Society of Russian Philatelists Abroad/and to develop it into an internationally known
philatelic society, publishing 43 issues of an internationally acknowledged philatelic journal; to remember
further the leadership of A.A. Chebotkevich, close personal friend of Mr. Arkhangelsky, taking over from him
and bringing the Society and its Journal to our shores, rejuvenating them by printing the Journal in Russian
and English, thus making it available to even wider circles of Russian philatelists after the interruption
necessitated by World War II; To gratefully remember the stewardship of our beloved friend Dr. Gregory
Bondarenko-Salisbury under whose aegis the Society and its Journal blossomed and got the widest possible
recognition. Dr. Salisbury worked tirelessly for the development of our Society. Russian born and American
educated he put the Journal on a high professional, international level. A modern thinking man, he was aware
that the Society and Journal had already surpassed the years of the Russian exile abroad.. The great percen-
tage of Russians living abroad now is able to read and understand English, as are our European readers, and
even the growing number of philatelists inside Russia who receive our completely nonpolitical philatelic
Journal. Dr. Salisbury, therefore, decided to publish the Journal in English only, thus conforming also to the
econimical necessities of our time.
When we gratefully look back to our past, we have much to rejoice and much to hope for in the future. The
Society is growing. The Journal is becoming ever more popular and is now an indispensable compendium for
every serious student of Russian philately. The list of prizes and medals that the Journal has won in inter-
national competition encompasses now more than 20 silver medals. We have opened new vistas, made new
discoveries in our continuous research in the field of Russian philately that are highly appreciated inter-
Much remains to be done which can only be attained by the dedication of all our members. Economic difficul-
ties are mounting. We need financial help. We must create new fields of interest for the young collector, our
future reader, by pursuing topical subjects, such as Space, Sports, Flora and Fauna etc.
I hope that the next ten years will bring us increased success in membership, publication, research and inter-
national brotherly philatelic relations. In congratulating the Society and its members on the occasion of our
40th anniversary we have much to be proud of and grateful for. Let us look ahead with great anticipation, hope
and dedication toward our golden Anniversary ten years hence.
President of "Rossica"
LIFE OF THE SOCIETY
One of the leading events of the international philatelic scene was the occasion of the centenary celebrations
for the Royal Philatelic Society, London, England. The Society staged a Centenary Exhibition from 11th.
to 20th. April 1969 and invited displays from renowned philatelists among its members around the world. We
are happy to note that four of our members were among that select group. Their names and material exhibited
were as follows:
1) RICHARD CANMAN, Chicago, Ill.: HONGKONG study of the first issue.
2) M. V. LIPHSCHUTZ, Neuilly s/Seine, France: RUSSIA No. 1 used on day of issue. Also covers with
pairs, also strips of three and multiples. Unique blocks
of four of Nos. 2-4, also of Nos. 8-10. Block of fifteen
of 1 kop. yellow and 1866 issue including inverted centres
3) DEREK PALMER, Santiago, Chile: EQUADOR Rare 1865 covers, also G.B. 6d. pair used abroad at
4) DR. A. H. WORTMAN, London, England: RUSSIAN LEVANT 6 kop. 1863 issue with Batum Agency
postmark; 1865-68 issues with dots cancels of Trebizond,
Smyrna, Beirut, Jaffa, Alexandria and Latakia.
Great work, fellows! We are proud of you.
There were two other members of the Royal who showed material of interest to us, namely:-
A) JOHN R. BOKER JR., USA: WENDEN 1863 Packenmarke 4 kop. in multiples, also the 4 kop. yellow-
green, bisected on cover.
B) Capt. B. ROGERS-TILLSTONE, England: RUSSIAN ZEMSTVOS Ryazan 2 kop. blue of 1868; Borovichi
2 kop. gold of 1868; also 5 kop. black and lilac-red.
At the recent SANDIPEX'- 69", exhibition, held at San Diego, Calif., our hard-working El Paso member,
C. P. Bulak, got a silver medal for his entry of "Wells Fargo Express Postal Service in Mexico from 1860 to
1909", while Fred Speers got a silver for his Romanov proofs and essays. This latter exhibit attracted much
attention at the show.
Our sister publication, the "British Journal of Russian Philately" obtained a gold medal in the Philatelic
Literature class for a run of the last twelve numbers. Our congratulations go to them for this fine effort.
In these days of mounting printing costs and inflationery pressures, our Journal has had a hard time in making
ends meet, particularly since the income of the Society is limited. It is in times like these that friends are
really appreciated. We would especially like to express our deep gratitude to our California member, Mr. Fred
W. Speers, whose advice and monetary contributions have helped us out on at least two occasions. If readers
will help to enlist new members and aid us in reducing printing costs, we will be able to forge ahead.
Washington-Baltimore Chapter Holds June 1969 Meeting
Despite the 10(f heat, signaling the advent of the blistering Washington summer, the faithful of the Washington-
Baltimore Chapter of Rossica set a good attendance record at the end-of-June meeting.
The highlight of the meeting was the showing by Gordon Torrey of his fabulous collection of Russia Used
Abroad which had won a silver bronze medal at the recent Sofia Exposition.
There was much interest in Azerbaijan and related Caucasian issues and in the Ukrainian tridents.
Perforations of the early Russia issues were discussed and the question raised whether our Society can help
correct the glaring inaccuracies in the perforation listings of these issues in some of the American catalogues.
A related question was raised by Vice President Stackleberg of how to obtain here the perforation gauge show-
ing quarters, as well as halves, indispensable for proper identification of certain early Russian issues, includ-
ing the Zemstvos.
Missed at this meeting was Ed Wolski, the Chapter's Treasurer, who was winging his way to Central Asia, on
a U.S. government assignment.
Will all members please note that subscriptions are due on 1st. January each year, regardless of the original
month of joining. New members receive all the journals issued during the year of joining.
To avoid the unnecessary delays which have occurred in the transfer of funds, our English members
are requested to send their annual dues direct to our Treasurer, Mr. Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Avenue,
Brooklyn, N. Y. 11226, USA, by the most convenient means, money order, bank draft etc., rather than to a cen-
tral source in the United Kingdom.
We have heard from a source in Goteborg, Sweden, that one of our old members, Helding Falk, has passed
away. Our sympathies go to his family and relatives.
Mr. Murray Epstein, father of our Treasurer, died peacefully in his sleep at the grand old age of 92 in Brook-
lyn on 11 September 1969. Born in Paneveys, Lithuania, he migrated to Chicago at an early age, in time to
attend the famous exhibition there. Right up until the time of his death, he took a great interest, tempered
with shrewdness, in his son's philatelic activities. His advice and salty comments will be sadly missed by
all who had the great pleasure of knowing him.
40th ANNIVERSARY OF "ROSSICA"
by E. Marcovitch
The International Society for Russian Philately "Rossica" was founded by the noted philatelist E. M.
Arkhangelsky in Yugoslavia in 1929. It comprised about 600 members from all over the world. In 1930,
Arkhangelsky started to publish a philatelic journal with the same name. Contributors were the most famous
experts in the field of Russian philately. This "Rossica" journal which was at first printed in Yugoslavia
then in Baltic cities and, just before World War II in Shanghai (No's 41, 42, and 43) has today become a real
collectors item. A complect is very difficult to come by. The war and the following upheavals brought an-in-
terruption of 12 years to the existence of the Society. "Rossica" was reborn in New York. Old and new mem-
bers from all over the world were enthusiastically participating in the renewal of the Society. An old friend of
Arkhangelsky's A.A. Chebotkievich who had emigrated to the U.S. was the driving force of the new "Rossica".
He started to publish modest monthly bulletins and was soon made president of the Society, Arkhangelsky be-
ing elevated to the post of honorary president, still contributing articles and supervising the Society's life from
his very modest place of living in Yugoslavia. More and more members of Russian and non-Russian origin had
joined the Society, among them Dr. Gregory Bondarenko-Salisbury of Philadelphia to whose initiative we may
ascribe the renewal of the "Rossica" Journal (No. 44) in 1954. Dr. Salisbury became its Editor in Chief and
was elected president of "Rossica" after the death of A.A. Chebotkievich. Under Dr. Salisbury's aegis the
Society and its journal grew in quantity and quality. It is now being published twice a year in an 80-90 page
edition, full of the most interesting material about every phase of Russian philately, starting with the pre-stamp
period and encompassing all aspects of Russian and border states philately and postal history. A new consti-
tution was approved whose first tenet stresses the completely apolitical character of the Society. "Rossica"
became popular on all five continents through the participation of its members and its journal in numerous in-
ternational and national philatelic exhibitions, winning many top awards. The journal alone has up to now
won 14 major awards. In the early 1960's the "Rossica" journal which had appeared in English and Russian
abolished the Russian edition, since all members here and on the other continents now read English. Dr.
Salisbury who had dedicated all of his energies to the development of "Rossica" met with a tragic, untimely
death in 1968. Again, there was danger that the Society and the journal may have fallen apart and been discon-
tinued. But, the members immediately decided to continue Society and journal without interruption. A.S.
Cronin who already had been one of the most active members and writers was made Editor in Chief. In recent
world-wide elections Kurt Adler, conductor and chorus master of the Metropolitan Opera, noted Russian col-
lector and close friend of the late Dr. Salisbury was unamously elected president of "Rossica".
" Rossica"s 40th anniversary finds the Society on firm footings. Membership continues to grow and so do top
awards at exhibitions. It is not too much to say that "Rossica" is among the most important and successful
specialized philatelic Societies in America. Philatelists in the Eastern European countries are increasingly
interested in the research work and in the articles in "Rossica", especially in the field of Russian Philately
of Imperial times and of Russian Post Offices abroad. New projects are being put into existence, the most
important one being the formation of a Young Collectors group with special emphasis of topical collecting,
such as Cosmos, Sports, Fauna and Flora, of which modern Russian philately abounds.
Secretary of the International "Rossica" Society and Chairman of its New York branch (Dr. Gregory B.
Salisbury chapter) is Joseph P. Chudoba. Meetings take place on the last Sunday of each month at Sloane
House YMCA at 34th st. and 9th Ave. from 1 to 4 P.M. Guests are welcome. Applications for membership
may be sent to Mr. Kurt Adler, Metropolitan Opera, New York 10023.
THE 1918 CONTROL LABELS IN THE M. V. LIPHSCHUTZ COLLECTION
by A. Cronin
S Among the many fine items displayed by our noted Parisian member at "Sofia-69" was a magnificent array of
rare material from this postal service which was instituted by the German Tenth Army in occupied Byelorussia.
As a background to this issue, please see Rossica No. 73, pp. 30-32 for an article "The original 1918 control
labels", by our president, Kurt Adler.
Mr. Liphschutz has an example of the special postcard issued for this service, used on 12 Sept. 1918 from
Minsk to Moscow, with the normal franking of the 30 pf. control label and 10 ph. Germania stamp. This ante-
dates Mr. Adler's usage by 37 days. Next follows a cover with 60 pf. control label and 20 pf. Germania type,
cancelled at the hitherto unknown office of Logoisk on 22 Sept. 1918, apparently to a Russian address. The
final item is a registered cover from Minsk to Moscow, sent on 1 Oct. 1918 and franked with the 30 & 60 pf.
control labels and two 40-pf. Germania stamps, with a total value of M 1.70. Mr. Adler's registered cover
from Baranovichi to Mitava (Jelgava in Latvia), despatched on 4 Dec. 1918, had a total franking of M 1.30,
so we are still not sure what was the fee charged for registration by this service.
The number of offices at which the control labels were to have been placed on sale has now grown to 29, as
follows in alphabetical order, followed by the name of the provinces in which they were situated:-
(x) BARANOVICHI, Minsk (x) MINSK, Minsk SLAVYANY, Mogilev
BOBR, Mogilev MOGILEV, Mogilev (x) SLONIM, Grodno
BOBRUISK, Minsk MOLODECHNO, Vil'na SLUTSK, Minsk
BORISOV, Minsk NOVO-BORISOV, Minsk SMOLEVICHI, Minsk
GORODEYA, Minsk (x) NOVOGRUDOK, Minsk STARYI BYKHOV. Mogilev
KOIDANOVA, Minsk OSIPOVICHI, Minsk STOLBTSY, Miisk
KOKHANOVO. Mogilev (x) POGOST, Minsk TOLOCHIN, Mogilev
KRASNYI-BEREG. Minsk 'PUKHOVICHI, Minsk VILEIKA, Vil'na
KRUPKA, Mogilev ROGACHEV, Mogilev ZHLOBIN, Mogilev
(x) LOGOISK, Minsk RUDENSK, Minsk
The notation (x) denotes thesix offices from which this writer has so far seen mail emanating. Members are
urged to notify the Editorial Board of all further usages for this scarce provisional issue.
MINT NEVER HINGED RARE ITEMS AT LOW PRICES
Scott # 559-568 95.00 1553-54 6.00
615 A 67.00 1860 5.00
616 A 75.00 1951-55 2.00
617 A perf. 60.00 2286-88 12.50
617 A imp. 50.00 2485-50 KOP instead 12.50
1341a 55.00 KOP
1341A used 9.00 B24-29 signed 50.00
1341A used I side imperf w/marg. C25-perf 14 35.00
65.00 C26-29 22.00
1508-9 18.75 C37-39 light hinge 48.00
1518-25 27.50 C50-52 light hinge 45.00
1529-31 4.00 C68 58.00
1532-33 6.75 C68 small F 95.00
All others from #326 are available, also new issues at face value. Want lists serviced. I Please send cash with order.
WANTED BETTER ISSUES OF RUSSIA MINT AND USED IN QUANTITIES!
I am paying Scott# 1080a-1082a mint N-H 12.00, 1080a-1082a mint hinged 9.00, 1080a-1082a used 4.00
T327a used imper 35.00, 2926a Olympic Tokyo green S/Sheet, mint or used at 5.50
Want lists filed from Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Western European Countries.
P.O. Box 38153 STANLEY KODIN Hollywood, Calif. 90038
REPORT ON "SOFIA-69"
by A. Cronin
"Sofia-69" was the international philatelic exhibition held under the patronage of the FIP from 31 May to 8
June 1969 at Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria.
It was a memorable experience. The principal purpose for attending the exhibition was to ensure American
presence there and show Bulgarian collectors what U.S. philatelists could do. American participation was
small, as little effort had been made in this country to bring the exhibition to the notice of intending exhibitors,
but this writer managed, almost at the last moment, to take over personally and bring back the entries of three
Rossica members, two from the Hellenic Philatelic Society of America and one from a member of the Collectors
Club. Mr. N. Litt, a director of the SPA, also brought along some other U.S. entries. They all received worthy
awards. Incidentally, throughout the duration of the show, the U.S. Embassy in Sofia had a very nice display
in its street windows of enlarged colored reproductions of recent commemoratives, which attracted much notice
from the passers-by. It also had on hand a very useful booklet on Sofia and its attractions, for the convince o.
American tourists visiting the country.
Right at the beginning, when Mr. Litt and this writer landed at Sofia on Thursday, 29 May, we were met by a
Bulgarian delegation, complete with bouquet of roses. It was headed by Mr. T. Garvanow and included Mr.
D. N. Minchev, our Bulgarian contributor, both of whom he had corresponded with for the past seven years,
also Messrs. P. Baikushev, D. Diamandiev and other officials. Their help was invaluable in getting through
the immigration authorities and further customs formalities were quickly attended to at the Universiada"
Sports Hall, where we also met our London member, Mirosaw Bojanowicz, a British judge at the show and
The following morning, there was an invitation to attend the Press Conference, where a highly efficient team
of enterpreters helped to keep proceedings intelligible. In the absence of the U.S. Commissioner, this writer
was asked to deputize for him at various other off i cial gatherings connected with the exhibition. It
was fascinating experience to sit in at these international meetings with the serious Germans and Czechs,
the urbane Austrians and French, the conscientious Russians and Greeks, the multilingual Scandinivians and
The hospitality offered us was overwhelming and included a highly accomplished performance of '' Khovansh-
china" by M. P. Musorgskii at the National Opera, excursions to the Rila Monastery, the Borovets resort, the
Valley of Roses and Plovdiv, receptions given by the Union of Bulgarian Philatlists etc. The outstanding
thing about the show was the infinite pains to which the host country went to make it as successful and secure
as possible. This even included the mobilization of pensioner philatelists to handle the multitude of tasks in-
volved, as well as a special force of 400 men, which worked through the night after the exhibition closed to
take down the displays and check them carefully. There were close to 5000 frames on view by almost 1000
exhibitors, with everything from the commonest stamps to the greatest rarities from all over the world, consti-
tuting a wonderful opportunity for the Bulgarian collectors to see philately in all its phases on a worthy inter-
national scale. As V. A. Muratov put it, ''I have learnt a lot about philately", and this writer felt the same
way. Said E. S. Voikhanskii of Baku: 'After seeing all the fine exhibits on display, I feel like giving up col-
lecting! ". Amen.
Originally, a nominal admission fee had been planned for the show but, just before opening, this was waived
and the resulting attendance was around 130,000, including a very high proportion of the fair sex. The women,
with their instinctive appreciation for beauty, were no doubt attracted by the many colorful issues on display.
Competition at the exhibition was very keen, standards were extremely high and the international jury went to
great lengths to be as impartial as possible. In addition to Mr. Bojanowicz, two other Rossica members, name-
ly George T. Turner of Washington. D.C. and Eng. Il'ya Braunstein of Uxelles, Belgium, were judges at the
show. Mr. Bojanowics had a beautiful "Kingdom of Poland" entry in the Court of Honor, and Mr. Braunstein
had a non-competitive exhibit of his famous Consular Airmails. Among the features that struck this writer was
the great trouble to which the European collectors went to write up and display their material, even to the ex-
tent of including, in some cases, explanatory notes in the language of the host country, Bulgaria. The Swedes
had particularly beautiful displays, with the "Grand Prix d'Honneur" going to Stig Ljunggren for his fantastic
showing of Norway 1855-1875, while an exhibit by Karl-Eric Stenberg had a xeroxed illustrated booklet append-
ed to it for the convenience of viewers, entirely in perfect Bulgarian and explaining all the letters in his entry.
The printing formes for the June issue of the Bulgarian magazine "Philatelen Pregled" had been set up just
prior to the opening of the exhibition and it was a revelation for the editor of our own journal to see the quick
and incisive way that Editor-in-Chief Todor Garvanov and his assistant Ivan Vurbanov note on the galley proofs
the positions for the photographs and other material relating to the opening, in time to have the magazine print-
ed and distributed during the tenure of the show.
Many of the Russian collectors present formed part of a group on tour throughout Bulgaria, spending only a day
or two at the exhibition. It was, however, possible to meet some of the leading philatelists, including S. M.
Blekhman, M.A. Levshnya, Commissioner V. A. Muratov, B.A. Balashov, editor of the journal Filateliya
SSSR", the two judges on the international jury, A.I. Kachinskii and P.F. Mazur, and members of the contin-
gent from Baku, such as E. S. Voikhanskii, V. G. Topalov, S. M. Polyakov and an old correspondent, V. G.
Panin. Incidentally, the Baku group is very keen and is currently in the process of organizing with the Cer-
cle Philate'lique France-URSS a Baku-Paris philatelic exhibition, to be held in the Azerbaijani capital in Oct-
ober or November 1970.
As was to be expected, entries in our fields of interest were numerous and details of awards gained are given
in Part II of this report given below. Among the beautiful items that stood out, in this writer's opinion, were
all the rare Imperial booklets, a showing of the 1918 Control Labels (see article elsewhere in this Journal),
the very rare Petrovsk "50/T." provisional of 1922 on cover, two envelopes of the 1923 Vladivostok airmails
flown to Spassk, etc. etc., all in the magnificent exhibit of M. V. Liphschutz, our noted member in France.
Mr. Blekhman dazzled us with many proofs and essays of the Imperial and Soviet periods; Fred Speers would
have especially loved his imperf. block of six of the 1-ruble stamp from the 1937 airmail set, and the same
value in the normal imperf. souvenir sheet of four stamps with red imprint in the bottom margin, reading "
"Proekt 20 sentyabrya 1937 g.". PresidentKurt Adler's showing of Russian Fieldposts of various wars at-
tracted much attention, the local viewers being, of course, much interested in his material from the 1877-1878
period in Bulgaria. There was a gorgeous showing of all the rare Soviet commemoratives in blocks of four
mint by B. & M. Diamandiev, beautiful Zemstvo material from G. Gevirts and V. I. Sorokin, wonderful "mutes"
from Ya. M. Vovin, Ukraine in strength from Dr. Seichter and C. W. Roberts, Inflationery period and Zemstvos
from John Lloyd, a scholarly presentation of "Used Abroads" from Dr.. N. V. Luchnik, fine airmail material
in the "Spreading Wings" exhibit by V.V. Pritula, rare items of Imperial postal history by Alex. Droar, beauti-
fully mounted and annotated rarities of Azerbaijan by E. S. Voikhanskii, Soviet Transcaucasia rarities by V. G.
Panin, a neat Imperial display by J. F. Chudoba, Dr. Gordon Torrey's choice "Used Abroads", a fine showing of
covers of Russia, Levant and China by Dr. Vasil Stoyanov, a tremendous exhibit of all Latvian cancels 1918-
1941 by Janis Spiringis, nice Soviet Polar items from Gabriel Citerne etc. and many, many other fine things,
too numerous to mention.
Several other exhibitors had items of great interest to us. Gunnar Roos of Sweden had a wonderful classic cov-
er of Sweden with 5 ore 1858 issue, 3 ore 1862 issues and 30 ore 1858 issue from Stockholm to St. Petersburg,
apparently mailed aboard ship and with each stamp socked on the nose on arrival with the "SPB" oval! Else-
where on the front is a double-circle strike of "S. Peterburg / 13 AVG. 1871/ UTRO VIII EKS." and a
Dr. Teo&r Velislavov Popov, who won the "Grand Prix National" for his superb collection of classic Bulgaria,,
showed a lovely 50 centimes first issue on a cover from Ruschuk 20 Apr. 1884, via the Bessarabian border ex-
change post office at Ungeni (two strikes of UNGENI-9, dated 23 and 24 Apr. 1884), to arrive at St. Petersburg
6th. and 9th. Despatch Offices on the 29th. of that month. Vasil Karaivanov included among his Bulgarian
varieties a strip of three 10 st. "Small Lion" type in rose with a beautiful oval strike in blue reading "ROPIT/
23 YANV. 1900/AGENT. BURGAS". Unbelievable!
Your editor is of Greek origin and also has a knowledge of the Bulgarian language. For this reason, he proba-
bly got more out of his visit to the country than many foreign tourists. In any case, an important part of his
time was spent happily munching his way through Bulgarian and other Balkan delicacies, such as banitsa,
burek, kebabcheta,. tarator, gyuvech, imam bayildi, musaka, shopska salata, home-made yoghurt, baklava
etc. The local wines and spirits are also of a very high standard, let it be said, but they could do with the
services of a good Czech or German brewmaster to straighten them out on their beer.
Finally, this writer would like to express his thanks to all who went out of their way to make his stay so pleas-
ant, namely the Union of Bulgarian Philatelists, Mr. T. Garvanov and family, Mr. & Mrs. D. N. Minchev. Eng. A.
Antonov, I. Khristov, S. Khadzhikhristov, I. Kostov, B. Dechev, Dr. V. Stoyanov, D. Stanchev, D. B. Diaman-
diev, I S. Kunchev, A. Strashimirov, S. Veltov, S. Brashnarov, Ch. Dyukmedzhiev, A. Talvi, L. Kochov, P.I.
Delov, I. Vurbanov, V. N. Kumanov, V. Draganov, Mme. Boeva, the efficient customs agent and her male coun-
terparts. '' Bai" Boris, the crusty but hard-working officer in the vault and many others whose names, but
not their kindnesses, have escaped his memory.
II. THE AWARDS IN OUR FIELDS OF INTEREST:
The names of the exhibitors are followed by their subject and country of residence, in that order. The nota-
tions (x) denote '"with felicitations of the jury" and (xx), Rossica member.
LARGE GOLD MEDAL
S. M. Blekhman: Russia & States and USSR (USSR)
(x) M. V. Liphschutz: 200 years of Russian and Soviet Postal History (France)
Dr. Peter Lavrov: Russia and USSR (Czechoslovakia).
SMALL GOLD MEDAL
G. Gevirts: Zemstvos (USSR)
V. V. Pritula: Airmails (USSR)
(x) K. Adler: Russian Fieldposts of different wars (USA)
B. & M. Diamandiev: USSR (Bulgaria)
A. Gdalin: Pushkin topic (USSR)
O. Martyshov: Astronomy topic (USSR)
Dr. R. Seichter: Ukraine (GFR)
(x) V. I. Sorokin: Bogorodsk and Poltava Zemstvos (USSR)
I.. Zbarskii: USSR 1928-1937 (USSR)
M. Aizen: USSR varieties (USSR)
G. Citerne: Soviet Polar Postal History (France).
(xx) A. Droar: Imperial Postal History (GB)
Ehrlich: Political topic (France)
P-A Erixon: "Imperial Russia and Zemstvos (Sweden)
O. V. Forafontov: USSR 1923-1941 (USSR)
H. V. Hoffman: Estonia postal history and varieties (GFR)
L. Liepnieks: Baltic Postal History (USSR)
G. B. Lindberg: Riga postal history 1786 to date (Sweden)
(xx) J. Lloyd: Zemstvos and Rev. Period (GB)
Dr. N. V. Luchnik: Russia Used Abroad (USSR)
I. Morozov: RSFSR (USSR)
J. Ozoligs: Occupation topic (USSR)
V. G. Panin: Soviet Transcaucasis (USSR)
(xx) C. W. Roberts: Ukraine (GB)
(x) J. Spiringis: Latvian cancels complete 1918-1941 (USSR)
V. Ustinovskii: Russian Post In China (USSR)
K. Vasilyev: USSR specialized to 1940 (USSR)
(x) E. Vernik: Imperials specialized (USSR)
(x) Ya. M. Vovin: Mutes (USSR)
M. V. Mayeren: Arctic Drifting Stations (GDR)
(x) S. Vvedenskii: Lenin topic (USSR)
SILVER DIPLOMA: Rossica Journal; Bulgarian monthly "Philatelen Pregled"
A. O. Chavushian: USSR (Bulgaria)
(xx) J. F. Chudoba: Imperials (USA)
Dr. S. Dimitrijevi6: Outer Space topic (Jugoslavia)
I. Ivanov: Lenin topic (USSR)
Dr. G.G. Kostandinov: USSR (Bulgaria)
N. Kulikov: Chess on stamps (USSR)
D. Litkei: Soviet advertising cards of 1930's (Hungary)
I. F. Mushenko: Heroes of USSR topic (USSR)
A. Peszko: USSR (Poland)
M. Rinoldi: North Pole topic (Italy)
J. Sokolik: Outer Space topic (Czechoslovakia)
M. P. Sokolov: Printing Arts topic (USSR)
Dr. V. Stoyanov: Imperials, Levant and China (Bulgaria)
K. Stroev: Polar Postal History (USSR)
K. Szab6: Used USSR (Hungary)
(xx) Dr. G. H. Torrey: Russia Used Abroad (USA)
E. Vernik: Finland to 1917 (USSR)
(x) E. Vincovskis: Kurlandia 1810-1879 (USSR)
E. S. Voikhanskii: Soviet Azerbaijan (USSR)
R. Weinhara: Polar Postal History (Roumania)
Journal Filateliya SSSR" (USSR)
Handbook "Soviet Collector" (USSR)
B. K. Davidkov: Outer Space topic (Bulgaria)
B. Drefahl: Antarctica(GDR)
Eng. P. Fiala: Russia & USSR covers (Czechoslovakia)
A. Galluchon: Outer Space topic (France)
A. Gul: "Hello, Moon" topic (USSR)
I. A. Ivanov: Outer Space topic (USSR)
V. S. Kotlov: Georgia (USSR)
A. Oksanian: Outer Space topic (Turkey)
A. Oksanian: Polar topic (Turkey)
A. Presterud: Russia and USSR 1857-1933 (Norway)
A. Pritt: Russian P.O.W. mail (GB)
Yu. Rudnikov: Aviation Pioneers topic (USSR)
K. I. Shchedrin: Ukraine topic (USSR)
G. Smirnov: Imperials (USSR)
V. Ch. Stoyanov: Outer Space topic (Bulgaria)
T. Vlad: Outer Space topic (Roumania)
D. N. Minchev: Russian Posts in Balkans (Literature)
DIPLOMA OF PARTICIPATION
O. Pilants: Wenden (GB)
D. V. Vandervelde: '"Aus Russland" markings (GB)
Rossica is starting its own expertization committee. It is expected that the
membership will be able to have questionable stamps expertized. Please note
the sending and return of material will be at the members risk; the committee
will assume no responsibility for the material submitted.
The membership is requested to send any comments pertinent to the setting up of
the committee tos Mr. Kurt Adler, President of the Society.
JUNIOR COLLECTORS OF RUSSIAN MATERIAL TAKE NOTE
Rossica is offering criticism and awards for the best "Junior Collection", in the
many fields of Russian Philately. Aid in assembly and writing up of a collection,
will be offered to all collectors at the regular Rossica meeting of the New York
Chapter. The New York Chapter meets the last Sunday of each month except the
months of July and August. The meetings are held at the YMCA on 34th Street
between 8th and 9th Avenue in Manhattan. The meetings start at 1:30 p.m.
HAVE YOU REMEMBERED TO PAY YOUR ROSSICA DUES? MAIL DUES TO:
33 CROOKE AVENUE
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 11226
"SOFIA 69" CIETOIIA ONAATErANA EXPOSXIlOIPHILATILIQUE
oaAo A-31.-V-W.l. ONDIAU .SOFIA'1 -
Our member Geo. Turner, U.S. judge at the Noted member Michel Liphschutz in centre, BAKU GROUP (left to right) S.M. Poly-
show and Mrs. E. Zirkind, both at left, with with our Bulgarian contributor D.N.Minchev okov, unidentified, V.G. Topalov, E.S.
Mr. Phillip Zirkind at right, at left and Dr. Vasil Stoyanov at right. Voikhanskii & V.G. Panin.
-- -- -- -
SAt left: Mme Sanka Nacheva, talented interpreter for French
At right: M. Lucien Berthelot, President of FIP, doing his thin,
S..---.. .at Rile Monastery.
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SQUARE IN SOFIA: "Tsar Liberator" monument in Our Austrian member Todor Garvanov, Editor-in-Chief
foreground, National Assembly at right and Alexander Nevskii cathedral in Franz See of Vienna of "Philatelen Pregled" & Ivan
background. at the show. Kostov, Chief of Press Bureau.
The competitive entries were housed at the imposing "Universiada" Sports A .,
Hall (above) and the "Clement of Okhrid" State University (at right):
SOME CANCELLATIONS OF VLADIVOSTOK
by Sam Robbins
The port city of Vladivostok bordering the Pacific Ocean has in its short history been the center of many im-
portant events. Founded under Chinese Concessions to the Russian Empire in 1860 it was a direct product of
the negotiations of the Treaty of Aigun (1858). It served as a point of arrival and departure for raw materials
and goods. A railway via Mariuchuria and the Trans-Baikel district reached the town in 1897, though the final
link with the Trans-Siberian line was not completed until 1917. It connected the west and the east making it
also a political instrument of expansion.
The postal history as viewed by the two covers in this article is but a small glance at the activities of the
multinational postal services that in one time or other found its base in Vladivostok.
From the many covers with the Vladivostok cancels in my collection two of them have a curious history. A
clear example why postal history is such an interesting field for the philatelist.
One cover shows by its markings a rather long transit story beginning in 1878 to 1880. The cover was regis-
tered at Vladivostok with a total fee of 23 Kop. and was addressed to:
Lev Nosiloevich (?) Ilyashevich
St. Petersburg Mogilevskaya Street
House No. 13 Apart. No. 4
On the front it has a 8kp grey and rose and a 5kp black and lilac, both circa 1875. Each stamp has a circular
cancel of VLADIVOSTOK numeral '1' with arabesque,.dated 13 Oct. 1878. There is also a similar stripe on
the front plus a notation illegible that refers to VLADIVOSTOK.
The back of the cover tells the story. It contains 6 circular cancels and 4 transits receipts attached are as
Circular cancel # 1-VLADIVOSTOK 30 OKT 1878 with arabesque.
Circular cancel # 2-Same as above but on pair of 5 KP black and lilac 1875 issue.
Double -circular cancel # 3-(27mm) ST. PETERSBURG EKSP.
3 CHASA PROST KOR 5 Feb. 1879 Serial No. 1.
Circular cancel # 4-VLADIVOSTOK 7 FEB 1880 SERIAL No. 1.
Double Circular cancel # 5 (25mm) ST. PETERSBURG EKSP.
VYD (Hour?) CHASA PROST KOR 19 April 1880 SERIAL 1.
Cancel # 6-Same as No. 3 above except date is 20 April 1880 and the time is 5 CHASA.
The four transits receipts size average 21/2 by 3 inches.
No. 1. Bottom one: has hand written the following:
BY KHARKOVSKOY-AZOVSKOY RAILROAD (Azor Sea)
IN THE VILLAGE GRUSHIN NEAR THE STATION
ALEKSEYEVK (signature) 5 FEB. 1879
also this cancellation, St. Petersburg 9 Feb. 1879 Serial No. 2 Double circular with inscription "Internal con-
trol for forwarding"
No. 2 It has illegible writing with a signature
PODABANSK? No date.
No. 3. Handwritten, the general sense seems to convey that:
the receipt for delivery of the letter could not be obtained because the addressee was not
available (without date).
No. 4. Journal receipt entry for disposition of the letter dated note: 9 APRIL 1889 (Dead letter of-
From the above information one assumes this cover crossed the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean twice in two years.
There are no railroad cancels, transportation by horses most probably. Some of the delay can be explained by
the poor roads and Aevere winters that made communications most difficult. But what about the last receipt,
dated 1889? What happened to this letter between 1880 and 1889?
The second cover was sent with insufficient rate from Honolulu, Hawaii to a Mr. John Fowler, a passenger
aboard the "Siberia", a steamship of the Dollar lines in the Transpacific run.
The postmarks are circular Honolulu, June 16-1909, back stamped Vladivostok June 2, 1909, Tsuruge, July 7,
1909, Yokohoma July 12, 1909.
A 12 Kopek postage due mark was applied in Vladivostok, then returned to the Robert Dollar Co. in San Fran-
cisco but not delivered, sent to Washington D. C. 2, 23, 1910. but it ended in the dead letter office Feb. 26,
1910 in San Francisco as per backstamp.
A mark of "Non reclame" and 'T centimes" postage due in purple applied in Japan.
These two covers end in the same place. The dead letter office.
969 Our 51st Year
EACH YEAR OUR PUBLIC AUCTIONS
AND GOLD MEDAL MAIL SALES
SELL OVER 75,000 LOTS!
WE URGENTLY NEED
You want the most for your stamps. We gladly pay it without delays or bargaining. Bring in personally, or send in
by insured mail or express, attention: Appraisal Dept.
All shipments are held aside intact awaiting your specific instructions after we send our offer or advice. Informal
appraisals are free, and our buyer can visit you to inspect larger properties.
J. & H. STOLOW, INC.
50 West 46th Street Telephone:
New York, N. Y. 10036 582 -0198
"Rated first in stamps by all standard authorities"
Stolow's has purchased outright, at the top market price, with immediate cash payment, more than $50,000,000 worth
of fine stamsp. Our needs are unlimited. Fair treatment is always assured.
SOME CANCELLATIONS OF VLADIVOSTOK, by Sam Robbins
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PROBLEMS OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY 1908-1917
by Barrie Evans
The period leading up to the Russian involvement in World War One and the October Revolution provides ex-
ceptional study material for both the philatelist and the historian. For the present writer these years vie with
the post-revolutionary period, 1917-1923, in their fascination, both philatelic and historical.
The following article is an attempt to highlight some of the philatelic problems associated with the years
1908-1917. It is encouraging to a relative tyro to be able to bring to light material, more than half a century
after its appearance, which challenges 'facts' which have apparently previously gone unchallenged. In this
sense the article is an attempt to contribute to our philatelic knowledge of the period. In another sense it is
intended to draw on the knowledge of others, who may well be able to provide solutions to problems, which
have puzzled at least one collector.
1. Date of issue of the '1909' Arms Type definitive on wove paper
All of the catalogues seen by the writer give 1909 as the year of issue of most of the perforated values, with
later dates given for the remaining values. In his fine series in ROSSICA 57-63, Dr. de Stackelberg stated
that these stamps were first issued on January 1st. 1909. This can be queried on the same grounds that 1st.
January 1913 has been queried as the date of issue of the Romanov Tercentenary issue. (see BJRP 21 and
ROSSICA 55). The 1st. January each year, under the Imperial regime, was a public holiday, when all Post
Offices were closed for counter services. Even assuming the stamps were in the Post Offices by the 1st.
January, there could have been no official issue to the public before the following day.
If there are wove stamps in existence with 1st. January 1909 postmarks, we must assume that they were is-
sued before the New Year. Proof that at least one value was issued over three weeks before, is provided by
a card in the writer's collection. (see illustration 1). This 3k. postal stationery card was supplemented by a
4k. of the 1902 vertical-laid issue and a 7k. of the '1909' wove issue. The stamps are cancelled NIZHNI
NOVGOROD 7. XII. 1908 and the card was sent by registered post to Paris, from whence it was re-addressed
to Colchester, England. Although the year date of the cancellation is not clear, irrefutable proof of the 1908
date is provided by the transit and receipt marks. The Paris transit marks are dated 24.12.08 and 25.12.08.
The London registered mail receipt mark is dated 26 DE 08. Additional confirmation is provided by the manu-
script. date on the reverse of the card, which is 6.XII. 1908.
This appears to be something more than an accidental issue, a day or two early. It suggests that at least one
value was officially issued well before the 1st. January 1909, possibly because of the exhaustion of stocks
of the 7k. vertical-laid issue. Partial confirmation of such a hypothesis is provided from another source.
In an attempt to date the many changes in shades of the wove issue, the writer is compiling a used collection
of stamps, whose postmark dates are arranged in monthly order for each value from 1909 to 1917. For the first
six months of 1909 there are more copies of the 7k. than of all other values added together. This would tend tocon-
firm that stocks of the old 7k. ran out more rapidly than any other value and therefore, large quantities of the
new 7k. were brought into use at an early date, in some areas even before the beginning of 1909. It would be
of great assistance in clarifying this problem if readers would report any other 1908 or 1st. January 1909 post-
marks on this issue.
2. The Imperial Post Office C.O.D. Service
It was probably news to a number of collectors to read in ROSSICA 73 (page 36) of the existence in Imperial
Russia of a cash-on-delivery service. In the writer's collection is a piece of a C.O.D. card, bearing 2k., 3k.
and 14k. definitive, postmarked RIGA 19.4.12 and representing 4k. postage and 15k. commission for the
amount collected. (see illustration 2).
The particular interest of this piece is the portion of a black on pink label, bearing the work NALOZHENNYI,
the missing portion presumably bore the word PLATEZH, the whole meaning 'Imposition of Payment'. Is
this a privately produced. label or is it an official emission of the Russian Post Office?
3. Russian postal censorship on the outbreak of World War One
The article in BJRP 42 on the 'Censor and Control Marks of Wartime Petrograd' is an indication of the enor-
mous field, which the Russian postal censorship system provides for the research student..
Among the most elusive censored covers are those from the early weeks of the War, before the vast flood of
correspondence, to and from prisoners of war, got under way. Germany declared war on Russia on 19th. July
1914 (1st. August, new style). The earliest censored cover in the writer's collection was postmarked HEL-
SINKI 11.VIII.14 (old style 29th. July), with a TORNEA transit mark of 16.VIII.14 and a London registered
post receipt of 24 Aug. 1914. These dates are all, of course, new style as Finland used the Gregorian calen-
dar, unlike the rest of the Russian Empire, which was still on the old Julian calendar. The letter was cen-
sored at TORNEA. On the flap is the manuscript inscription in Finnish 'Opened by Military Censor'. The
cover has been resealed by two strikes of the tri-lingual wax seal of the TORNEA ZHELEZNODOR post of-
fice. The use of this seal for censorship purpose, along with the manuscript inscription, must have been pure-
ly temporary as covers exist, from later in the same month, with printed Tornea resealing labels.
Another example of the censors employing temporary expedients on the outbreak of war is provided in the arti-
cle in BJRP 42. Two August 1914 covers are described, both bearing the temporary types P1 and AS1. Since
that article was published, the writer has acquired a third cover bearing these types,.postmarked St. PETERS-
BURG NIKOLAS VOKZAL 14.8.14 and with London registered post receipt mark 10 Sept. 1914.
Possibly the earliest known temporary censorship expedient is that recorded and illustrated by Dr. Wortman in
BJRP 35. His cover started out on 28.7, 1914 from Gothenburg and was sent, via Russia, to Japan. During
transit through Russia war broke out and the cover was censored with a cachet reading STAFF VLADIVOSTOK
FORTRESS. Transit time must have been about 14 days and so the cover was probably censored in VLAD-
IVOSTOK on or about 29.7.14 (11.8.14 new style).
The writer would be pleased to have details of any other covers censored during the early weeks of the War,
particularly those employing what are obviously temporary expedients.
4. Use of Censorship resealing labels in Russia during World War One
The use by the Russian authorities of gummed, printed labels for resealing censored mail is well known. In
his article in BJRP 20 John Barry states that MOSCOW, PETROGRAD and TOMSK were the only towns, which
used an official resealing label. He was presumably excluding Finland as the censor labels from HELSINKI
and TORNEA are quite common. However, the writer has a 1916 registered cover from REVEL to London,
with an apparently unrecorded resealing label printed on pink paper (illustration 3). It would be interesting
to know of any other towns using these labels.
5. Exemption of P.O.W. mail from postal charges during World War One
Tsar Nikolas II was the sponsor of both the 1899 and the 1907 Hague Peace Conferences, which established
the Hague Regulations of War. By Article 16 of the Hague Regulations all letters, money orders, valuables
and postal parcels intended for, or sent by, prisoners of war, were exempt from all postal charges or import
or other charges.
However, in his article in BJRP 20, John Barry states that from 1914 to May 1915 all P.O.W. letters had to be
franked at the prevailing rates with Imperial stamps but that afterward ds they were allowed to pass through
free. This statement, although contradicting Article 16, appears to be largely borne out by the evidence.
Before May 1915, stampless P.O.W. covers are scarce although later they become common, particularly so
during 1916 and 1917.
A stampless P.O.W. cover in the writer's collection, addressed to the International Red Cross, Geneva, was
postmarked NOVA-NILOLAEVSK, TOMSK 30.10.14. The cover bears an oval postage due cachet inscribed
NOVO-NIKOLAEVSK DOPLATIT. However, no amount due is entered in the space provided and there is no
S evidence of any being collected.
It is not difficult to find later stampless P.O.W. covers with postage due cachets, usually of the 'circle T'
variety. These cachets are often struck through with a crayon and there is no indication that money was ever
collected. Presumably the cachets were applied either by uninformed or over-zealous postal officials.
By 'P.O.W. covers the writer means those sent by P.O.W's in Russia, those sent to Russian P.O.W.'s held
by the Central Powers and those sent to the International Red Cross Agencies in Copenhagen, Geneva and
Stockholm, which acted as clearing houses for P.O.W. mail between belligerent nations.
Two major problems are posed by these covers. Firstly, why if Russia adhered to the Hague Regulations, was
not all mail to or from P.O.W.'s free from the beginning of the War? Secondly, why did such a large proportion
of P.O.W. mail continue to be franked and often registered, at the same time as many letters travelled free of
6. Dates of Issue of 1914-1915 War Charity stamps
Both the general catalogues and the specialized studies quote 26.11.14 as the first date of issue of the char-
ity stamps issued for the benefit of the' 'Widow's and Orphans' Fund of the Imperial Women's Patriotic Union'.
However, items in the writer's collection cast doubts upon this date. There is no doubt that at least some of
the values were in use earlier in the month. A registered cover, bearing two copies of the 10k. on blue paper,
perf. 131, is clearly postmarked ST. PETERSBURG 1st. EKsped. 22.11.14 (see illustration 4). This cover is
is of additional interest in that it is by far the earliest recorded use of the Petrograd wax censor seal with
small lettering (type AS3).
Apart from this cover are four used single stamps, all probably from one original cover and all cancelled ST.
PETERSBURG lst.EKsped. 25.11.14. The stamps, on coloured paper, are 3k. perf. 11, 1k. perf. 13%/, 7k.
perf. 13 and 10k. perf 13%.
For convenience, the earliest recorded use of each value and perf. is listed below. It is to be hoped that read-
ers will report any earlier dates so that we may further clarify the dates of issue of these stamps.
Unless otherwise stated, the dates are from stamps or covers in the writer's collection.
Coloured paper White paper
Perf. 11 1k. 1. 5.15 Moscow 28.3.16 Petrograd
3k. 25.11.14 St. Petersburg 1.4.16 Moscow
7k. 12. 1.15 Revel* ---------
10k. 21.12.14 Libau* 10.3.15 Moscow
Perf. 12 1k. 2. 4.15 Odessa 15.5.15 Moscow*
3k. 12.-4.15 St. Petersburg 4 28.3.16 Petrograd
7k. 4. 1.15 Petrograd* ...... .
10k. 21. 1.15 Petrograd* 21.4.15 Kharkov*
Perf. 13%. 1k. 25.11,14 St. Petersburg 22.3.16 Rostov on Don +
3k. 21. 1.15 26.2.16 Vladivostok +
7k. 25.11.14 St. Petersburg ...........
10k. 22.11.14 St. Petersburg 18.5.15 Petrograd*
reported by E. Peel in ROSSICA 52/53
+ reported by Dr. Wortman in ROSSICA 55
It would be of interest to know the method of distribution of these stamps. Prigara describes the issue as 'pri-
vate'. This suggests that distribution was not entirely in the hands of the Imperial Post Office although the
stamps clearly had full official approval. A cover in the writer's collection reinforces this suggestion (see il-
lustration 5). The cover bears 1k. perf. 11/2, 3 x 3k. perf. 121/2 and 2 x 10k. perf. 13/2 and was sent by regis -
tered post from PETROGRAD 28 MAR. 1916 to Montreal. Interestingly enough the cover has a Canadian censor
mark but no indication of Russian censorship, presumably because it was classified as official mail. On the
front of the cover is a five-line cachet in violet reading FROM THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PATRIOTIC
POSTAGE STAMPS OF THE IMPERIAL WOMEN'S PATRIOTIC UNION, PETROGRAD, EKATERININSKII KAN-
ALK 29. On the reverse is a red wax seal with a similar inscription.
While on the subject of the Charity stamps, another point can be raised. It is noticeable that Finnish cancel-
lations are uncommon on both these stamps and the 1913 Romanov Tercentenary issue. Were these issues on
sale in Finland or were used copies the result of mint copies being carried into Finland by travellers from
7. Date of issue of the 1915 Currency Stamps
The literature on, these stamps is somewhat contradictory regarding the date of issue. Most authorities give
early November 1915. In his articles in BJRP 9 and in ROSSICA 59, the late Dr. Salisbury, an, undoubted ex-
pert on this issue, made statements to the effect that these stamps were decreed by the Ministry of Finances
on October 1, 1915 and distributed in the beginning of November 1915. Nevertheless his own article in ROS-
SICA 59 described two October 1915 covers. One was a registered cover from Moscow to London bearing 10,
15 and 20k. currency stamps with a postmark dated 6.10.15. The other was registered cover, postmarked Kiev
20.10.15 and addressed to Paris. Also in both articles, Dr. Salisbury quoted a letter from Mr. A. Scheindling,
which appeared in the London Philatelist November 1915. Mr. Scheindling wrote:- "A very curious sort of
stamp or rather paper money has been issued here on 30th. September, old style."
A cover in the writer's possession further confirms that these stamps were distributed before early November
1915. The cover, registered and addressed locally, bears all three values postmarked PETROGRAD 70, 25.10.
15. (see illustration 6). While undoubtedly philatelic, the cover appears to be genuine and on the reverse has
a red receipt mark of PETROGRAD 6th. Eksped. 26.10.15.
It seems very likely that the stamps were issued at the same time as the decree from the Ministry of Finances,
whether this was the 30th. September or 1st. October. Again, it would seem that the reference books need to
Of all the currency stamps, the value most worth while forging was obviously the 20k. value. In the writer's
collection is such a forgery, apparently of a type not previously reported. Its overall appear ance is very sim-
ilar to the genuine and could well have changed hands without people realizing it was fraudulent. Closer in-
spection however, soon reveals its imperfections. The overall design measures 20 x 25.5 mm. on the genuine
but 21 x 26.25 mm. on the forgery. The perforation on the genuine is 13 but only 111/2 on the forgery. There
are innumerable minor differences in the design but the most obvious difference is that the forgery has a
coarser impression. The inscription on the reverse is a good copy but the frame measurement of the genuine is
20 x 25.75 mm. whereas the forgery measures 20.75 x 26.5 mm.
8. 1917 Revolutionary Overprints
The revolutionary overprints on the Romanov Tercentenary issue and the currency stamps are well known but
remain controversial. The merits and otherwise of these overprints have been discussed at length, most note-
ably in BJRP 3 and BJRP 9. However, the writer is unaware of any mention ever having been made of the De-
claration of the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovitch printed in black on the reverse of a formula card of the
Petrograd Post Office (see illustration 7). Close examination reveals that the lithographic plate used was iden-
tical to the one used to overprint blocks of 12 of the Romanov issue. The Declaration is printed over a helmet-
ed female figure in red, carrying a sword inscribed JUS. To the right of the sword is the slogan BRATSVO,
RAVENTSVO, SVOBODA 1917 (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity 1917). The card is unused.
Examination of the Declaration overprints on blocks of 12 Romanovs reveals that the width of such a block
was insufficient to take the complete overprint. Thus these blocks are always found with part of the over-
print missing from one or both sides. This leads to the suggestion that this particular overprint was not
produced with the intention of overprinting stamps at all but was originally intended to produce commemora-
tive postcards such as the one illustrated. Subsequently, it was used for the additional purpose of over-
printing stamps. Under whose auspices both the card and the overprinted stamps were produced is still of
course open to question.
9. Imperial Relief Cards.
Finally, a most interesting item which I have come across. It is the detachable coupon portion of an Imper-
ial Money Order Card. The face of this tab reads: "50 rub. kop., from the office of HIS IMPERIAL HIGH-
NESS for the receipt of petitions, Petrograd, Mariinskii Palace. Written communication on the back of this
coupon. "(Fig. 8). Sent from Petrograd 2nd Despatch Office on 26 Jan. 1917, it was received in Tsarskoe
Selo the following day. The back of the tab reads as follows: "Upon weighing your petition, a single dona-
tion has been assigned to you from the monarchal bounty in the amount of 'fifty' rubles." (Fig. 9). No pre-
vious record of such a kind of card is known to the writer.
The writer would greatly appreciate answers to any of the questions posed in this article or any other contri-
butions which can lead to a greater understanding of this fascinating period of Russian philately.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Regarding the War Charity stamps mentioned by Mr. Evans under Section -6, we can
illustrate herewith the official notice issued to promote their sale, by courtesy of our English member John
Lloyd. It reads "Patriotic postage stamps of the Imperial Womens' Patriotic Society in aid of war orphans are
sold here. Patriotic postage stamps in the values of 1, 3, 7 and 10 kop. are accepted for the payment of all
classes of mail (ordinary, registered, wrappers etc.) ON THE SAME BASIS AS ORDINARY POSTAGE STAMPS.
Patriotic postage stamps are sold with a surtax of only one kopek for each stamp. The net income obtained
from this surtax goes to the AID OF WAR ORPHANS." The imprint below the frame at left reads as follows:
"Lysogorskii, assistant chamberlain to the Lord Mayor of Petrograd has granted permission on 20 January
1915 for printing (this notice)". At right, the imprint reads "A, N. Lavrov & Co. Printery, 9 Gogol St.".
The overall dimensions of the frame are 15 3/4 x 12 1/4 inches. Note the "OBRAZETS" (SPECIMEN) over-
print on the four stamps. This notice was undoubtedly the prime source and reason for such overprints.
YOUR AD COULD HAVE APPEARED IN THIS % PAGE
DID YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SELL TO BUY TRADE?
RENT THIS SPACE CONTACT NORMAN EPSTEIN
S1).T 0 1 0 PROBLEMS OF RUSSIAN
SN ... .. 7 PHILATELY 1908-1917
by Barrie Evans
"i .. ...ig.
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^1 I' -Pe bCKa ''
Fig. 2 -Fig. 3
. A o ei ao flfl.'EC b", (l7iTi7 -
KoHaornapgeacxiA 6yAbBapb N2 17.
8 # 1
tP -ter 2bourg.
m Fig. 4
r SaitA muamro aTpIlo.
TUnaCKUN n OSTOBUbMn MapNsN
MM :.IPATOPCKArO miwNenro
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Fig. 6 -06 .II D
: .__..,.,__ .
ig. r .1 rr
SB pa3pibweHlie Baweto npo-
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Fig. 8 Fig. 9
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naTpioTHrecKin nOMrTOBMn apKn PaTpiOTMieCKiN noiTOBB i MapK
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f Ann onnaTbi acsKaro poAa Kop- AA Ka Ka oapK
pecnoHAneHin (npocToA, saKa3-
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PABHS C'b OBblKHOBEHHbl- ceg HnaA6aBKH, nocTynaeTb BU
MM nOiTOBblMH MAPKAMH. HOnb3Y CHPOT'b BOHHOB6b.
________ ri i an. a, 20 HHBaDH 1915 r. .a n ..e.T.pI.CK. rpaflo~ai. .OHomHHK-b erO Ka~epr; Jl...o:.P....i.. T-norpam AB H. FIRBPOB16 m Ko. yylnm roronra Ml 9,
CONFUSION ABOUT THE SURCHARGED NORTH POLE-MOSCOW AIRMAIL SET
(SCOTT C 95, 96) of 1955
by Kurt Adler
In 1955, the Soviet postal authorities surcharged two previous airmail stamps (C91 and C92) and released them
on November 26, 1955. The stamps were of 1 and 2 Ruble denomination and were surcharged by typography
with "Sev. Polyus-Meskva 1955 g". The same cliche was used for both denominations (s6e illustration).
The color of the overprint was violet brown for the 1 Rub. and bright red for 2 Rub. which was the compound
1212:12 variety. The purpose of the surcharged issue was twofold. Firstly, it stemmed from the need to pay
for postage of correspondence of the members of the 4th North Polar Scientific Station. Secondly, the set of two
was destined to keep awake and to increase interest inside and outside of Russia in the USSR scientific arctic
program. Covers emanating from the North Pole were cancelled with the special cancellation 'Severnyi
Polyus 4". The issue was very limited, 15,000 sets, as quoted by P.Matyshev in "Rossica" 49/50, and was
sold out at the post offices within a few hours, since most of the stamps were sent abroad by the Russian
wholesale distributing organization, some sets also going to regular USSR subscribers. Accordingly, the set
sold in USA for $6.25, and higher. Suddenly, the price in the U.S. fell to $3.00 and rose to $3.50 a short time
afterwards. Confusion set in right away. News made the rounds that most of the stamps on the market were
forgeries. The fact that Soviet postal authorities, after World War II sometimes ordered re-printings of sets with
or without small changes in cliche and color was not yet universally known in philatelic circles. Enough infor-
mation is available now to clarify the situation.
A short time after issuance on November 26th, during the month of December, a second batch of these stamps
was released in Moscow, no doubt to satisfy the growing philatelic need for this set The cliche for the sur-
charge was the same, the only difference between the first batch--which we will call Type 1 and the second
batch, which we will call Type la being that the color shade of the surcharge is deeper, darker on the 1 Rub.
Type la and less brilliantly red, a little duller on the 2 Rub. Type la.
The measurements for both batches are the same: 13,7 mm for the first line, 10,3mm for the second line of which
2,2mm account for the length of the horizontal stroke. The length of the third line is 9,2mm.
After some time, another batch of these stamps was released by Moscow. But this time the surcharge was made
from another cliche which gives us reason to classify this issue as a re-issue of the original set, to be called
Type 2. This time, a small amount of the line-perforated 12/2 2 Rub. stamp was also surcharged, making this
variety a scarce item. The length of the first line is now 14,2 mm. the second line 10,5 mm of which the stroke
takes 2,5 mm, the third line 9,2 mm. According to V. Ustinovsky (in Soviet Collector 1966, No. 3), one stamp
in the sheet of 12 x 6 stamps has a first line length of 15 mm--the distance between the period and the "p" of
"polyus" being wider). On another stamp in the sheet the stroke is missing completely. The color of Type 2
surcharge is dull brown violet for the 1 Rub. and bright red (the same as for Type 1) for the 2 Rub. stamp.
Other differences in the cliches: wCeB. noAiOC"
-- MocKa (a 2
In Type 2, the left vertical stroke of the "g" (for Year) stands directly- ype
under the left vertical stroke of the "B" (see illustration). The M has 955 r.
a wider angle on the right than on the left. However, frequently the color is overinked so that both angles of
the M are equally low or closed. Several a's, e's and o's may be filled with ink and the same goes for the balls
of the 5's. Should you encounter this overinking, do not think that the surcharge must of necessity be a forgery.
But forgeries do exist. They are very clumsily executed and can not deceive closer scrutiny under a magnifying
glass. The forgeries can be easily recognized by:
1. bright carmine color for both values. The color is not well defined and spreads, therefore making unclear the
" ." quotation marks, filling the "b" of "Ceb". and the "a" of "Mockba". The final period is a thick, round
2. The most important distinguishing mark: The small horizontal stroke that connects the "i" and "o" to
make it a Russian yu is missing so that the letter looks exactly like a figure "10".
3. The g stands between the b and a of Meckba, proving thus that the forgers manufactured the cliche from the
first printing of the original surcharge. The forgeries I have seen were all cancelled by genuine postmark
Kiev Postamt, date illegible. This postmark has even the small d-k (dlya kollekzionerov, "for collectors )
which original cancelled to order stamps bear. The forged surcharges thus were made on genuinely cancelled
to order stamps.
Filatelia SSSR, 1969 No. 7 has an illustrated article by the Expert Commission of the Soviet Philatelic Society
which is confusing in many respects. First of all, its statement that all original printings were made from the
same cliche is contradicted by the facts and by V. Ustinovsky's research. Secondly, it puts too much empha-
sis on the angles of the M and the position of the g which, as we have seen varies in the different types of the
originals. A year date of '63 is given for the cancellation to-order ("d-k" type done by a printing plate which,
of course, should not have been put on a stamp issued before the revaluation of the Ruble in 1961. It is, of
course, possible that a second set of forgeries exists, but, if so, it has not yet been seen in the West.
Our descriptions above should be sufficient to distinguish between the different types of the original stamps
and the forgeries and to resolve any existing confusion.
RUSSIA AND ITS STATES
ARMENIA TO UKRAINE
Broke 27 volumes of used, mint, singles, sets covers, dups., etc., airs complete. Must sell.
Dr. Louis A. Sorokin
2600 South Franklin Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19148
Mail from the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force, 1918-1919
by EDITH M. FAULSTICH
Photos by Adrien Boutrelle
(All illustrations are from the collection of Edith M. Faulstich except that in Fig. 12, which was lent by M. H.
Luddington. Reprinted from the "Postal History Journal" for Jan. 1968, by kind permission of Dr. William
Reiner-Deutsch and the author Edith M. Faulstich).
Canada sent four thousand troops to Vladivostok, Siberia, to participate in an Allied Intervention in 1918-1919.
Although she was not a participant in the original discussions, she was requested by Great Britain to provide
the majority of the full Brigade that was to be the Empire's contribution.
There seems to be a dearth of information about the mail of this Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force (here-
inafter called the SEF) and about the conditions the men faced while serving so far from home.
All known philatelic and non-philatelic articles have been consulted in the search for data about the Canadian
contingent. The philatelic articles usually discuss only two markings, i.e. the Field Post Office marking and
the boxed Orderly Room marking, which was in each case called a censor mark. It is felt that additional infor-
mation herein regarding these markings may be of interest. Also one recent article mentioned, for the first
time, a boxed square censor mark. These three markings along with two others, which are not believed to have
ever been reported before, are presented along with a tentative catalogue listing in the hope that collectors
having further information will cooperate by adding to these findings before a permanent catalogue listing is
As for any information about the actual daily life of the soldiers, which is an important part of postal history,
it has been found that this is almost non-existent in previous writings. Yet it was these activities that often
spurred the men to sit down to write, thus using the facilities of the Postal Detachment.
To obtain a clearer picture it has been necessary to piece together tiny fragments of information from various
sources. By consulting veterans themselves and by reading their letters, diaries and papers, the actual dates
of arrivals and dates of movements of the Canadian soldiers have been ascertained. In addition to studying
covers and letters obtained from collectors and dealers I also resorted to inserting requests in Legion and
other magazines and spoke on a radio broadcast in Canada. This was through the courtesy of Douglas Pat-
rick's Radio Stamp Program over the Canadian Broadcasting System. Through these media I reached some of
the Canadian veterans.
Most of the material in this article is based on questions asked of these men. Unfortunately not too many still
survive, after half-a-century, and there is no way of telling how many men may still be living but have not been
reached, Perhaps it is just as well not to be able to reach everyone for this is the joy of research-there is al-
ways hope that somehow, somewhere more data will be found.
The Canadians were late in arriving in Siberia. When they set foot on Vladivostok soil they found that Ameri-
can, British, French, Italian and Japanese troops were already officially on hand in a so-called great allied ef-
fort. Belgians, Serbians, Chinese, Poles and others were also there. In addition, some hundred-thousand
Czechoslovakians were in evidence as were great numbers of Austrian-Hungarian and German prisoners-of-war
who had been released after the November 1917 Russian Revolution.
The Czechs and Slovaks, unhappy about their association with the Central Powers, had defected in 1915 and
1916 on the Russian front in the hope of helping the Allies. This defection, naturally, infuriated the Austrian
and German Prisoners of War and when they were freed after the Bolshevik revolution they swore revenge as
they roamed the Siberian countryside.
The Allies wanted to help the Czech troops reach Vladivostok safely enroute to their homeland. The Czechs
had asked for that help but the Allies were late in complying. The railways were in a chaotic state and the
Bolsheviks broke their promise of safe travel to the Czechs. Furthermore there were Allied stocks in Russia
and it was feared they would fall into enemy hands, once the POW's were on the move. Of course business
interests in Russia-were also considered by the Allies. It was generally deemed wise to go to Russia and the
Czech situation gave the movement toward intervention a moral reason, but it was deemed wise not to interfere
in the chaotic Russian political situation. By the time the Allies finally arrived the Czechs had fought valiant-
ly, had overcome Bolchevik and enemy obstacles, and were in fact already in Vladivostok in great numbers.
More than one Canadian and other Allied soldier asked "Why is it necessary for us to be here now?"
The composition of the Canadian Forces in Siberia was: H.Q. Canadian Expeditionary Force (Siberia); H.Q.
16th Infantry Brigade; Base Headquarters; "B" Squadron R.N.W.M.P.; 85th Battery Canadian Field Artillery;
16th Field Company Canadian Engineers; No. 9 Ordnance Detachment Canadian Ordnance Corps; 6th Signal
Company; 259th Infantry Battalion; 260th Infantry Battalion; 20th Machine Gun Company; No.1 Company Divi-
sional Train; No. 16 Field Ambulance; No. 11 Stationary Hospital; and No. 5 Postal Detachment Canadian Pos-
Major-General J.M. Elmsley, who had gained such an enviable reputation as Commander of the Eighth Canadian
Infantry Brigade in France, was selected to command the Canadian Expedition. He chose certain of his staff
and senior regimental officials from among those who had experience in France. One of these men was Colo-
nel T. Sydney Morrisey, a twenty-eight year old soldier who had been educated at the Royal Military College
and Mc Gill University in Canada. He had seen service in France and Belgium for over three years and was a
construction engineer by profession. He later became Lt. Colonel Morrisey, D.S.O.
Colonel Morrisey was appointed G.S.O.1 of the Expedition.2 The remainder of the Force was to be raised
and organized by the Militia Headquarters at Ottawa.
Morrisey says the objectives of the Canadian Brigade were:
First to relieve the Czechs, secondly to gather them and as many Russians as possible and establish
an Eastern Front against the Bolsheviks, thus in conjunction with the various other Allied Forces in
Northern and Southern Russia keeping some Germans away from the Western Front.
The Colonel was in England at the time of decision. He left London for Montreal, and arrived there at 8 a.m.
September 24, 1918. At 12:30 p.m. he was in Ottawa where he attended a Conference at Militia Headquarters.
General Elmsley left for Toronto on the night train. September 30. Morrisey wound up business at headquar-
ters on the morning of October 1 and made the 3:30 p.m. train for Montreal. On the fourth, he too was in Toron-
to. Everything was happening with rapid fire speed and schedules were strict. He met with the General ac-
cording to plan and caught the 7 p.m. Trans-Canada train for Vancouver on October 5, 1918, arriving there at
10:15 p.m. on the ninth. After a night's rest at the Vancouver Hotel he visited with officials and on the tenth
had dinner with General Newburn, Minister of National Defense.
On October 11 at 5 p.m. this group, which was called the "Advance Party," left Vancouver on the Empress of
Japan. There were seven hundred of them.
I Official History of the Canadian Army- "The Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919" by G. W. Nicholson.
2 G.S.O.1.-General Staff Officer, 1st Grade.
3 From Morrisey's Speech, December 1919 at the University Club of Montreal.
Altogether there were 4,188 Canadians, all ranks, in the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force.4
Erroneous statements in Peter Fleming's book, "The Fate of Admiral Kolchak" have been picked up several
times by collectors.
It must be stressed firmly that some of Fleming's statements should be corrected. In a footnote he says:5
The decision to dispatch a Canadian contingent of 5.000 men and 1,300 horses was taken in August
1918. About 700 landed at Vladivostok at the end of October, but the sailing of the remainder was
cancelled and the men who had reached Russia were sent home a few weeks later. There were two
reasons for the abortion of this project. One was that the discipline of the troops deteriorated dan-
gerously after the Armistice, the other was that the authorities in Ottawa felt that they had not been
consulted closely enough in the matter, and took umbrage.
Now let us attempt to clear up this statement:
Actually there were only seven hundred (700) men in the Advance Party. The actual date of landing was Oct-
ober 26,1918 (which clarifies "at the end of October"). Arrival time was 7 a.m. on a fine day. The group was
met by two Russian boats and escorted into port where it received the deputation of all Allies and a Guard-of-
Honor from the Czechs. That night troops slept in sheds and officers slept on the ship.6
The main body of the Canadian SEF arrived between November 1918 and January 1919.7
The Canadians started to pull out of Siberia in April 1919 and the last group left June 3, 1919.8
We can see from this that the main body of the Canadian SEF, in addition to the Advance Party, was in Siberia
for months not for "a few weeks". We can also see that the sailing of the remainder was not cancelled. And
that there were altogether 4,188 men, not 700, sent to Siberia.
There were rumors that the men might be called back and demobilized after the Armistice. These rumors were
even heard enroute to Vladivostok but they did not materialize. In the official records we find: 9
But on 11 November before further Canadian troops could be sent the general armistice was signed.
the Acting Prime Minister (inOttawa) wrote to the Prime Minister (inLondon). .All our Colleag-
ues are of the opinion that Public Opinion will not sustain us in continuing to send troops. Fur-
ther deliberations took place and not until 27 November did the Cabinet finally concur in the despatch
of the main body.
There was discontent amongst the French Canadians and later all of the men were incensed because they were
paid in Kerensky money, which was rapidly depreciating in value, while the troops of other nations were paid in
in their own currency.
The fact remains that discontent or no, the main body of the Canadian SEF stayed in Vladivostok until late
spring of 1919.
When one considers that there were less than forty-two hundred Canadians in Siberia, and that at most they were
there for only a few months, then one can realize why there is a paucity of covers. Many men did hot write at
all and some wrote only once in a while. Obviously, many waited to hear from home before writing, yet no mail
seems to have beenreceived before February 1919. Furthermore, if we look for mail from Canadians we must remem-
ber that some letters did not pass through the Canadian Field Post Office. We know that some letters did not
pass through the Canadian Field Post Office. We know other channels were available such as the U. S., Rus,
sian, British and other facilities. Also some letters were given to friends to be mailed at another foreign port.
4 VolumaVY1;'"Cahada in the Great World War", published in 1921 by United Publishers of Canada, Ltd.
5 From "The Fate of Admiral Kolchak". Page 122:
6 From Morrisey's personal papers and diary.
7 From Morrisey's papers, the papers and letters of R.G. Holmes and data in the Forces Postal History Society Bulletin.
8 From Colonel Roland Webb.
9 From the "Official History of the Canadian Army--The Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919," by G. W. Nichilson.
I, personally, have searched for covers for quite a period of time and have seen only about half a hundred, and
some of these were from British soldiers who used the Canadian mails. I also have had disheartening reports
from veterans who reported to me: "Oh, I kept letters for a while and then burned them"; or "When we moved
to smaller quarters we had to get rid of my Siberian mail"; or "I don't know what happened to letters I sent. I
don't even know where the people are any more." And so on, and on, and on.
We do know that Postal Detachment No. 5 was sent over with the Advance Party and that on arrival a post of-
fice was set up. This service was extended to the British until April 1919 when Great Britain finally set up a
postal system of its own.
Lieutenant J. R. Ross and three others (probably a sergeant, a corporal and a private) made up Postal Detach-
ment #5. A letter from Lt. Ross to the officer administrating the Canadian Postal Corps (CPC) stated that mail
was to be delivered to the British Consul at Vladivostok who then placed it in the hands of a responsible Bri-
tish subject to be turned over to the British Consul at Yokohama, who, in turn, saw to it that the bags were plac-
ed on a mail boat to Canada. The bags were tagged for the Postmaster at Vancouver, B.C. Later arrangements
were made to include the Canadian mail, presumably bagged, with the U.S. mail despatches which went forward
twice each week.
The normal equipment for a Canadian FPO includes at least two steel hammer type daters and the markings can
sometimes be distinguished by minute differences in the size and positioning of the lettering. Various special-
ists have stated that the "1" is to the left of center, or to the right of center, that sometimes the lettering is
smaller, or larger, and the figure "1" is missing, and the lettering is in lower case instead of all capitals.
Some think the differences in size and/or spacing is the result of distortion of the handstamp. Ed Richardson
states he is unable to determine that there is any difference in the size of the lettering in the field post mark-
ings. "It may well be' he adds, "but some people have the ability to see what they want to see. Many
'phantom new discoveries' are made that way."' 1
The writer hag examined her covers, and others, and has found no differences in size of the circle, or of the let-
ters, except occasionally the "1" looks like an "L".
As far as censoring is concerned there seemed to be some difficulty in passing mail free and uncensored
through Japan. Earlier the Americans had the same trouble. All mail, which passed through Japan, was opened
by a Japanese censor. This irrated the American authorities. They feared it might be a good system by which
our so-called Ally in Siberia could keep a weather-eye on what the American doughboy was thinking and doing.
The American Ambassador in Tokyo was informed of this unhappy practice, and on October 18. 1918, Willing
Spensor, American Charge d' Affaires at Tokyo wrote from the U.S. Embassy to John K. Caldwell the American
Consul at Vladivostok, as follows:
Under instruction from Ambassador I took up with the foreign office the question of sealed letters and
packages of the American Military Forces in Siberia being sent to their destination from your port by
the Japanese Government. The Ambassador instructed me to report the result of my investigation to
you and I enclose herewith a copy of a memorandum received this morning on the subject of the For-
I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
American Charg6 d'Affaires.
The copy of the memorandum read as follows (translated):
10 From letters from Colonel Webb and Ed. Richardson in answer to questions by the writer.
With reference to the Memorandum of the American Embassy dated the 26th September, conveying a
request that letters sent via Japan from Vladivostok, by members of the American Expeditionary
Force in Siberia, may be forwarded without delay, it may be noted that sealed pouches from a Mili-
tary Force cannot be regarded as regular postal pouches, provided for in the Treaty of International
Postal Union and Japan cannot consequently be expected to handle them as such. In consideration,
however, of the present special circumstances, they will, for the time, be accorded without charge of
postage, a similar treatment as regular ordinary sealed foreign postal pouches, those arriving at
Tsuruga from Vladivostok destined to America being forwarded to Yokohama and those destined to
Manila, to Kobe. The Post Offices at Yokohama and Kobe will then forward them, as they are, to the
Post Office of the place of destination, with a note of inspection attached to each sealed pouch tothe
effect, that the particular pouch contravenes the regulation, but is forwarded to be accommodating.
It may be added that on the 14th of September this year, the Japanese Post Office at Mukden receiv-
ed from the local Chinese Post Office five sealed pouches forwarded from the Manila Post Office ad-
dressed to the American Forces at Vladivostok, via Peking-Mukden Railway. Those pouches like
the pouches under consideration were also in contravention of the regulations, but were accommo-
dated to be passed on to the Post Office of the place of destination.
The letter above was signed "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" at Tokyo, October 18, 1918.'1
In several instances mention has been made that the Canadians had trouble with Japanese censorship, and with
the passing of mail free through Japan. Whether this was the tail end of the above discussion with the Ameri-
can personnel, or whether the Japanese tried to work the same thing on the Canadians has not been determined.
It may be interesting to record here that the British had been unable to handle their mail and asked the United
States to do it for them. This was agreed upon and then, on October 23, 1918. Lieut. Col. Blair, D.S.O. of the
British Military Mission wrote to Lieut. Col. Robinson, Cheif of Staff, A.E.F. as follows (underlined is by the
Reference copies of cables you sent me dealing with handling mail bags for B.E.F., please accept
our best thanks for the assistance you are rendering us, which is greatly appreciated. I hope that
in a few days we will be able to relieve you of this work as the Canadian E.F. is, I understand, bring-
ing out its own postal service.
From this we see that the Canadian FPO was expected to set up operations "in a few days." That they arrived
is quite clear. What is unclear is what happened to all the mail that must have been sent by 700 men in a
strange new land between October 26, 1918 and December. Only three covers have been reported before Decem-
As recently as April 1967 Colonel Roland Webb made a find which may prove to be the earliest known existing
postmark through the Canadian FPO in Siberia. It is dated October 28, 1918. Furthermore it is the only known
item (it is a card, not a cover) so far reported showing the use of "2" in the postmark. All postmarks reported
to date have had the numeral ''1".
The other two early covers known are: A November 2 cover owned by Ed Richardson and the one shown in
Fig. 3 which is owned by the author. It is dated November 23, 1918 and is a Japanese pictorial item on wood
I From Records in the U.S. War Department, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
12 I bid. (NB-The full story of the British-American cooperation regarding the mails may be found in the Postal History Digest,
Winter 1964, Vol. 2, No. 1, Whole No. 3 in another article by this writer.)
" )INDEX MAP Of ROUTES IN EASTERN RUSSIA AND SIBERIA
S/OMS! TOK ABARS'
e RIt JTKARMSKAYA HAR&I
i SEMiPALATINSK Makle A .CMUR /
STAWN AD\^ 5TOKS
MILES MUKDENc1 r'
-1 1 -T,.,--,- ...,.,... k I
Map of Routes in Eastern Russia and Siberia.
Fig. 2. The 20th Machine Gun Company (Siberian Expeditionary Force) is reviewed
by Major General Huges atThe Willows, Victoria, B. C. on November 23, 1918 just
before leaving for Siberia.
-- tiitBt. -
i t s h o e c (For a e arr vie fthe O rder R ma rk s
As for the October 28 card, Colonel Webb says it was sent by a sergeant of No. 9 Detachment Canadian Ord-
nance Corps to his wife in London, Ontario. On the face of the card is a picture of the S.S. Empress of Japan,
the ship that carried the first contingent of the Canadian Force from Vancouver to Vladivostok. '3
S According to Colonel Webb the original plan for the deployment of the combined British/Canadian force was
to have the 16th Brigade, which included the 25th Middlesex and the 9th Hampshire Battalions, in the Omsk
area with the Base Depot in Vladivostok. No. 5 Detachment of the Canadian Postal Corps was to have provid-
ed postal services for the whole Force and thus was large enough to staff at least two FPOs. That is, one for
the Brigade and one for the Base Depot area. However, the Canadian component, with the exception of a small
administrative group, was not permitted to go inland and up to now the evidence of all known covers suggested
that FPO 1 was the only Canadian FPO that had been opened.
Colonel Webb feels that the two postmarks were used in the first two weeks for the accumulation of censored
mail from the trip over and that after a brief period of operation FPO 2 was closed as most of the Force was re-
tained in Vladivostok. However, it is my opinion that if any men went out on-the-line the handstamp would have
been taken.'4 Furthermore we know that the British were in Omsk and other outlying areas and the Canadians
were to handle the British mail, so the Colonel's explanation is not plausible to me although the question still
remains: "Why have not more No. 2 markings been found?"
Colonel Lash is known to have left on November 4 for Irkutsk. He was, the Canadian Diplomatic Officer. Per-
haps he used diplomatic channels only, but what of the men who were with him?
Then on December 8, 1918, on a cold Siberian Sunday, a group of Canadians boarded Sir Charles Elliot's train
at 10 p.m., destined for Onsk. s The train did not pull out until 3 p.m. December 9, however, and it took twen-
ty-seven days to reach Omsk. Meantime much happened; much that men far from home would want to write about,
for the scenes were strange and the happenings often unusual-and the men had the time to write.. Where then
are these letters? And was the FPO marking with the "2" available for them?
In his diary Colonel Morrisey describes things that friends would like to see in letters. He reported the bitter,
bitter cold in the cars, told of stopping at Nikolsk, and how the Bolsheviks had cut the telegraph. He spoke
of Harbin and the trouble there when an electric light company caught fire and burned out. When they left Har-
bin it was 18 0 below zero and at Tsitsihar he says: "Our car was colder than charity."
On the sixteenth the box cars chugged through the great Khingan mountains. The moon was nearly full and the
sight was awe-inspiring enough to make even the most phlegmatic man eager to write home. The night was
crisp and cold. The men saw snow hanging in fairylike fashion from cypress trees. They passed through the
Gobi Desert and while at Manchuria Station they watched in wonder as they saw a dromedary caravan with
When they crossed the Onon River and stopped at Chita they found it to be a city full of "Cossacks, beautiful
Ladies, music and volka." Finally, passing the south shore of Lake Baikal they arrived at Irkutsk December
21. There the sights were quite different from the ones seen in Chita. And they were sights any red-blooded
man would want to write about. There was evidence of heavy fighting which gave a gruesome picture against
a backdrop of winter wonderland. The snow on the trees was white and glistened but that on the ground was
often stained red.
Leaving Irkutsk for the last lap of the trip to Omsk the men heard more and more rumors about the ravaging of
the Bolsheviks. On December 24, Christmas Eve. Colonel Morrisey was forced to arm a train with men and an
engine. He says he "got out the Lewis gun and pushed on against enemy obstruction, finally arriving at
13 Reported to the author by Colonel Webb.
14 The term "on-the-line" in Siberia referred to an outlying area; it did not mean out on the front.
15 Sir Charles Elliot was the High Commissioner.
Fig. 4 A typical nondescript cover from Victoria B.C. with three common Canadian
stamps. Not an item in which a postal historian would be much interested. But the
letter was full of fascinating information.
~ty- lc-^ JL&--t f ^ASSED
Fig. 5. A cover showing the latest date reported of the boxed "Passed By Censor"
markings. It is dated February 9, 1919 and is addressed to Mrs. Kate Holmes in
Canada. It is countersigned, has a Simcoe backstamp and a manuscript endorsement
that the letter is from "3111120 Pfc. R. G. Holmes, 20th M.G.C."
On Christmas day many men thought of home, but the train groaned on and they passed Taiga where they got a
fourth class car for the officers, to replace the frozen one they were in. Everyone celebrated and Colonel Lash
gave a party replete with wine. Morrisey says they "dined with Sir Charles. .and had a fine Christmas dinner."
S Christmas 1918 thus came and went. On the 27 Omsk was reached. Here they heard first hand about Bolshevik
murders. On the 28 Morrisey called on Admiral Kolchak, the Supreme Ruler. During the stay at Omsk the men
often played bridge and the Colonel recalls that one avid player, a Captain Mulock, was later the Postmaster
General of Canada. Morrisey's stay in Omsk lasted to March 1. He had taken a chill, was seriously ill for
weeks, and was then finally called back to Vladivostok and home. But other men stayed on in Omsk; other men
who must have written letters. 4
Cognizant of the aforementioned trips and stays out on-the-line, students of this field are taking heart in the
fact that other FPO 2 markings may turn up. Also the fact that two hitherto unreported markings have been
found by this writer leaves collectors to feel that the days of finds are definitely not over.
After all, it is nearly half a century since the men were in Siberia and that would seem sufficient time to locate
all possible markings. Yet in 1967 three "new" items have turned up.
The oblong blue "Received" marking shown in Figs. 10 and 20 has never been reported before. It came to my
attention recently and there seems to be nothing known about it. We note, however, that it was applied two days
before the postmark. It would seem as though this was applied in Vladivostok after arriving from out on-the-line,
and that it was applied before the cover was given to the FPO for postmarking. Further proof is in the manu-
script endorsement on the letter which reads: "Somewhere in Russia." It was the usual practice to put this on
top of letters mailed outside of Vladivostok. In this case the received marking is February 24 and the postmark
February 26. It does not appear to be a censor mark as there is nothing to indicate censorship.
Censored covers are difficult to obtain. Apparently censorship was limited to the early winter months of De--
cember 1918 to March 1919. None have been reported before December or after March. Some items are counter-
signed and others are not.
In the Canadian armed force, censorship is operated so that upon inquiry it can be determined w:ho censored a
letter. Hence.censor stamps are strictly controlled and are generally issued to units by a central authority in
each theater of operation. The units had to account for them at all times. Each such marking has the word cen-
sor, or some derivative of it, with or without a serial number. The Adjutant held the handstamps and issued
them as they were required to officers detailed to perform the unwelcome task of censoring. As each letter was
completed the censoring officer sealed the envelope, handstamped it, and usually countersigned it. Then he
handed it over to the postal orderly.
Colonel Webb, who helped explain the Canadian system of censorship feels any marking which does not con-
tain the word censor is suspect. He thinks it should contain the initials or the signature of the officer as well.
He considers the Base Headquarters marking (see Figs. 3 and 20) an Orderly Room marking and not a censor
mark at all. When Ed. Richardson was queried on the matter he said: "I doubt if the Base Headquarter marking
was a censor mark, but it could well have originally been so intended." Webb elucidates further by saying that
letters written by the office staff of a Unit during hours were frequently tossed into the "out" basket and in due
course received the Orderly Room handstamp in common with items of official mail. Such stamps may have been
designed to permit serial numbering of each piece going out, or coming in. Others have a space for a serial num-
ber to be added in manuscript of desired. Yet these markings are seldom, if ever, accompanied by any signature
or initials. In most cases Orderly Room markings contain no numbers. For this reason Webb is sure the Base
Headquarter markings found on a few Canadian SEF covers are definitely not censor stamps. After discussion
with other students I too believe we must rule them out as censor marks.
s1 Information from Colonel Morrisey's diary and papers.
The same seems to apply to the Received marking (see Figs. 10 and 20) and to the Base Depot marking (see
Figs. 11 and 20) which came to my attention within the past year. They have not previously been reported.
It is my opinion that these Base Depot markings were applied on mail, written on-the-line, when it arrived in
Vladivostok. This seems to have been applied in much the same manner as the Received marking, i.e. before
handing over for the postmark.
Another unusual item is shown in Fig. 12. This was apparently applied in Canada rather than in Siberia. The
cover was sent from the Bahamas to Rifleman Knowles in Victoria. There the address was ruled out and the
handstamp "C.E.F.S. Vladivostok" was applied. "Brigade" appears in manuscript across the top. Apparently
the rifleman had left for Siberia before the letter arrived. The fact that a handstamp was made seems to.. indi-
cate that this was used on a great deal of mail, but this is the only one reported to me. It is the property of
M.H. Luddington. Although we can not include it in the catalogue listing of marks used by the Canadian Pos-
tal Corps in Siberia (as it was not applied there) we think it is certainly worthy of note in this article.
So much for the known markings, and a tentative catalogue listing of them (see Fig. 20 and Appendix). Col-
lectors should also consider background data concerning such things as the methods by which mail was sent,
how often the men received mail and what the letters from them had to say. Fascinating side collections, can
be made from such things as postcards, menus, and souvenirs. This is especially interesting when the cards
are postally used or the souvenirs have been signed. Other fringe material may contain such things as news-
papers. I have two copies of "The Siberian Sapper" censored and produced by the Canadians and, although
there seems to be nothing postal about them I am certainly happy to add them to my collection to help cover
the whole story(Fig. 6). Types of stationery and corner cards also make wonderful associated collections to
the postal history collection.
Regarding methods by which mail was sent we must consider that some went by way of Japan; that pouches
were sometimes sent directly to Canada and that mail was passed through Russian, American and perhaps
other facilities. It is believed that after April 1919 some of these may have gone through British channels.
This article concerns mail by the Canadian soldiers who used the Canadian Postal Service in Siberia. All items
bear markings of the CPC 17 in Siberia. The only exceptions are two letters written by a member of the SEF
before reaching Vladivostok. One was written just before leaving (see Fig. 4), the other aboard the S.S. Tees-
ta enroute (see Fig. 7).
The men did not receive mail for a long period of time after they reached Siberia. This is discussed in letters
quoted in the article.
The letters themselves form the most fascinating phase of the collection. It is my firm belief that far too many
postal historians fail to consider the importance of the contents of the cover. Yet it is that item which often
tells us what is going on, and when. It is the instrument which gives us data in the eyes of the chronicler.
That in itself is invaluable.
The letters were often written on plain paper. Those written on pictorial or inscribed paper form the nucleus of
a side line collection, as rrntioned above. The same is true of corner cards. All types of fancy stationery and
corner cards known to this writer are shown within the article. There may be more. Specifically those known to
to me which were either of Canadian origin or purchased by Canadians in Siberia are: (I have not included items
of other countries used by Canadians; such as American Y paper, etc.)
STATIONERY: Canadian Y.M.C.A.; Patriotic Flag/CAH (Catholic Army Hut); Japanese Pictorial.
CORNER CARDS: Canadian Y.M.C.A.; Patriotic Flag CAH; Japanese Pictorial; "The Young Men's Christian
17 CPC Canadian Postal-.Corps.
Irallakd b61 kld permissi of U.e G. O. C., C. E F. (S).. by lHia rPlki Co.. CaNdbs EnCgimia. r1 u ti b) Cf4r
Vol. I-N S. JI jAxR 1101. nmsr-( Ns IIOuLsL
THE CXC LVAK ENTERTAINMENT AT EAST THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
By Florware Aleoulgh. BARRACK* For Ul oR Atn Servicel
Legren mo wl Ue, hitory Isa It Ilth
the Co (rtt. a 1irls.r tribe, entlerd lU- On lolll l h ly (From a Ca0nai .li.lrl-lt
hrwnlds in the Ath cetesry. anl rwiurl sca il d.mite it *Mls rl erittlo
use ri ruttld there; thesoumlr hinl ALam SNambr Six" wau slp. In the -
relee Unit the lltI o their isani iroai erMUsa' Me-t et bEtL Bkmcsks. by t-s IMhy ttrE,.ans *.L:.e )lina
their ewd.--' eis. L U ey am h1 is tleslted company s& n llue hlls rolsel auy se. tliy ,eod
Ltle Is known about ties ail a ae eDeil. wd.. ___
the ame Uf ( hrlrmlusne, wirn thby TIm coomarIment of the perfor-
re-bled wih Ira snd mwned the manme was heenaid iy the bugler at hI b n jowI th, UtissLhal h ave
IhrtistIlkty thr on them. Lttr they 10:3 .m. whn the andince seml- ilase or aee en use ai the war
wn s enteud by the Apotil Cyr.l Md rith ehr uul military pero-m over
m Meodicato n i t a rljt iol pwrciton, m ofi ivi n T-haklah *srolImL d nay eugrin\p,
NdN ltreeded o sal ol ylni.fonn. ,1,1 sl:o;. so fes wih f r the likeness of easy aSljl. In
Hem we bIme the fie Instanen of that istes rr rybody in barracks seemed to the Irvons.. or a pet rard ofr he
"Ver hernturt olI for o tb e hb- Inmenl earth berela. nor sy doe nl ofl
o( roirolur. iluoeaewis mrlsilmrl Ti.. roe v f "Tn ri. Chi' w a ai e a
throuerhoot the lioar f"t Ithe I -rho. played lay Mlr lery in hi own le the s aasr, a jealIoro rser.r
Thlisb P nk Rual we. demuernr t nilble manner. Ufnoerly ahd Rtiar .lit IIIe llsitel otf Ih *tl.
th.= PNi. by the Hntpri of aegswo- rent li.i sd s .. nl.rse say member ofl thle e with C B.. btl hea sowe
hnns. Iwri. e i g i nsr ry tor the fair ers,* ll tha the erallaet laie habd ato ti.eissd, by Irttles ikir
*.hority o Ihe Hotly s a.nd attempts to lcontlns himnelf with nrnulr varrbio letters pn, free. wio klp ny c-
were made pe ti thiT early datsr, to moblor I liwho wler overreome snaidametr.
rn'rans the ea aof Rhtul ha h CGerman by meiokr fnd AilgI and isis .r rforfn- 3 TIhou shalt ot u protein leasnslU
l.ae itt In. ipiable wirti the lit. i nlg slrit-ol.fkha trick. cilli tie lre ssln adsursrlrHin ry dlrntss
I.s of( his. rti-*e to sie hblstory of extuiuise.-r. S. I. BM. Inory played nIstse. osuch Us snesg year em.
BWilelhs. All shat e be doelotes- t ls heavy leod, *sil hin trairc "Go r:ais in he t lrohrof Vodlia. g-tting
sis oes or two of tie Nati t i Herms, lek sd poa it out, boys, Lm done fr", coll oil in yIur ea. or rto bheir
and es starsintons Ja c natettr i ebe as bwu carried ofita.le, createdll A .letatri unto tie renk of *lAst.
*eanod thin hsltorywhTertiltnssekn. tnosndon Kenr ticl.. forpornl.
"sii -..ioy. -, .i l. IL at.. tsa4iScti .. il. Arl 4 R.imra.l i- ttall tIV oldiLe r..k
"1.tlirortt tnrelxlhour wbne tde windows ..* broken And r. ossasr uf e-tetles. l.ix dey.
thes Ji before lSntoducaion of iials tierm down Iy 8 I1. York' **- alnll thous l*iour ndl iU LhatL tUn
Ch it'Athe Mlhewin Ideal of m- hevik Ludlti he action was am het to 10o, sal on lr se venths da
itel life a een toilyet fr turbto for a few mlntrt, als there a lith, eo.l hjas lclislUg CLIhrrh
lhat of the oerrWoledl naslo.s. L wea a sm rt elsa ei nlf rfbl whien tih Paraks.
wmom of the **Jhkimet of IJbsmt coimen "ltp ossirD ii u|-atier." 6 1 lonar thy King and Country; beep
which nsams to calatthis ealr phr-> Tim curtain ~ nxn dlenw at midl. th, riwalloial dAhonetr3uSt.
tar .( Bohomies life n- Iid or night, suel thle ordinced lirptrsed la tl.e that tih day may Ie l stla ini
Nilrie.gen IJei. oslnary d.roate.dl. directtomot k.lirnrpecile banks, tinrd lasd. mad thou seyh bot dobbherik
or rrJpM of Use Shb.M, bt the septo- bat pp. hereafter.
ees a aio of a eelovia natim trylaw ing I thanks r ie do0 tohe 8S-t. Thao shell not stel thy comrds-'
s o.|hol tradition of om el owner ta Comlttc.-e r the laen of telltr kit, nor his blk l nonr 1hi bedl.
. hlof lod, noder hles gsenFh gIe, seem reza, to cast Inttieun for the hnardsn. for thy will And there
of whest Ia oi edi ine nl maLdd i retl *xturlelere. to tol. Drooell for out, and his am met ho -iaos onl
lr aI n poisaalee si..n of pk l h I. rilhvldt, d n lk nuwmcll htihe ioir V lram .
o..iwinen (fesI "It ris" by Bail O'<. n.l onw who Pmo kindly rave th. I ;7 Tnl eh>U Jll kIf tlim, bat Us-
Alosro) a reicerrs en sprrnmroaril. bi =o netl foer Iol henks.
A BmW R Than sIh at M tlo alt erma thy miese
A thois at a ip riltl dw tI o greatest of Cm sece on tis.tI e, tin by he, k ft a haing se w.
ihis liittlo w ith
ie thle.- Tnlp Tnie n GeCmamn to h gidaens btlry to ie t the ehlt not hs nao bu far lthnes
W-.. al n lrm *ml *sto Ik Johnl lHalnd ISt-1H, a Napl. ,le aal. -auonli U s p lins
Small. la the jk-1.tel hnle havs hnondl an rw ere Lllathr- oJ Inad lhaw asemles,
pr -t Teston anst Magyar have pleyeA tearsdig of the English rwlofrer inor am. ASaN holef l s
the mueades. Thir holes bre" be-s Wylfw dotdy dotan3dbydLt pmerO
inrsle. ctan Heirrd anod oppred. ef wa th rector t kof the famous to hthe t Of
hiator in lrgti the t gi st main Invors ty of rg end peid Fj L i Le tmail pmctris.
wate ITn r o mteor Asia Ia a- b s e a so salm oast
(rfmaw wml thrg N tyf The. A sn ist il with rd ke Colathe Ren _h _
thenr. right. by both. prsearfl oAes irat N ieher IsBe os powev r. ta 14r.
ik. mens6.Afther ac straglo the an Istquiltor Use o ,mmtia rto ha lty mi u lr the e few e
lS4Sy of their r re land in the v talge th se of mse teach h01 thimehailg. IN 1414 maCoef
hinor of Inre mtl o y. N I dllsyi -lo ballagainst Homil1e WO a~t* OnArQoc Mom widt he
owly went lissrty f6,r ihrem-I, slr lsey t escose.ilod Pmopnbrt l on ewd wM meso M have Lb amkn .-
heheval In it one sr I nle a sd hIa 1411 d h eM wa Aodddadl ewt With e a"d -ea0d%
"T. of p,. sP.. right f-alel n. Peps iautrdit. At thO ro ( te hy the nm rr "ligi 1 o On
einn- wi ralie1 th tihe Dark A I Kilng of Bonbled mioo r romi* (Cfele dant W .
Fig. 6. The front page of "The Siberian Sapper," a censored paper, published by the
16th Field Company, Canadian Engineers.
It is believed that the excerpts from various letters may convince collectors that a cover actually is more
valuable when a letter is included.
We know mail could exist from October 26, 1918; the date the Advance Party arrived in Vladivostok on the Em-
press of Japan. Records also show that the Monteagle followed, arriving in Siberia at daybreak December 5
with more Canadians. The Prostessalus I' also left Canada in 1918 but had difficulty enroute and did not ar-
rive until much later. In a letter to his mother in February 1919 after arrival, Earl Waite, who travelled on this
vessel writes: (see Fig. 9).
"I hope you did not hear about the Prostisilaus losing her propeller while we were on it. The
papers from Japan made quite a story about it."
The S.S .Teesta left Victoria, B.C. December 21. The men were up at five'o'clock and marched down to the
dock only to find the boat was not yet in. At one p.m. there was still no sign of her and finally the word was
given that they would be able to board around 8 p.m. Meanwhile the Y.M.C.A. had built a fire for them and giv-
en out hot coffee and sandwiches which were appreciated by the tired and hungry men. This information, and
that given below, is from a letter that was in the cover shown in Fig. 4. Here we have a common looking en-
velope which seems proof-positive that we should never overlook the contents in a cover. This nondescript un-
interesting looking cover with a regular Victoria, B.C. postmark has three common Canadian stamps. Who
would bother to look inside? Who would have any idea that this would have something to do with the Siberian
Campaign? And who would guess that this letter would pinpoint the exact time and date of the SEF leaving
Canada on the S.S. Testa, or that it would give a word-picture of the dissatisfaction of the French Canadians
regarding this sojourn to Russia? There had been rumors of this discontent even amongst the American sol-
John Budd, one of the members of the American Expeditionary Force, wrote me that he had seen the French
Canadians land and says that he and others were told that the men had to be handcuffed to get them on the ship.
And this was nearly fifty years before General Charles de Gaulle made his plea to French Canadians in the sum-
mer of 1967.
But it was not just rumor for the contents 6f the letter shown in Fig. 4 tell the full story. It is dated December
21, 1918, at Victoria, B.C. and was from Richard Garton Holmes (known as Garton). In part, he said to his Mo-
They haven't told us where we are going, but I looked at the labels on the Officers' baggage and
they are labelled via the S.S. Teesta to Siberia, so I guess that is the name of the boat we are
going on. We machine gun fellows have been allowed to go around wherever we like, to stores, etc.,
but two companies of the 259th Infantry are going on the same boat and they marched them down with
another battalion guarding them on all sides with fixed bayonets. It seems they had some trouble at
the camp and two companies (who are French Canadians) refused to get ready to march down, so
they got another battalion and chased them out of their tents with bayonets. Then at one of the plac-
es where they let them rest along the way, they wouldn't fall in again to march the rest of the way, so
the officer fired his revolver at their feet and made them walk or get hit. Now they are in one of the
buildings under guard and not allowed to go outside. So you see they had to go, whether they wanted
to or not, and it would have been the same, with the rest of us, only we raise a row as there is no
use of doing that and getting in wrong like the Frenchmen have.
Enroute on the S.S. Teesta there was not too much to do. Most of the men, who were not writhing with sea-sick-
ness, began to write daily letters home, only to find out that the letters were to be censored. About the sixth
day of the tip most of them began to tear up what they had written and then started all over again to say only
what might please the censor!
18 The correct spelling of this vessel cannot be.found. Many variations were used; two are shown on this page. Does anyone know
the correct spelling.?
Fig. 7. A letter written on Canadian YMCA letter head on Board S.S. Teesta" enroute
to Siberia. The cover with a corner card of the "Y" and a counter signature of a Cana-
dian Officer, was postmarked in Japan.
It-i ^- !j 2
Fig. 8. A postcard from Siberia showing a view ofthe Canadian, American and
CA A IAN '^BslBR^^U Lro 'iei 'swn iwo h CndaAeia
/rts *l T -Tks
Nevertheless from these letters we learn something of the trip. They tell us that the Teesta was a strong well-
built vessel but that it had nothing in the way of accommodations or comforts of any kind. It was a small boat
which had been used for carrying Chinese and Indian emigrants, before it became a troop ship. The food was
pretty good but most of the men did not dare to eat at first because of queasy stomachs. Sleeping accommoda-
tions in the hammocks were most uncomfortable and it was so raw outside, and the water so rough, the men
could not drill or take walks on deck.
Adding to their day-by-day discomfort and homesickness was the fact that they were doomed to spend the en-
tire holiday season on the boat. They dreamed of homefires and friends, of decorated churches, and recalled other
years when stockings were hung on the mantles and trees were picked out in the woods, felled, and then fes-
tively trimmed. Then they surveyed their surroundings and groaned:.. One man wrote:
Christmas and New Years Day were the same as any other days on board, except that we got an
orange or an apple and had a little better dinner than usual.
Some of the men had carried boxes from their families when they left Canada. They had hoped to enjoy the
gifts on Christmas day only to find themselves too sick to enjoy the contents. Another man wrote:
I opened the package but didn't eat anything except the figs and dates. I'll have to eat the rest
on land when I feel better.
But sick or no the men, according to the letters, bought lavishly, when they could afford it, from the Chinese
crew who manned the boat. They feared that at the "last outpost of civilization," where they were doomed to
go, they would not be able to buy things they liked, so they bought the goodies offered and saved them for the
day when their stomachs and their sea-legs would be steadier.
The Chinese crew would do just about anything for money, the men said, and they found such wares as apples,
oranges, pies and cakes offered them. The purchasing in itself offered a form of entertainment for most of the
crew could not speak English and the Canadians knew no Chinese. It was a test of wits to make the crew un-
derstand what was wanted.
Even the entertainment paled after a while and the men could not wait to get their feet on land to hear some
real news. One soldier wrote enroute (underlined by the author):
There are only part of us on this boat and the rest of the bunch is coming on another boat which is
following us. There will likely be some letters from you on that boat too, but I won't be able to ans-
wer them in this letter as this one will be posted when we stop at Japan. (see Fig. 7)
The letter was sent from Holmes to his mother in Simcoe, Ontario and was posted in Japan as he expected it to
be. On the reverse is the Simcoe backstamp and a censorship strip reading: "Examined by Censor 360". This
was apparently put on in Canada. Before mailing the letter, Holmes added a postscript on January 5. In it he
speaks of the weather "which is quieter now" and says he is beginning to feel better, after a siege of sea-
sickness, and that he can eat at last. He writes:
We had bacon and eggs for breakfast and Simcoe Plum Pudding for dinner. It was good too- per-
haps its some of the very pudding Kathleen was helping with last summer! It seems funny to get
pudding made in Simcoe way out her in Japan.
Sunday church service enroute is also described in this mo st informative letter. There was a service on deck
and in the afternoon another in quarters. Holmes wondered if he would have to spend another Sunday on board
ship and hoped not. Regarding the mail he says (again the underlined is by the author):
19 Simcoe, Holmes' hometown, was the place to which all his letters were addressed.
I want to finish this letter tonight to have it ready to hand in tomorrow to be censored. It will like-
ly be posted Tuesday or Wednesday and will no doubt take about three weeks to get to you, so you
won't get it before Feb. 1st, but once we get on land I'll be able to mail oftener, so that it won't be
so long before you hear from me next time. However,its a long way from here to you so don't worry
if letters don't come just when you expect them. I'll write again as soon as we land and as often as
I can right along and there is always the possibility of the letters being lost-So now I'll say goodbye
until we reach our camping ground when I will write again.
Keep sending your letters every week addressed to 3111120 PFC R.G. Holmes, 20th Machine Gun
Company, Canadian Exp. Force, Siberia, until I tell you to change the address but I think the ass-
dress will be the same from now on.
The men on the Teesta finally did arrive in Vladivostok. In a P.S. to another letter, dated January 10, Holmes
has this to say:
We marched to our new barracks this morning and are located in a big brick building which looks as
though it was going to be quite comfortable but we haven't been here long enough to see how it will
be yet (see Fig. 8). I couldn't post this at the other barracks as it had to be censored. There is a
Y here and dozens of barracks, yes, hundreds of them, all over the country way up into the hills.
There is no town here but the Y has a canteen so we will be able to spend money.
The barracks are real nice buildings, all brick and stone, about the same style as the Armories at
home, but larger. They were used during the Russo-Japanese war and are not new and not so very
clean but they are better than anything we had in Canada except for one thing-water. Its mighty
scarce in this country and we haven't had a bath yet.
The building is heated with stoves, and lighted with candles. We have iron bunks to sleep on.
We are about ten miles from the city and everywhere along the road these barracks can be seen. The
country is very hilly-big hills- and very few houses. The weather, continues fine, just like a fine
clear winter day at home.
What a mass of information this letter gives us. We learn something of the barracks. Incidentally they were
called Gournastai Barracks. We find they were located 10 miles from town; that there was a Y there; that they
were heated by stoves and lighted by candles. This gives us quite a picture of the conditions under which the
men lived. We find too that the men must have arrived sometime before January 10 as they had already been at
another barracks. Holmes previous letter was dated January 5 from Japan. It usually took about two days from
Japan to Vladivostok so we may assume this group arrived around the seventh of January.
After the long ship ride the men had expected a huge pile of mail would await them but there was nothing at
all when they reached Siberia. Some groaned, some swore, some cussed the government and the postal depart-
ment and the families. Others simply said "What good will all the fuss do; we might as well just wait." But
by January 26 the men were still complaining and they were told again that there no doubt would be a "big
mail next week." They also were told that when the mail started to come it would come regularly but this did
not help their lonesome hearts at the time.
Several letters from the men speak of the weather as "fair and clear" and we find no complaints at all about it
whereas letters from the American doughboys at the same time complain bitterly about the cold. Canadians
were obviously more attuned to Siberian climate than men from California or Tenneessee or even New York.
If it were not for the letters we would have no information about many things which took place in Vladivostok.
These are not all postal matters yet they do furnish us with a picture of conditions under which men lived dur-
ing the period they wrote from a place with a Field Post Office.
In discussing church services one man explains that the church is "more like church than anything we have
ever had in the army so far." He says they all go to the Y building and they "have seats and a preacher with
a pulpit and there is even a piano."
After some of the men went to church the first Sunday they got back to find themselves faced with their first kit
inspection. It was in fact the first one they had had in the army and Holmes says he got new socks and long
boots 'which they call shoepacks in Siberia" and a big sheepskin coat. He had not opened his kit bag in so
long he had forgotten a can of Pork and Beans which his mother had sent to him long before when he was in
training in Niagara. He also found a bottle of vaseline and found that both items came in very handy in Siberia.
He told his folks:
I only had jam and cheese for supper so the pork & beans tasted good. And I had a big lump on my
heel and was told to grease it so used the vaseline on that.
He says, further:
Everything that has been sent to me seems to come in handy sometime or other. Even that can of
health salts that Laura sent came in good on the boat.
Speaking of pork & beans, our canteen has Simcoe Pork & Beans at 150 a can. They come a long way
way don't they?
We don't get any Canadian news to speak of here so if you send any boxes you can use the latest
papers for packing and then we can read them.
.tunnels are all through the hills. They are built of cement and the Fort itself is all cement and
steel; a great piece of work when it is all done. It is not finished yet and they are not working on it
now so it may never be finished.
Regarding the mail, Holmes advises his folks that letters may nowbe sent by registered mail. He said this was
arranged so the men would be assured of receiving letters and packages addressed to them.
Nearly a week later, Garton wrote that he had still received no mail. One wonders if it is possible that men
who left Canada on December 5, 1918 could not have had mail by February 1. Yet this seems to be the case.
It is small wonder that so many of them were disgruntled.
However on February 4, Earl Waite writes joyously:
The mail came in today and I was glad to get it. (10 letters). Expect packages and more mail in a
day or so.
Tom made me mighty homesick when he wrote about that dinner. .. We can't complain about our
eats, but oh what wouldn't I give for a breakfast of your hot cakes, doughnuts and coffee.
This letter was written on colorful patriotic letterpaper with the flag, maple leaf and C.A.H. on it (see Fig. 9).
The paper is inscribed "ALL SOLDIERS WELCOME/Catholic Army Huts" in blue and "Canadian Siberian Ex-
pedition" in red. The cover, it may be noted, has the same ensignia and "CANADIAN SIBERIAN EXPEDI-
TION". The blue lettering appears only on the lettersheet. Many collectors believe "C.A.H." stands for
Church Army Huts and that paper so inscribed was used by all Christian faiths. This lettersheet, however,
shows distinctly that it stood for "Catholic Army Huts."
,ALL SOM.IERS WELCOME
Cd- A.w I.h
Canadian Siberian Expedition
0, :100 1 i
4't e^wa ojdiof~ e A ^^ ^^/oj0 i^J ^^
rcW k -rl I^ ^^ -r-
I CANADIAN SIBERIAN EXPEDITION *
i ./: .
Fig. 9. A handsome Patriotic Lettorhaed and corner card. The cover hae the
"Passed By Censor" marking and Is countersigned.
Waite seemed to be lucky for Holmes was still writing in early February that he had had no mail as yet "al-
though they keep telling us it will come tomorrow." He writes about how busy they are and says the general
opinion is that they will be home by spring. They do not want for eats and he writes of a "dandy roast beef"
they had that day.
On January 31 the men were marched a couple of miles to a bathhouse for their first Siberian bath. The water
was "good and hot" and new underclothes, shirts and socks were issued and the men began "to feel clean again."
Unfortunately the extremely cold weather chilled them on the march back to barracks and more than one man was
taken to the hospital.
On February 3 Holmes had a day off and put a P.S. to a previously written letter to tell about a trip he took into
the city. In another letter he spoke of friends who were ill or died. One man named Lundy had an appendix.oper-
ation and was sent back to Canada and a man named Ward died at the hospital early in March of scarlet fever.
As a result Holmes' roommate, Willie Sloane, was put in the isolation ward, but did not get the fever. Two others,
Holmes says, named Macleod and Hawkins were confined to the hospital and some were sent back to Canada for
one reason or another. Those who stayed felt a bit sad "as the old regular bunch was beginning to get pretty
well broken up." (see Fig. 19)
An unsigned letter written on Canadian Y letterhead has "Somewhere in Russia" written across the top. It was
without doubt written by candlelight. Addressed to Miss M.L. Boosey, it starts "Dear Matt" (M.for Matt?).
This is the letter in Fig. 10 which has the "Received" marking on the cover. It would seem indeed that the writ-
er was somewhere in Russia. He was apparently out on-the-line and so could not indicate his location. He says:
There is nothing but army life to write and we get so we don't want to write about it. When you write
me address it 2771055 Co'y D 260th Can. Rifles, C.E.F., Siberia. This will trail me up til it gets me.
The remark "this will trail me up til it gets me" seems further proof that the writer was not in the Vladivostok
Regardless of where the men were they were becoming more and more annoyed about being paid in the almost
defunct Kerensky money which had been depreciating since the overthrow of the Kerensky Government in 1917.
Furthermore it did not take the Canadians long to find out that soldiers from other countries were being paid in
their own currency. This fact, along with the lack of mail, boredom, uncertainty about going home, and general
homesickness, caused more than one man to rebel.
Of course there were some diversions to take the men's minds away from their plight and one of these was cen-
tered around the American Nurses in Evacuation Hospital #17. The nurses found the Canadians "the most won-
derful companions" and "the greatest dancers ever." And letters from the men showed that they too were glad to
take nurses to dinner, or to a dance. Anything for a change.
Signs of the discontent were, however, reaching the higher echelon and on March 7, 1919, General Elmsley per-
sonally inspected the troops. He was so impressed with what he saw that he gave the men the afternoon off.
About this time, according to letters written home, some of the men were managing different jobs which relieved
the monotony. One became a showmaker, another a carpenter and a few were chosen as policemen. In all the let-
ters during March there was indication that the men hoped to leave shortly. Bets were laid as to the date; March
28 and April 11 were favorites. On March 20 one man said that items seen in Canadian newspapers substantiated
the rumors they heard.. The men were so sure now that they told the families not to send any further packages.
In a March 29 letter Holmes describes the beauty and strangeness of a service in a Russian Orthodox Church.
We stayed there a little over an hour (in the church) and heard some of the finest singing I have ever
heard. There was no organ, nor music of any kind, but the voices were grand.
Fig. 10. Canadian YMCA stationery was used for this letter from "Somewhere in Russia."
The cover has the "Received" marking of the "B" Squadron of the Royal North West
Mounted Police. This is believed to be the only known copy.
^^7~L7 A/ ^ ^ '
^ ^ ?z/^ ^^- ^ ^ ^i^-^-
U~~^^^T^^ /< 7 /
^f/~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~C .. .- ^''^-/ ^*/''-- 7 ^Xe/^^^<-
n 4 f /
Fig. 12. A cover from Mossua to Victoria, B.C. where it received the C.E.F.S.
Vladivostok handstamp before forwarding onto Siberia. M. H. Luddington
VldSosokhof-am ^^-x -^ ^forardngo t ibra. .h. oii^^-'sN
i \y /^c~s^*- sk .^
The church is decorated inside with all kinds of life sized pictures of the Saints, etc. and there are
lots of brass candlesticks and silver censors and cups and caskets all around. There were no seats-
you have to stand up all the time.
S The building is very fancy inside with big carved pillars and big domes but it is dingy and dirty. The
priests have long hair falling over their shoulders and wear gowns of silver cloth-kind of dirty ones
During the service the collection is taken up. There are six people each one with a big silver plate
and they follow each other in single file. You put your money in whichever plate you like. There is
a ticket on each plate saying what the money is for, but I couldn't read the tickets so I put my money
on the first plate.
When you go into the church you go through between two rows of beggars, blind, lame, etc. And when
you get into the church there are two rows of money boxes on the wall at each side for you to put mon-
ey in. Also they have booths where you can buy a candle and sticks of incense. You buy as big a
candle as you think you can afford, light it and put it in one of the big candlesticks sitting around.
The church is lighted by candles and there is a big candlestick hanging from the ceiling which holds
hundreds of candles.
The churches interested Holmes and his friends and they visited several others at a later daea.
The day the men visited the described church (see Fig. 14) they also enjoyed a "good show which the Ameri-
cans put on" Other letters told of a holiday for sports and reported that there were to be sports every after-
noon the following week (see Fig. 15). About this one man said he thought they were planning to send the men
home as they were getting so free with holidays.
Holmes and his friends passed up the first sports event as they wanted to inspect a small fishing village be-
fore they left for home. They made their way to the sea and found a Korean fisherman who caught and dried
herring and "some queer flatfish like soles." According to a letter the fisherman's boats, nets and all he used
were made by hand from available materials; "even weeds and small bushes that grew nearby were used."
Will Sloane, who was now out of the isolation ward, Holmes and others then took time out to inspect a Japanese
and a British battleship. Then they found another church and there was a christening in progress. They went
in and found the church was "even nicer inside than the first one, with pictures of hammered brass."
The men began to count on their fingers the things of interest that were still to be seen; high on the list was
'The Morgue:' Everyone had heard much about this and it was something no one wanted to miss-until they
saw it. While the Canadians were looking for the morgue they ran into some Yanks and Tommies with the same
idea so all trekked up to Kopeck Hill, and there at the very end was the morgue. It was an old, old building and
concerning it Holmes writes:
It is a little old frame building like a woodshed and when we looked inside through the broken win-
dow we saw .. .dead people just lying on the floor just as they had been dumped off the cart that
brought them there. Not a very nice sight.
In Siberia it was usually too cold to bury the dead in winter so bodies would be shoveled up from the streets,
or wherever they were found, and would be stacked like cordwood, then hauled up to the morgue where they
would be dumped. Perhaps sometime later in the year they would be buried.
As though the men had not had enough excitement for one day they decided to inspect the Chinese district too
and wound up at the American Y for a band concert. When they started for home they ran across a fire with the
fire department at work. About this Garton says:
.-- -' 1, -C ,c .
THE YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
-^ :^. '9-^ S/
Fig. 13. A cover with an unusual corner card bearing the Canadian FPO mark CS-1, dated
April 9, 1919.
Fig. 16. According to letters, the men enjoyed "inspecting" the department stores in
Vladivostok. This postcard shows a view of one of the stores discussed in a letter
from Soldier Holmes
They have only two small hand pumps like at Dover and they get their water from barrels which are
filled at a well and brought to the fire on a little cart, one barrel on each cart. The firemen made a
great show with big brass helmets on but they can't put out a fire.
Finally this soldier winds up his long and informative letter by saying:
We haven't heard anymore or anything different about going home but we are looking for it to be be-
fore too long.
And it was not too long. The last mail to the S.E.F. was sent from Canada on April 17,1919. The CPC left
Vladivostok on May 27, 1919.
In April, Garton, the prolific letter writer whom we often have quoted, sent two further letters home. One writ-
ten April fourth was postmarked the fifth and still exists. The letter that was in the cover postmarked the
ninth has disappeared.
On the fourth he wrote to his mother and used American Y letterhead paper. He said (underlined by the author):
We expect the parcels along in a day or two and I quess that will be the last time we will get any in
Siberia as it is pretty certain that we will be coming home within the next two weeks. So perhaps
this will be my last letter from Siberia.
There are several dates spoken of being the ones set for us to start, but it is likely to be anywhere
between Apr. 12 and Apr. 25- probably the 17th. We expect to come on the Monteagle which is a
pretty good boat. nothing is certain in the army you know, but we are coming home on some boat,
He tells further that he believes they will be demobilized soon after reaching Canada and that it "is altogether
likely we will be in civvy clothes before the end of May." He heard a 'higher-up" officer express this opinion.
"Won't that be good?" he asks. He was anxious to get home, but was also anxious to see everything he had
missed during his short tour of duty. When a pass came along he took another trip to town, this time to see the
stores. About this we learn the following:
Got a pass so I could go while the stores were open. I went into several small stores and two big
Department Stores (see Fig. 16). One of them is fixed up simply grand inside. .all marble and tile
floors, white enamelled elevators, hand carved counters and very elaborate fixtures with lights all
over the ceiling. There is a table and chairs on each floor where you can sit and rest. On the table
is a water bottle and tumblers, also cigarettes and matches for you to help yourself-free!
There are five floors and the one thing missing is the goods tosell. Rows of show cases and shelves
stand empty. The goods they handle here all come from the States and Japan, and the war has stop-
pedped all shipping so that it has been impossible for the stores to get goods shipped in. The two
things they have lots of were woolen goods for clothes by the yard, and groceries. Everything else
was very scarce.
In the other big store they had even less to sell and only two floors were open, as they didn't have
things enough to fill up the other floors. There was quite a nice stock of American shoes in the
store as well as groceries and meats. and lots of them. I was looking for souvenirs but couldn't
find anything that you don't see at home; most of the goods being American made.
Holmes and his friends could not seem to get enough of the stores and the wares in this last fling of shopping,
so they went on to the bazaars. He writes:
I also went to see what they call the Japanese Bazaar. It is just like a fair with big open sheds
S. S. Emprem of Rau"e.
C.om e -aso s
Capt. Morin nllus, ao ale. Makmoal
Capt. Moody mae.ueu Ktum. Dlm
Lieut Van Borin boama Br asMd n
i e O Fa Pr Boilm d r mowWud OseRN
ca .nu Polaing, Crem am
swim App. Tug Ba bo (h
"Vamil"S I" Comm Md Wal "
n mdxamy, May, lb, 19M.
Fig. 17. On Monday May 26, 1919, this colorful souvenir menu (cover folder at top)
was used for a special dinner, apparently on the S.S. Empress of Russia.
Fig. 18. Three Canadian soldiers in Siberia.
Richard Garton Holmes, who wrote many of the
letters quoted in this article, is shown in the
Fig. 19. A postcard showing the Canadian Flag
and plaque reading: "C.E.F.S./To the Glory of
God/and/In Proud Memory of/ The British-Allied
Troops/who/Died in Service in Siberia/A.D.
No. -.-.-. 1 PA ED
& 4 BY
te ft I* J NOV 26 1916 -CENSOR
SS WOV 2 I6CENSOR
C. CE.F. SWeIR A 016
CS-1 CS-2 CS-3
0 REC EIVED
MAR 2 1919. FEB 2 4
"B R.N.W. .?.I iB5RfA
Fig. 20 Catalogue listing of known markings of the Canadian Postal Corps in Siberia.
under which are booths where you can buy anything from a canary bird to a coffin. I saw both offer-
ed for sale. Then outside of the sheds all around in the open air are hundreds of smaller booths,
shoemakers, tinsmiths, second hand goods, hot cakes, peanuts, oranges, chickens, old clothes-any-
thing under the sun. The place covers two whole blocks and would take several days to take it all in
and see everything.
There is a Chinese Bazaar too. They have their booths in a network of back alleys and lanes. We
started to go in to see it but got chased out by the M. P.'s. I didn't see as much as I would have
As he closed this letter Holmes said he was surprised to see six inches of snow on the ground the next morn-
ing before mailing the letter. He added that this might be his last goodby from Siberia. But he was destined
to stay in Siberia until May. He told me that he was not sure of the date he left but that he traveled on the
Monteagle "sometime around the end of May."
Almost from the moment the men heard they were going home there were many farewell parties in anticipation
of leaving what they jestingly called the 'frozen north" although they were fully cognizant that their home
areas in Canada were often no warmer. Some of the farewell affairs began as early as March.
There seems to be a great scarcity of covers of this period so it is assumed that the men expected for some
two months to be going home 'any moment" and therefore did not bother to write as often as they had before.
In late May, just before some of the remaining men left, there was an affair. We show the menu of this in Fig.
17. This is a colorful piece showing on the folder cover the "Empress of Russia" on one side and a scene on
the other. Both the ship flag and the Canadian flag fly above the Empress. The inside shows the menu and it
is noted that Major Boyer and party, Captains Moran, Flynn and Moody and Lieutenants Chounard, Van Borian
and Giband participated.
From the records we know that the last contingent of the Canadian SEF left Vladivostok on June 3, 1919. So
a Chapter of Military History closed; a chapter which started when General Elmsley and Colonel Morrisey be-
gan to make frantic preparations in September 1918 until someone cried, "hurry up, Soldier, if you don't want
to get left in Siberia," on the Vladivostok dock June 3, 1919.
This short tour of duty to a far off country was a memorable one to most of the men although for the most part
they were not there over five months. No wonder there is such a scarity of mail.
Those who collect this material are fascinated by it and by the lengths to which it is necessary to go to find
even fragmentary information. It is hoped that this article may stimulate correspondence which will shed
more light on the little known conditions, postal arrangements, and markings of the Canadian SEF.
Collectors, historians or veterans who know of any mail or can furnish any other background data of the Cana-
dian soldiers in Siberia in 1918 and 1919 should contact this writer. In this way it may be possible for her to
add to the meager knowledge she has been able to compile thus far and may help to make it possible to pre-
pare a permanent catalogue to replace the tentative one in this article.
Readers with any further information should contact Edith M. Faulstich, 37 Inwood Street, Yonkers, New York
My deep appreciation goes to so many who have helped me gather information for this article. High among
them is the late Richard Garton Holmes who allowed me to read all of his mail, to buy some of his covers, to
see all of his papers postcards and other material. He corresponded with me in great detail and when he died, a
short time ago, he had the kindness to leave me all the postcards that he so cherished. Some of them are shown
in this article. But as so often happens with non-philatelists the covers that he was saving for me "for later"
were not mentioned and have never been found. Apparently they were thrown out when his desk was cleared.
This is sad news to collectors who put mail above postcards; but it is wonderful to know that a non-collector
realizing my keen interest in his sojourn to Siberia would mark what was to him his most cherished items so
that I would have them upon his death.
Colonel Roland Webb is not a veteran of the Siberian Campaign, but like myself, is a collector and a student of
these items. He not only answered my endless questions but was kind enough to furnish me the data from Nich-
olson's "Official History of the Canadian Army" and from "Canada In The Great World War."
Others who have been helpful included Colonel T. Sydney Morrisey who put his papers and diaries at my dis-
posal and who answered many questions for me; George Corwin, Wilbur Goreham, John Budd, (who were with the
American Expeditionary Force); Lillian LeValle Smith, an American Nurse, and other Americans who answered
questions about the Canadians; Ed Richardson, another student; Douglas Patrick (for interviewing me on a Can-
adian Broadcasting Company program); and A. C. Padley and Le Moine Ruggles. who were with the British Army
but who live in Canada. There are others.
Official History of the Canadian Army "The Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919"' by G.W. Nicholson.
Volume VI "Canada in the Great World War," published by the United Publishers of Canada, Ltd., in 1921.
Records of the A.E.F. in the War Department, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Copy of a speech of Colonel T.S. Morrisey at the University Club of Montreal, December 1919.
Personal Papers of Colonel T.S. Morrisey.
Diary of Colonel T. S. Morrisey.
Personal Papers of Richard Garton Holmes.
Mail of Richard Garton Holmes.
"British American Cooperation Regarding the Mails by Edith M. Faulstich, Postal History Digest, Volume 2, No. 1.
"The,Fate of Admiral Kolchak," by Peter Fleming, published by Rupert Hart-Davis, London, 1963.
Bulletins of the Forces Postal History Society.
War Cover Club Bulletins and War Cover Club Philatelist.
Articles in The Stamp Specialist, The American Philatelic Congress Book, The Postal History Society Bulletin
and the Organ of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada by Ed Richardson and the late Adrian Hopkins.
Records of the U.S. War Department, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Interviews and correspondence with Colonel Webb, R. G. Holmes, Colonel T.S. Morrisey, Ed Richardson, M.H.
Luddington and others.
Tentative Catalogue of Known Markings of the Canadian Postal
Detachment in Siberia
(CS stands for Canadian Siberian-see Fig. 20)
CS-1 DATESTAMP OF THE CANADIAN S.E.F.: A single ring stamp reading "FIELD POST OFFICE/CANA-
DIAN/SIBERIAN EXP. FORCE" with date centered in two lines and figure "1" or "2" above the date. The
"2" is extremely scarce. Variations exist showing different size lettering, different placing of numeral, a
"1" looking like an "L", a marking with lettering in lower case. Always in black. Earliest reported Oct. 28,
CS-2 BASE HEADQUARTER MARKING: (This has been called a censor mark in error) "No. ./BASE HEAD-
QUARTERS/ (date) / C.E.F. SIBERIA" boxed, oblong. Always in black. This is an Orderly Room marking.
Earliest November 1918; latest December 1918.
CS-3 CENSOR MARKING: Boxed "PASSED/BY/CENSOR/ (with number)" Square Box. Known in fuchsia-purple,
and dull purple. Known only from December 1918 to March 1919. Usually applied over the FPO marking, or by
it but sometimes is found at bottom of the cover. Have seen #002, 006, 010 and 016. It is therefore to be assum-
S ed that numbers ran from 001 to at least 016. Earliest seen December 18, 1918; latest February 9, 1919.
CS-4 BASE DEPOT MARKING: Circular. "BASE DEPOT / (date) / SIBERIA". In fuchsia-purple, and dull purple.
Only dates known are March 21, March 23 and April 18, 1919.
CS-5 RECEIVED MARKING: An oblong boxed marking reading; "RECEIVED/ (date)/ "B" SQUADRON / R.N.
W.M.P. SIBERIA". Only copy reported is in blue, dated February 24, 1919.
When we reported the boxed censor markings CS-3, when the article was written, we reported knowing of numbers
002, 006i 010 and 016. Since then the author has been able to add 003,005 and 012. In addition Ed Richardson
has reported 001 and 009, thus we can now account for 001, 002, 003, 005, 006, 009, 010, 012 and 016. Any
reader having data about the missing numbers from 1 to 16 should contact the author.
It might also be mentioned that colors at the time the article was written were only known in fuchsia-purple and
dull purple. Now the writer has added black and green and Ed. Richardson has reported a blue. Therefore,
colors to date have been reported in fuchsia-purple, purple, black, green and blue.
Please note that in Fig. 17, some of the names in print differ from the autographs of those who attended.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: The correct name for the vessel referred to by Mrs. Faulstich in footnote No. 18 is
"PROTESILAUS". Noted by Homer in the Iliad, he was a Thessalian warrior. When the Greek fleet neared the
Asia Minor mainland, in sight of Troy, he was the first to jump ashore, although warned by an oracle that this
would be fatal. The gods took pity on his distraught wife, Laodamia, and Hermes brought him back alive to
her for three hours. They then died together.
Finally, the Editorial Board of the Rossica Journal wishes to thank Mrs. Faulstich most warmly for the oppor-
tunity to reprint this wonderful study of hers.
WANTED TO BUY OR EXCHANGE
For my personal collection complete sheets, varieties and interesting covers of Imperial
Russia 1909-1917 (excluding 'Used Abroad') and Soviet Russia 1917-1923 (excluding 'Bor-
I have a fair turnover of material from all periods and areas of Russia, surplus to my own re-
quirements and available for exchange. Please state own interests when writing.
95 Lynhurst Ave., Barnstaple, Devon, England
ABOUT THE RUSSAN ZEMSTVO POST
by E. Marcovitch
(translated by C. P. Bulak)
Very few of the present-day young collectors know that in pre-revolutionary Russia there existed a well-organi-
ized Zemstvo postal service and that many of the Zemstvo offices issued their own original postage stamps.
This postal service maintained communication between the county seats and the villages that were distant from
the State post offices in the county seats, by many tens of versts (5/8 mi.) and sometimes by hundreds of versts.
The appearance of the Zemstvo post was the result of reforms introduced by Emperor AlexanderII, when in 1863
a law was enacted concerning the organization of the Zemstvo self-government institutions. In those days, the
State post offices existed in all province (gubernia) capitals and in the County seats. There were no post offic-
in the villages and letters were delivered to the villages very rarely when some official had to go to some vil-
lage. On such occasions he was given a package with the letters addressed for the village inhabitants. A sim-
ilar procedure was used for letters from the village. Whenever some peasant or landowner had to go to the coun-
ty.seat for shopping or other business, such men took the letters, delivering them to the county State post office.
Thus, one of the very first problems for the newly organized Zemstvos was establishing connections between the
Zemstvo offices in the county seats and the villages of the same county. The management of County affairs
would have been impossible without this service. In the beginning, the Zemsovo offices performed these postal
services without charge but, due to their very limited budgets, they started to issue their own local postage
stamps with which were franked both the incoming and outgoing village letters.
The first Zemstvo post was organized in Schlisselburg county of Petersburg province, which, in 1865, issued
the first Zemstvo postage stamp. Very shortly thereafter, other Zemstvos, one after another, followed this ex-
ample so that by 1879 there were over 20 Zemstvo offices issuing their own postage stamps to frank local cor-
In the beginning, the Government frowned on the issuance of such stamps since the Zemstvo post was not leg-
alized and, moreover, according to the law all postal operations were a matter of State business and were all
concentrated in one postal department. But the ramifications of the State postal network did not go past the
county seats and smaller settlements, and villages remained isolated from the outside world. Therefore, the
Government decided to legalize the Zemstvo post, issuing in 1872 an edict establishing rules for the establish-
inent of post by Zemstvos and for the issuance of local postage stamps.
From that moment the Zemstvos Post- and the Zemstvo postage stamps- -became official and, as such, from
the point of view of philatelists, merited inclusion in the general catalogues of postage stamps. And actually,
the catalogues of that period, such as Moens in Brussels, Stanley Gibbons in London, and others, included in
their publications all issues of Zemstvo postage stamps that were known to them. The philatelic magazines,
such as "Le Timbre-Poste" in Paris, periodically gave information about all new issues.
However, due to the large number of Zemstvo issues and the difficulty of their classification, the publishers
ceased listing them in the catalogues, explaining vaguely that these stamps are local, or semi-official, or semi-
private, and that due to these reasons they should not appear in general catalogues. Notwithstanding the above,
the interest of collectors in the Zemstvos stamps not only has NOT disappeared but has increased, and Russian
and worldwide collectors continued to collect and study them.
Already in 1875 the philatelic firm of Moens in Brussels had issued a special catalogue of the Zemstvo postage
stamps under the title "Les Timbres-Poste Ruraux de Russia." Its author was Mr. Koprovsky, a leading expert
of his branch. Later, Moens included them in his world catalogue of postage stamps.
Also in 1875, Dr. Edward Grey (England) published a similar catalogue in English, without price list.
Edward Pemberton, one of the largest English collectors of those years, published in 1878 his "The Stamp
Collector's Handbook," wherein 50 pages were dedicated to Zemstvo stamps.
S Still later, in 1896-1897, Wm. Herrick published his "fully illustrated and giving the present market value of
every stamp" catalogue. His catalogue was also published in 1897 numbers of the "American Journal of Phil-
ately," where, in his lengthy introduction, he states: "The stamps are really semi-official, or if I may express
it thus: Government stamps issued by proxy.
Henry Collin and Henry L Calman in their "Catalogue For Advanced Collectors of Postage Stamps, Envelopes
and Wrappers," published in 1897 by the Scott Stamp & Coin Co., Ltd., New York, in 1897, list in their Part X-
Russia, on pages 704 to 824, all Zemstvo stamps known up to that year.
Nothing was published in Russia during those years about the Zemstvo stamps. Only in 1888 did Chudovsky
publish his "Description of Zemstvo Stamps, Stamped Envelopes and Wrappers." There were no illustrations
or prices, so that publication was of no help to collectors.
Then in 1901 two prominent collectors and Zemstvo stamp experts K. K. Schmidt and A. K. Faberge de-
cided to issue a detailed catalogue of Zemstvo stamps and, in cooperation with the largest Moscow and St.
Petersburg collectors started to prepare the material required for this work. This preliminary work took seven
years and in 1908 both authors started to publish in German in separate series a monumental work entitled:
"DIE POSTWERTZEICHEN DER RUSSISCHEN LANDSCHAFTSAMTER" (The Postal Stamps of Russian Zem-
stvo Offices). The authors were able to publish only twenty chapters of this work about one-half of it. The
last chapter was published in 1916. Due to the war, the continuation of this publication was suspended. Thus,
collectors of the Zemstvo postage stamps were left with an unfinished specialized catalogue. Not until 1925,
subsequent to the Soviet ,Government coming into being, a group of serious collectors, among whom were such
experts as L. L. Breitfuss (a relative of the famous collector F.L. Breitfuss), A.K. Faberge and others under-
took the preparation of the complete catalogue, but a much shorter one than the Schmidt and Faberge publication.
S This catalogue was issued in 1927 by the Soviet Commissioner for Philately and Vouchers, F. G. Chuchin. It
was issued in two editions, one in Russian and the other in English. It is to be regretted that the issue was
limited only 2,000 copies of each. These catalogues were sold out a long time ago and nowadays are rarities.
They appear at times in the auctions of Zemstvo stamps and are priced as high as $50.00. This catalogue at
the present time is the main guide for collectors of Zemstvo stamps and is used by collectors in all countries.
It has numerous omissions and errors but it is very clearly printed and therefore it is simple to us. This ex-
plains its popularity with collectors who use it as a basis for evaluation, purchasing and exchange.
About the same time K.K. Schmidt, who then lived in Germany, renewed his work on the detailed catalogue
which was interrupted in 1916. Alone, he worked over and completed that enormous job and issued his catalo-
gue, which has never been equalled. The stamps were reproduced in full size and beautifully printed by photo-
type. He included illustrations not only of the stamps of all issues, but also of all existing types with the
smallest different details. Of the rarest ones, as for example the 1 kop. stamp of Alatyr Zemstvo 1867 issue, he
reproduced all three known copies of the stamp which were furnished to him for this purpose by the owners.
Each issue had detailed comments. He also listed an illustrated all known new prints, proofs and even the
forgeries, as well as all of the known seals for letters and parcels issued by the Zemstvo offices.
In a few words, this work is an encyclopedia of all that refers to the Zemstvo Post. It was printed on more than
800 pages of letter size. To accomplish this work, K. K. Schmidt was in correspondence with the leading col-
lectors of Zemstvos all over the world and spent many years on this work. To publish this volume, much
money was needed which he did not have. So he, himself, did the work on the typewriter, and repro-
duced it on a rotary device probably resembling a Mimeograph. Only fifty copies were printed and
these were all sold to the subscribers even before they were printed. This publication is a great rar-
ity and appears for sale on very rare occasions, and at a very high price, of course. I know of one
case in which photocopies were made of this work, which were bound infour leather-covered volumes,
at a cost to the collector of several hundred dollars.
The author of this work, K. K. Schmidt, had a very large and good collection of Zemstvo stamps. The
collection was 40 years in the making, this book being the result of his life's work. He did not wish
his collection to be broken up and sold after his death; therefore, while he was alive, he presented it
to the German Postal Museum which placed great value upon his donation and appointed him to be the
supervisor of this donated collection with a small salary which enabled him to exist until the end of
his life. While with the museum, Schmidt made and printed a catalogue of his collection which was
only a very good, short catalogue of Zemstvo stamps, but still more detailed and with less errors and
prices nearer to reality than Chuchin's catalogue. The stamps are reproduced slightly smaller than full
size in this catalogue. Many serious collectors use this catalogue. It has been sold out a long time
and rarely appears on auctions of Zemstvo stamps.
It has always been difficult to obtain Zemstvo stamps, however, because there were over 160 zemstvos
that issued stamps, and an average collector did not have the wherewithal to carry on a correspondence
with all these institutions.
So, the Petersburg Philatelic Society, headed by its founder and president, F.L. Breitfuss, started a
large correspondence with the Zemstvo offices for the purpose of ordering the Zemstvo stamps from
them. This was a difficult and complicated matter. The Zemstvos then felt that philately collect-
ing of stamps was a silly and senseless pastime, and frequently did not answer the letters, while
several zemstvos flatly refused to send the stamps, stating that they needed the stamps to serve the
correspondence. Nevertheless, the Society received many stamps which were distributed among the
members. Many Zemstvo stamps landed, through these members, into the hands of foreign stamp
dealers who specialized in them, among them being Roussin (Paris), Moens (Brussels), Stanley Gibbons
(London), etc. Sometimes F. L. Breitfuss's letters fell into the hands of minor employees of the Zem-
stvo offices. When the requested issues had already been sold out, some employees, with the idea of
making some money, contacted the local printing establishments where the stamps had originally been
printed, asking them to print an additional issue using the original plates and the same colors. When
the printers could find the plates they printed the required stamps in colors as near as possible to the
originals, but sometimes in entirely different colors. Such stamps were sent to the client, i.e., the
Philatelic Society, and this is how the "new prints"originated. At other times, the old plates were
no longer in existence, in which case the printers made new plates, printed the stamps and sent them to
to the employee of the Zemstvo office who ordered them, who, in turn, delivered them to the client -
the Philatelic Society. Such forgeries were frequently discovered and the matter ended in court. But
sometimes the forgery was not detected until considerably later. Such was the case of the first Dnie-
provsk stamp (1866) which was taken as the genuine article for over 50 years. It was considered to be
the second printing of that stamp and only in the 1930's or nearly 70 years later was it finally
proven that these stamps are forgeries, since the second issue never existed. Only 9 copies of this
forgery are known to exist. The originals of this stamp are exceedingly rare and there may only be a
few copies in existence.
Some bogus Zemstvo stamps are also known. They never existed and were the product of some enter-
prising employees who printed and sold them as genuinely used issues. Some of these bogus stamps
were even mentioned in the catalogues of those times. Such new printings, fantasies and forgeries
appeared between 1875 and 1890 and each of such issues has its curious history.
There were no forgeries of Zemstvos stamps in subsequent years due to small demand and because
their production was not'profitable.
Still, during later years a large number of very crude imitations of Zemstvo stamps appeared on the
philatelic market. I saw some of them three years ago in the philatelic shops in Paris, which had
been received from the Soviet Union. One of the first people to see these forgeries was O. A. Faberge
(son of the world-renowned collector of Russian stamps). He was offered a large quantity of these
forgeries but saw at first glance that they were forgeries. He got the idea of comparing them with the
illustrations in Schmidt & Faberge's catalogue. It was noted immediately that these forgeries were
printed from the same plates as the illustrations in the catalogue! This was confirmed by the fact that
the names of the Zemstvos of the forgeries started with the letter "A" and ended with "K"; that is to
say, exactly the same Zemstvos that were in the catalogue which was published in series from 1908
to 1916. O. A. Faberge wrote an interesting article about this which was published in one of the num-
bers of ''ROSSICA".
The Zemstvo stamps were printed exclusively for the postal needs of the villages and settlements of
the county where the State post had no offices, and thus the Zemstvo post was a necessary addition
to the State post. Later, when the State started to open post offices in small settlements and villages,
the Zemstvo post became superfluous; its offices were closed, most of them having been incorporated
into the newly-opened State post offices.
During the years 1870 to 1880, there were about 100 Zemstvos issuing their own stamps. Between 1880
and 1890 the number was dimished to 92, and during the final years before the revolution, this figure
dropped to 48.
Due to all these reasons, there were only few speculative issues among Zemstvo stamps a history
similar to that of the State issues of nearly all countries. Still, there were a few attempts to make
speculative issues. For example, the Poltava Zemstvo had its first issue in 1903, which issue, with-
out doubt, served postal needs exclusively. These stamps were ordered in small quantities from the
local printing firm and were used up in a short time. After that, the Zemstvo office started ordering
stamps from the Government Printing Office, such orders were placed four times: in 1904, 1906, 1909
A certain employee, Ganko, appeared in the Poltava Zemstvo in 1909 and, in all probability, became
the postmaster. This Ganko saw that the Zemstvo stamps might bring some profit to the Zemstvo of-
fice and some income to himself as well. At his initiation, there was issued in 1909 a very attrac-
tive series of stamps commemorating the Battle of Poltava. The stamps bear the portraits of Peter
the Great and of numerous monuments to the Battle of Poltava. The series was issued both perforate
and imperforate. After that, Ganka had the Government Printing Office issues overprinted with the
new values, and in different colors. This was followed by the new-value overprint on the recently
issued commemorative stamps. In 1912 Ganko issued several different series of official stamps to
be used by different branches of the Zemstvo institutions. And soon after that he converted these
official stamps into ordinary postage stamps via corresponding surcharges. The activity of Ganko
ended here. In all probability he resigned, but surely he obtained for himself quite a quantity of the
stamps issued by him which he bought at the Zemstvo office at face value. Doing business with these
stamps, he decided to make some money in a strictly legal manner. To increase the sale of his stock,
he issued in 1914 a small pamphlet entitled "Zemstvo Post of Poltava County" in which he gives a
detailed description of all issues, indicating quantities issued. I have in my collection a registered
letter franked with the commemorative stamps. The address is written by Ganko, the letter addressed
to himself. In all probability this was not the only such letter; he must have been selling them to the
members of the Philatelic Society. But, at the present time, these covers are exceedingly rare and I have not
seen one in any collection nor in the catalogues of Zemstvo stamps auctions.
There were also other Zemstvos which issued large quantities of different stamps to help their budgets.
Among them: Belozersk with 85 different stamps; Bogorodsk, 150 different; Griazovetz, 122; Lokh-
vitza, 76.' But such Zemstvos are exceptions. Most of them had very limited issues of very few var-
ieties for their postal needs only. This fact makes the collecting of Zemstvo stamps especially
I must add that some Zemstvos also issued stamped envelopes (Bogorodsk, etc.), postcards (Pskov),
and wrappers (Bogorodsk), the latter for wrapping the bundles of letters addressed to different villages.
Two Zemstvos (Fatezh and Toropetz) had stamped envelopes only, but no stamps. And 13 Zemstvos had both
stamps and stamped-envelopes.
Sometimes one may find in Zemstvo collections special paper seals, frequently resembling the Zemstvo stamps.
They were used to seal the official correspondence of Zemstvo offices and as such were used as official postal
stamps free of postal paid franking. Such covers postally used are exceedingly rare. These paper seals were
sometimes issued by Zemstvos which had no postage stamps.
K. K. Schmidt, in his major catalogue, lists all known issues of the paper seals which are collected now by
serious philatelists, as well as then.
Particularly rare are the Zemstvo letters that had no postage stamps but their own free delivery service. Such
letters have only a seal with the name of the village from whence the letter\was sent. I have seen such letters
only once in the collection of M. B. Lifshitz who, during the 20 years he\has been collecting, has found only
two such covers. This is not strange since in the earlier times collectors did not pay any attention to the cov-
ers that had no stamps on them and such letters were almost always lost.
Some Zemstvos also issued their local fiscal stamps to pay for different taxes and charges (medical prescrip-
tions; medical containers; etc.) and some other services as, for example, Simbirsk Zemstvo which issued spe-
cial stamps for the payment made for use of the Zemstvo horses.
The Simferopol Zemstvo issued local stamps for several years to pay court fees.
Even if these stamps were not postal, K. K. Schmidt lists them in his major work, with illustrations.
He also describes Novorzhev Zemstvo stamps. They carry the name of Zemstvo and the value, but neither
K. K. Schmidt nor anybody else knows what they were meant for.
In 1918 the Soviet of Workmen's Representatives of the town of Luga (Petersburg Prov.), issued a finely-engrav-
ed series of stamps which had only the value and "R.S.F.S.R. LUG'A SOVDEP". The 1924 'Soviet Philate-
list" has an article about these stamps but not even the official organ of the All-Russian Philatelic Associa-
tion knows what these stamps were issued for.
In 1938 K. K. Schmidt published in "ROSSIKA" (which was then issued in Jugoslavia by E. M. Archangelsky)
a small article about his discovery. He was fortunate to find a stamp of Yelninsk Zemstvo; the only copy of
this stamp was in his collection and now, in all probability, is in the collection donated by him, as I mentioned
before, to the Berlin Postal Museum.
A detailed description and illustration of the stamp of Zmeinogorsk Zemstvo of Tomsk Prov. is given in Chu-
chin's catalogue. It is not known to any western collector. Siberia had no Zemstvo institutions until the March
1917 revolution; therefore, the editors of Chuchin's catalogue believe that this stamp was issued during the per-
iod of the Provisional Government in 1917, or perhaps during Admiral Kolchak's regime of 1918. The latter is
the more probable since the face value 35 kop. is rather high and corresponds closer to the 1918 valua-
I also wish to mention the stamps of Amur Zemstvo (Eastern Siberia) which were issued during that same period.
They were printed on a thin cardboard on both sides. The obverse side had "Amur Territory Zemstvo Post",
and the value. The reverse had value only, on wavy-line background. Notwithstanding the word 'Post", these
stamps were not used for postage but as a substitute for small coins. No one has seen them on covers. K. K.
Schmidt lists these stamps also.
I wish to say finally that Zemstvo stamps are uniquely attractive for collectors. They reflect old Russian folk-
lore. The designs were made by amateur artists and the stamps were printed in a priiative way is small pro-
vincial printing offices. All this gives them a special character which attracts both Russian and foreign col-
lectors. This may also explain why the largest collections are now abroad, principally in England, United
States, France, Germany and Belgium. Hardly anybody now collects Zemstvo stamps in the Soviet Union. Toc
few remain there and they are unobtainable. There may only be a few of the old collectors who were fortunate
enough to preserve their collections.
Translator' Comments: For further data on the legal status of Zemstvo stamps, readers should refer them-
selves to Schmidt's 'Introduction", Sokolov's "Zemstvo Post" and Bulak's "why Zemstvo stamps have dis-
appeared from catalogues" (see Rossica Journals Nos. 72 to 75 for all these sources).
The activities of Ganko in Poltava do not mean that he was speculating in large amounts of stamps. The total
printing for the Poltava Commemorative series was 9000 perf. and 1000 imperf., which is pitifully small by to-
days's standards. I also have one of the covers mailed to himself and consider such items to be a rarity.
Although more Zemstvo collections probably left the county than stayed behind during the revolutionary period,
I do not agree that hardly anyone now collects Zemstvos in the USSR. The excesses of the revolution have dis-
appeared and I believe that the collectors there love and respect the past postal history of their country.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Another Ganko cover is illustrated in an article by two Leningrad collectors, L.
Semenov and V. Fleetwood in "Filateliya SSSR" for Nov.-Dec. 1968 and members will see from our "Book
Reviews" section that the interest shown by the articles published on the subject of the Zemstvo Posts in
this monthly magazine is considerable.
Two fine Soviet exhibits of Zemstvo material, including both sheet and cover material, were on display at the
"Sofia-69" show and they both got high awards. Please see the report on the exhibition, printed elsewhere
in this number, for details.
METHODS OF DISPATCHING MAIL
(translated by Kurt Adler from the Russian Postal Guide for 1916)
Postal sending may be divided into domestic and international services. Domestic postal services are those
which take place within the borders of the Empire, while international services are those which occur between
Russia (including Finland) and foreign countries.
Domestic postal services are subdivided into the categories of:
3) mail sent under wrappers, commercial papers, samples of goods and printed matter.
4) letters with declared value
International postal services cover the categories of:
1) letters (lettres)
2) postcards (cartes postales)
3) postal wrappers envoiss a taxe reduite), commercial papers paperss d'affaires), samples of goods
(echantillons de marchandises) and printed matter (imprimes)
4) letters with declared value (lettres avec valeur declaree)
5) light packages (colis postaux) and parcels (colis de messagerie)
PLACES WHERE POSTAL SERVICES ARE CARRIED OUT:
I. Postal operations of all types covering the above-mentioned services are carried out at main post offices, all
postal and telegraph offices and branches, together with the following special services:-
1) Domestic Operation: money transfers by post or telegraph; receipt and delivery to destination of postal C.O.
D. sending and the delivery of periodicals to subscribers within the Empire.
2) International Operation: the transfer of money by post and the receipt of subscriptions for foreign periodi-
The only exceptions are some postal agencies at railroad stations, where postal services are restricted to the
receipt and delivery of ordinary and registered correspondence and to the sale of postage stamps.
II. In 'volost" (district) and "stanitsa" (Cossack village) administrations, rural and "gmina" (village headman)
centres, where auxiliary postal facilities are provided, such as
1) the acceptance and handing out of postal material of all types, with some restrictions based on the law of
24 January 1900, as follows:-
a) sale of postage stamps;
b) receipt and delivery of domestic and international ordinary and registered mail, letters, postcards, pos-
tal wrappers, and also the delivery of periodicals;
c) acceptance of domestic open letters with declared value not exceeding 200 rubles, consisting only of the
enclosure of valid currency of the Empire, and also of packages with or without declared value;
d) delivery of domestic open and sealed letters with declared value, and of packages
2) acceptance and delivery of ordinary mail and sale of postage stamps based on the regulations of 29 June
1894, laid down by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
NOTE 1: In the "volost" (district) administrations, only private, fully franked letters, postcards, postal wrap-
pers, notifications and periodicals will be accepted. For the delivery of the above-mentioned categories of
mail, the volost administrations have the right to collect the following fees from the addressees:-
a) not more than 3 kopeks for each letter or postcard
b) not more than 1 kopek for each postal wrapper
c) not more than 60 kopeks per year or 5 kopeks per month for periodicals.
NOTE 2: In the volost administrations, the above-mentioned categories of mail will only be delivered if add-
ressed to peasants or other persons within the jurisdiction of that particular administration. Mail addressed to
persons of other status will be given out by volost administrations only on written declaration by such persons
of their wish to receive mail in the volost administrations. Such declarations should be deposited at the post
office nearest the volost administration.
NOTE 3: Mail at reduced rates (letter and postcard categories only) will be accepted and given out at volost
administrations only if organizations and the persons under their jurisdiction will submit to the nearest post
and telegraph office desire to receive such reduced rate mail from the volost administrations. Mail at reduced
rates will be given out free of charge.
3) only the sale of postage stamps, on the basis of the above-mentioned regulations.
III. At railroad stations without post and telegraph facilities, special auxiliary postal stations will be establish-
ed and will handle the following services:-
1) Receipt and giving out of mail of all categories, with some restrictions based on the law of 24 January 1900,
a) the sale of postage stamps
b) receipt and giving out of domestic and international ordinary and registered mail, such as letters, post-
cards, postal wrappers and also the handing out of periodicals
c) acceptance of domestic open letters with declared value not exceeding 200 rubles, containing only money
that has circulation in the Empire, as well as packages with or without declared value
d) the giving out of domestic open and sealed letters and packages with declared value
NOTE: Postal and telegraphic money orders, addressed to persons living in a district served by a railroad
station, will be sent to the postal and telegraph office nearest the station concerned, The postal and tele-
graph office will send the money to the station for the addressee in a sealed letter with declared value. If the
money order is sent by postal means, a receipt voucher will be mailed together with the money.
2) The receipt and giving out of ordinary and registered mail and the sale of postage stamps, on the basis of
regulations, confirmed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs on 19 Sept. 1901.
NOTE: The station master will collect a fee of 3 kopeks for each piece of registered mail.
3) The receipt and giving out of ordinary mail.
NOTE: The station master will collect a fee of 3 kopeks for each letter or postcard. Reduced rate mail, news-
papers and other periodicals will be given out free of charge.
BUSINESS HOURS FOR POSTAL OPERATIONS:
Postal services of every category will take place as follows:-
1) at the G.P.O.s in Petrograd and Moscow from 9 am to 4 pm.
2) at all other post offices, including branches in each town, from 8 am to 2 pm.
In addition to the above-mentioned hours, the receipt and giving out of ordinary and registered mail, as well
as the sale of postage stamps, will also take place in the evening for not less than two hours, in accordance
with local conditions, after having been confirmed by the chief postmaster in each town. However, for post
offices below the rank of third class, the decision for the establishment of evening hours will be made by the
postmaster of the local post office, in accordance with local conditions.
At post offices with restricted services on railroad stations, such operations will take place in accordance
with the train timetable, but in any case, the office will be open one hour before the departure of the train
carrying the mail.
In all postal and telegraph offices where telegrams are accepted, postal operations will take place during the
entire period that telegrams are accepted, but no later than 10 pm. On railroad stations without postal facili-
ties, operations will take place from 8am to 11 am and from 4 pm to 6 pm. If the arrival of mail trains does not
coincide with these times, postal services will also take place one hour before the arrival of each mail train.
In volost administrations, postal operations will be carried out from 8 am to 2 pm.
I. Postal services will not take place on the following days:-
1) New Year's Day (1 January).
2) The first day of Easter
3) The Annunciation of the Virgin Mary (25 March)
4) Name day of the Tsar (6 December)
5) First day of Christmas (25 December).
II. Postal services will take place for two hours only on the following days:- 0
1) Epiphany (6 January).
2) Candlemass Day (2 February).
3) Trinity Day
4) Day of the removal of the reliquies of St. Nicholas, the worker of miracles (9 May)
5) Day of the Blessed Coronation of their Imperial Highnesses (14 May)
6) St. Peter & Paul's Day (29 June).
7) Day of the Transfiguration (6 August).
8) Assumption of the Holy Virgin (15 August).
9) The beheading of St. John the Baptist (29 August).
10) Birthday of Mary (8 September).
11) The Movement of the Cross (14 September).
12) Day of St. John the Divine (26 September).
13) Feast of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin (1 October):
14) Feast Day of the Virgin of Kazan ((22 October).
15) The Leading of the Virgin to the Temple (21 November).
16) Second and third days of Christmas (26 & 27 December).
17) Saturday of Shrovetide.
18) Friday & Saturday of Passion Week.
19) Second Day of Easter.
20) Ascention of the Saviour
22) Name Day of her Imperial Highness Aleksandra Fedrovna (23 April).
23) Birthday of the Emperor (6 May).
24) Birthday of the Empress Aleksandra Fedorovna (25 March).
25) Name day of her Imperial Highness Maria Fedorovna (22 June).
26) Birthday of the Crown Prince (30 June).
27) Name Day of the Crown Prince (5 October).
28) Accesion to the throne of His Imperial Highness (21 October).
29) Birthday of Her Imperial Highness Maria Fedorovna (14 November).
30) All Sundays
III. The designation of the specific hours for postal services on the days, enumerated under paragraph II, is
left to the discretion of the management of the city post offices.
ROSSICA and INTERPEX
by R. Polchaninov
Translated from: NOVOYE RUSSEKOYE SLOVO, Russian Daily, Sunday, March 30, 1969.
The 40th Anniversary of the Society of Russian Philately, ROSSICA, was a notable event of Interpex. Apart
from this, two collections were shown by members of the Society. In addition to the Soviet Government display,
there were two more collections dedicated to the History of the Russian Post. One of them presented the covers,
with stamps, of the Russian Levant and was part of the 'Judaica", while the second one presented Airmail from
Przemysl, beseiged by Russians in 1915; and Vienna-Lvov-Kiev Airmail during the 1918 occupation. This was
shown by a member of the Airmail Society. Fred Speers, who specially flew from California to take part in Ii.
terpex (see illustration), also showed his collection, which I will describe.
To give a better idea of the Russian material shown, the Directors of ROSSICA decided to present all collec-
tions in chronological order; and, apart from the Interpex Awards, donate its "Grand Prix" and three addition
The first Award collection was an exceptional one of the stampless covers of Kurt Adler, President of ROSSICA,
and a well known collector on both sides of the ocean. This collection began with a letter from Catherine the
Great's times, with the 1766 cancellation of St. Petersburg. This is the earliest known Russian postal carc:
lation. There was a total of about 100 early covers. This unique collection has received a bronze medal, al-
though it completely deserved a gold one. The under-valuing of this collection shows the lack of knowledge of
the Interpex Jury on the subject of the history of the Russian Post. For the ROSSICA Jury, in which Mr. Adler
took part along with a noted specialist and dealer, C. Serebrakian, this collection was considered to be non-
competitive. The second Adler collection presented essays of Russia and of U.S.S.R.
The Vice-President of ROSSICA, Gordon Torrey, exhibited his collection of stamps of Imperial Russia, used
abroad, for which he received the First Prize Medal from ROSSICA Society.
Fred Speers of California, showed his unique collection of essays and proofs of the Romanov 300th Jubilee
issue. Part of them, it is understood, belonged to the Emperor Nicholas II. One of the essays with the por-
trait of the last Emperor, has an annotation in the Emperor's handwriting: 'no good:' Other essays showed the
Emperor's portraits, face, profiles, and different postures. Also shown were essays of various frames, and
numerous proofs of different colors and shades in different combinations, so that a special commission could
select the best samples for the issue. This collection merited and received ROSSICA's "Grand Prix" and an
Interpex gold medal.
The second of Fred Speers' collections was in the Airmail section. The first page showed postcards issued
during the Imperial times to commemorate the flights of Efimov and Matsievich. It also contained a 1915 postcard,
showing an airplane and a group of army fliers. The Soviet period started with the exceptionally rare stamps
known as "Consular Post" for the Moscow-Berlin flight, with the price surcharged in German marks. Notably
complete was a collection of non-postal airmail vignettes that were issued in U.S.S.R. to help in the construction
of planes. Some of them had inscriptions: "obligatory distribution forbidden". The stamps of the members'
dues of "Osaviachim" were presented fairly complete. Among the covers with special aviation cancellations,
there should be noted the rare cover of the first flight from Moscow to Teheran, 30-X-1924, which is not even
listed in Ya. Vovin's Soviet Catalog of Special Cancellations. Well presented was a collection of airmail labels,
differing by the sizes of frames, their design, size of letters and other details. The Soviet airmails were pre-
sented with all the details, proofs, sizes differing from 1 to 1 mm. Such varieties resulted from drying of paper,
depending on the amount of moisture in paper during the printing process. This collection was awarded an Inter-
Lee Shneidman showed his collection of ''Inflation and Philatelic Anarchy". This collection shows the let-
ters pasted all over with the devalued stamps, the designs of the first Soviet stamps and numerous errors.
Norman Epstein presented a very full collection of the so-called "Wrangel Post", where, besides the stamps,
were shown the cancellations of all Russian refugee camps where Russian refugee Post Offices existed. These
stamps, overprinted "Russian Army Post" and "Russian Post", actually should belong to the category of the
stamps issued by the exiled Governments. However, Scott and Yvert prefer them to be listed under Russian
levant, since the camps where the Russian Volunteer Army was placed after evacuation of the Crimea, were in
The largest collection, considering the amount of material shown, was the astonishing collection of Zemstvo
post of Emil Marcovitch. It is very complete and artistically formed. The Coats of Arms of all Zemstvos were
done with water colors by the Paris painter, Boris Vasilievich Zvorykin, who died in 1945. In this collection,
one must note the 63 Zemstvo covers with interesting cancellations, with the State and Zemstvo stamps; and
two covers one from Constantinople, and the other from Lubeck with German and Zemstvo stamps on one cover.
The interesting cancellations one should note-of special interest is one of Orgeev, Province of Bessarabia,
with sexagonal Jewish star in the center. S. Serebrakian, who has a similar cover, states that this canceller
was in use a very short time. One of the covers in Mr. Marcovitch's collection has a State stamp, together
with the Zemstvo stamp, cancelled 23/XI/83. The average price of Zemstvo covers varies from $20 to $40;
however, the rare ones are worth many times more.
The pride of Mr. Marcovitch's collection is the exceedingly rare cover of Sumy County, Kharkov Province, with
1869, #4 stamp. The Borovitchi, Novgorod Province, with#1, 1868 stamp, and Vasilsursk County, Nizhny-N.
Province, also with 1871 Stamp #1, are also rare.
All Zemstvo stamps, not only those on cover, are of great interest to admirers of old Russian Postal History.
It is sufficient just to look at the sheet of Krapivna County, Tula Province, of 60 stamps. Each of these was
printed on hand press, each stamp numbered by hand (Nos. 271 to 330). This collection has received the se-'
cond prize of ROSSICA and an Interpex bronze medal.
As a continuation of the Zemstvo stamps, there was a second smaller collection of the Zemstvo stamps, there
was a second smaller collection of Zemstvos by B. Shishkin, which received ROSSICA's 3rd prize medal.
The second Marcovitch collection consisted of 60 sheets of the charity and commemorative (non-postage)
vignettes (labels) of Russia, as well as the foreign ones on Russian subjects, issued prior to 1914. One of
the earliest ones is a label of the International Congress of Orientalists in St. Petersburg in 1876, with French
text. It is followed by the 1879 Riga Agricultural Fair, with the text in German. The covers and postcards, is-
sued in 1899, to commemorate the unveiling of the monument to Alexander I (100th Anniversary of the Battle of
Smolensk with Napoleon) is interesting. The labels were issued, but there was no monument, since, due to the
beginning of the First World War, the metal was used for guns.
Ten of these sheets showed the French labels issued in 1896, and in 1901, to commemorate the visit of the
Russian Emperor to France. Also shown were the vignettes commemorating the participation of Russia in
1878 (very rare), and in 1900, in the World Fairs in Paris.
Together with his collection of Vignettes, Mr. Marcovitch showed an interesting collection of portraits of the
Imperial Family and of noted men of Russia, such vignettes having been included with the merchandise of the
French firm of Felix Poten; along with multicolored labels of the Russian firm of Einem with views of Mos-
cow, world composers and Russian writers.
Jacques Posell exhibited the best part of his large collection of Fiscal stamps, mostly all ''specimens", and
the complete set of the consular stamps of the Russian Empire.
The renowned dealer and specialist of Russian stamps, mainly of the Caucasus S. Serebrakian had his
stand close to his dealer's booth. His exhibit had many Zemstvo stamps and covers. Among the covers and
stamps were some exceedingly rare ones: Tuva imperforates; Soviet stamps of the Thirties; rare Armenian
surcharges and overprints on Empire stamps.
Finally there was a piece that astonished me more than anything else, which must be mentioned. S. Serebrakian
presented a "Near East Relief Constantinople" cover with the Georgian Levant stamp cancelled by Geor-
gian cancellation stamp of Constantinople in January, 1921, and received in Tbilisi 7-II-21 with annotation of
20 kop. postage due. The stamps of the Georgian Levant are considered as fantasies to date. It is known they
were made by an official of the Georgian Consulate in Constantinople, but have not been used as intended. No-
body has ever'mentioned a cover franked with these stamps that went through the mails.
This unique cover, and I have not heard of the existence of another, should be expertise and, if the seals are
found to be genuine ones, then the Georgian Levant stamps should be recognized as genuine. It is quite poss-
ible that there was no actual need in their issue. But, is there an actual need for United Nations Stamps? No
one names them as fantasies. If Scott and Yvert consider the "Wrangel Post" to be a genuine one, then the
Georgian Levant should be legally recognized, providing, of course, that Mr. Serebrakian's cover is not a forg-
The revision of Georgian Levant's status, if it is made, would result in the most memorable event of the Elev-
enth Interpex Exhibition.
Fred W. Speers, standing, addresses
meeting on Sunday, 16 March 1969,
with Pres. Kurt Adler at left and
Sec. J. Chudoba at right.
PAPER MONEY OF MONGOLIA AND TANNU-TUVA
by Yu.. Pakhomov
(translated from the monthly magazine '' Filateliya SSSR", issue for August 1969. Published in Moscow by the
Ministry of Communications and the All-Union Society of Philatelists).
Until 1921, Russian and Chinese currencies were in circulation in Mongolia, as well as notes of Chinese trad-
ing firms and money substitutes such as bricks of tea, bars of silver, silk handkerchiefs and Mexican dollars.
Trade by barter prevailed and a consistent monetary system did not exist.
In the town of Urga, which had been seized by the counter-revolutionary bands of Baron Ungern, cent and
dollar banknotes were printed in 1921 but without specifying the date of issue. However, the White forces did
not get around to placing them in circulation. On 10 July 1921, Urga, the capital of Mongolia, was cleared by
the combined operations of the Mongolian National and the Soviet Red Armies and a regular National Govern-
ment of Outer Mongolia was set up, lead by the Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief, Sukhe-Bator, and his
In that same year, an issue of 6% short term bonds of the Mongolian State Treasury was produced by the lith-
ographic process and placed in circulation in Urga. These bonds were inscribed in the Mongolian, Russian
and English languages and featured a sheep on the 10-dollar value, an ox ($25), a horse (S50) and a camel
($100). The bonds were signed in Mongolian by Tsiven, the Minister of Finance and in French by Lavrov, the
Tuva formed part of Mongolia, but after the national revolution of 1921, the National Republic of Tannu-Tuva
was formed. An independent monetary system in lans and aksha existed in Tannu-Tuva from 1924 to 1914.
The Tuvan Autonomous Region was set up on 13 October 1944 and at the present time, it exists as the Tuvan
Autonomous Soviet Socialist Rupublic, forming part of the RSFSR.
The paper money of Mongolia and Tannu-Tuva is set out in tabular form below, as follows:
No. Year Value Notes
1 1921 50 cents In colors. Not issued
2 1 dollar
3 3 dollars
4 5 dollars
5 10 dollars
6 25 dollars
7 10 dollars 6%'short-term bonds
8 "" 25 dollars
9 50 dollars "'
10 100 dollars
11 1925 1 tugrik 1 tugrik equal to 22.5 kopeks
12 2 tugriks
13 5 "
14 10 "
15 25 "
16 50 "
17 100 "
18 1939 1 tugrik
19 3 tugriks
20 5 "
24 100 "
25 1941 1 tugrik
26 3 tugriks
32 1955 1 tugrik
33 2 tugriks
34 5 "
35 10 "
37 50 "
38 100 "
39 1966 1 tugrik All issues for 1966 in small size
40 2 tugriks
41 5 "
42 10 "
43 25 "
44 50 "
45 100' "" .
No. Year Value Notes
1 1924 1 lan Surcharge in the Mongolian language on 1-ruble note of 1898.
2 3 lans 3-ruble "1905.
3 5 lans 5-ruble "1909.
4 10 plans 10-ruble "1909.
On these four denominations, the signatures are those of Buyan Badarkhu, Chairman of the Council of Ministers,
Tunzuk, Minister of Finance and Medvedev, assistant to the advisor of the Ministry of Finances.
Note: One lan was equal to 1r. 40 k. in gold, bit it was conditionally rounded off to one ruble. The lans were
in circulation for one year and then exchanged for chervontsy (10-ruble banknotes).
5 1927-1934 1 ruble Surcharge on the Soviet 1-ruble note of 1924.
6 3 ruble 3-ruble 1925.
7 "5 ruble 5-ruble 1925.
8 1 chervonets 1-chervonets 1926.
9 2 chervonets 2-chervonets 1928.
10 1935 1 aksha
15 1940 1
Soviet paper money is now in circulation.
Note: According to a report from TASS, as given in "Pravda" for 3 May 1946, a quantity of 248 boxes of Mon-
golian paper money were discovered in Japan, where they had been printed. It was probably intended to utilize
them in Inner Mongolia, but as Japan had capitulated in 1945, this plan did not come about. There are no further
details on this matter.
A COVER WITH THE 10 KOP. "KITAI" OVERPRINT ON VERTICALLY LAID PAPER
by Kurt Adler
In 1964, at a dealer's booth at the "Philatec" International Stamp Exhibition in Paris, I was offered some
Russian Offices in China covers, addressed to A. Diercking, Chief Clerk at the Public Works Department in
Shanghai and one of the foremost China postal history collectors of his day.
Among the covers, there was one, clearly philatelic, with six Russian Offices in China stamps. It was add-
ressed to Diercking and cancelled "SHANGHAI POSTE RUSSE b 7.4.10". Among these stamps there was a
10-kopek value. Almost mechanically, as I always do when I see a "KITAI" 10-kopek stamp, I held the cover
up to the light and had to keep a poker face when I noticed that the stamp was a lower margin copy of the ver-
tically laid paper rarity, never yet seen on cover .(Fig. 1). The price was, 7, if I remember correctly.
I acquired this and some other Diercking covers and showed my prize item off to my philatelic friends at a par-
ty the same night. After a lot of exclamations of "formidable", the cover was scrutinized in detail and, "helas",
it was found that one of the two postmarks on the 10-kopek stamp was slightly shifted and that the two cancels
were not quite the same as on the other stamps. It appeared, therefore, that the first two cancels had been
forged, thus ruining a perfectly genuine and rare mint 10-kopek stamp.
My glory was thus short-lived. But a nagging doubt continued to linger in my mind. I could not understand why
Diercking would fake a postmark just to have the 10-kopek stamp on cover, when he could have placed it on a
separate envelope just as well. After my return home, I dug into my covers bearing "SHANGHAI POSTE RUSSE
b" cancellations, to compare the strikes over a period of years. This is what I finally came up with:-
The ''SHANGHAI POSTE RUSSE b" markings on all other stamps on the cover in question were definitely gen-
uine, as can also be demonstrated from the state of the postmarks on a 1913 cover with four Romanov stamps,
which are scarce used in China (Fig. 2). The "SS" of "RUSSE" are well-rounded and the "N" and "G" of
' 'SHANGHAI" are well separated from each other. On a 1916 cover, the canceller had already deteriorated
somewhat. By now, the letters were heavier, and the upper parts of the "S" were not rounded any more, but
tended to be angular (see Fig.3). Also the stars were not as clear as in the 1913 state. A further cover from
Irkutsk during the Civil War period and addressed to Shanghai in 1919, shows the same cancel applied as an
arrival marking dated 23.12.19 and with further deterioration along the same lines. The"SS" were now angular
at both top and bottom, the "G" and "H" were now connected, while the stars still corresponded to the 1916
state. The state of the 1919 postmark was identical with the two strikes on the 10-kop. stamp with vertically
laid paper, dated 7.4.10.
Now the riddle appeared to have been solved. Mr. Diercking did, in fact, want to have this rarity on cover. But
instead of faking the postmark, he put the stamp on a 1910 philatelic cover (Fig. 1) and in 1919 or later, when
conditions at the Russian Post Office in Shanghai must have been relaxed, to say the least, he either approached
a friendly postal clerk to change the date back to 7.4.10 on the canceller and had two strikes put on the stamp
affixed horizontally to the cover, or he may have done it himself at the post office. The first impression must
have been faint, although still visible on the stamp and he put another one on top of it, which accounts for the
minute shift. For good measure, he placed another strike below which covers the lower part of the stamp. He
was now the sole possessor of this stamp on cover!
We are, therefore, confronted with a genuine cancellation, which was put on at least nine years later "par
complaisance" (by favor). While the cover thus has a black mark, (I would never show it at an exhibition), it
still is the only example so far of a 10-kopek stamp on vertically laid paper, used on cover but cancelled with
a genuine and very philatelic postmark, with the date changed back in the canceller to fit the other strikes on
the same envelope.
SEE ILLUSTRATION ON FOLLOWING PAGE
HEALTH DEPARTMENT of the SHANGQHA MUNICIPAL OUNOIL* .
SPublio Work's Departme nt
' 1 n." Fig. 2
il "'' \ b-
..I .. .
4 V). $F... -, :J -.4
;3 ~b Fig. 4
PRINTING VARIETIES OF SOVIET AIR LABELS
by J. Posell
Collectors of Soviet aviation propaganda labels have perhaps noticed the several varieties in printing which oc-
cur in the particular issue here described and illustrated. This is one of many stamps issued by the "Society
of Friends of the Air Fleet" (Obshestvo Druzei Vosdushnoyo Flota). This organization was formed in 1923
with the intention of creating airmindedness among the people and to raise funds for the newly developing Sov-
iet air fleet. From approximately 1923 To 1927 various units of the ODVF in Moscow, Poltava, Odessa, Pskov
and many other cities and districts of Soviet Russia printed labels which could be affixed to mail but which in
themselves had no postal value. These were sold to the public but their purchase was not compulsory and many
have printed on the back forced distribution isprohibited". The precise number of varieties or types of these
labels is unknown as is the quantity of printings and the exact dates of issue.
The ODVF and similar groups served a useful function during the formative years of the Soviet regime. The
ODVF in particular grew tremendously in popularity and recruited more than a million members in its first year
of existence. It was later merged with the chemical society which unit was then called OSOAVIAKHIM. This
latter society is well remembered for having trained great numbers of people in parachute jumping. These
aviation societies existed for five or six years and were in time dissolved by the Soviet government. Some of
the stamps were printed in Moscow for general use for all of Russia while others were printed locally. They are
varied in design and subject matter and are of interest to Russian philatelists and to air mail collectors in gen-
eral as a historical phase of Soviet aviation.
The particular stamp here described and illustrated contains an interesting number of varieties which is here
brought to the attention of collectors. The stamp design consists of two panels; the upper section pictures an
aeroplane facing left amid sun rays with the letters CCCP underneath the plane, and a balloon to the right. The
lower panel consists of the denomination and the legend: O-VO DRUZEI VOZDUSHNOGO FLOTA. The stamps
are perforated 11/. Each stamp has an outer frame and the total measurements including frame are 36 x 27 mm.
However, type 1 measures 35 x 26'/ mm. and is found with frame and without frame. The major differences of
this issue can be divided into five types. The author is particularly indebted to Emil Marcovitch for valuable
assistance. As far as is known, this is as complete a listing as could be assembled at this writing. Other
values, types and overprints may exist and if so, vie would gladly welcome additional information.
Type 1. Single lines of rays. CCCP in solid color with dot after P. Balloon vertical. Sun in lower right corner
a. without frame b. with frame
1 rub. orange 1 rub. red
2 rub. blue 2 rub. blue
5 rub. lilan and dull orange 5 rub. lilac and dull orange
Type 2. Rays of sun alternately shaded. Balloon hangs leftward.
CCCP in thin clear lettering Sun in lower right corner in rounded quarter circle. Area in front of
1 rub. grey
2 rub. green
3 rub. blue
5 rub. rose
Type 3. Same as type 2 but CCCP in thick clear lettering. The word "rublei" under numeral value.
10 rub. grey
25 rub. green olive (missing)
S Type 4. Same as previous issues but with clear area in front of propeller
2 rub. green
5 rub. rose.
Type 5. Sun area completely shaded without rays. Clear area in front of propeller.
1 rub. grey
3 rub. blue
Stamps with new surcharges in black exist as follows:
On type 2. 10 rub. on 1 rub. grey
25 rub. on 3 rub. blue
50 rub. on 5 rub. rose
On type 3. Surcharged diagonally on 10 rub. grey
25 rub. ODVF (missing)
100 rub. ODVF
On type 4. 25 rub. on 2 rub. green
On type 5. 10 rub. on 1 rub. dark grey.
100 rub. on 1 rub. dark grey.
300 r. ODVFTR on 1 rub. grey is an issue of the Tartar republic. (missing) Information supplied
by E.E. Stefanowsky, Kharkov.
Stamps with letters BSSR underneath plane are from White Russia. These have the thin clear letters of type 2
and shaded sun rays and clear space in front of propeller of type 4. The numerals differ from those on the Rus -
sian stamps with the abreviated word kop. under the numeral value. We know of three values.
2 kop. brown
25 kop. orange
50 kop. green
SEE ILLUSTRATION ON FOLLOWING PAGE
t.l without frame type 1 with frame e 2 type 3
o ilT ., ....A
---U--- -------rrl n w w w m w
"ype4 t type 2te en typ 3
-B -__ ."'_i- ...j....
on type White Russia
EARLY SOVIET FIRST FLIGHT PHILATELY
by Fred W. Speers
In pursuing the surprisingly involved subject of Soviet aerophilately one cannot help but be struck by the fact
that only a few casual efforts have been made to tabulate dates of first flights both international and internal.
Three such efforts are represented in D. Field's "Priced Catalogue of Air Mail Stamps and Airposts of the
World" (1934), Theodore Champion's "Obliterations Vols postaux, cachets et obliterations specials"
(1937) and Vol. II of "The American Air Mail Catalogue" (reprinted in 1963).
By piecing together the information contained in those secondary sources and by adding bits of pertinent infor-
mation gleaned from references in still other sources, one can put together a fairly comprehensive list although
one that still is obviously riddled with vexing gaps.
For what it may be worth basically a starting foundation for further additions presented below is such a
list, divided by years and embellished with comments on cachets, markings and other points of interest.
May 3 First Moscow-Koenigsberg Berlin flight by Deruluft. Carried a boxed straight line "Mit Luftpost"
cachet. (It should be noted that four years earlier on March 30, 1918, Austrian military flyers opened a Vienna-
Cracow-Lemberg route which was extended to Kiev for the carrying of diplomatic mail. On August 24, 1918,
diplomatic mail was flown from Kiev over this route and sent on to Berlin. It carried a cachet illustrated in the
British Society of Russian Philately Journal No. 17, page 511).
July 15 Start of the short-lived Berlin-Moscow consular mail flights franked with Russian consular stamps
surcharged to read "Aerial Post R.S.F.S.R.", then giving value in German marks.
Date uncertain but in last half of year Petrograd-Berlin via Moscow flights began. Possibly on the first
flight but certainly on subsequent flights on this route, mail bore etiquettes reading in two lines "Envoye par
la/poste abrienne." within a rectangular box. They were printed in black on red paper and were imperforate.
(Note- At least two covers are known with the rare error of the second 'n" of "ai'rienue." inverted to look
like a "u". These covers are dated September 11, 1922, and August 18, 1923. Both were sent from Petrograd
to Berlin.) The Petrograd-Berlin operation was an extension of the Deruluft operation that linked Moscow and
July, exact date uncertain Moscow-Nizhnii Novgorod (now Gorki) route of 250 miles opened. This was
the first all-Soviet air route. Line extended at an unknown later date to Kazan.
Date or dates unknown First central Asian line opened between Kagan, Termez and Dyushambe with a Kagan-
Khiva branch line.
July 17 Kharkov-Odessa via Poltava and Elisabetgrad. Ordinary departure and arrival marks.
October 30 Moscow-Teheran. Three-line bilingual cachet reading "Par avion/aerial post (in Russian)/
Moscou-Teheran" in rectangular box handstamped in red. These bore in large typographed letters the two-line
insciption in black "Premier vol postal/Moscou-Teheran." They were franked with 35 kopecks of the surcharged
air post stamps and, curiously, the Teheran arrival mark on reverse is dated December 14. An explanation of
this six-week interval has yet to come to my attention.
April 30 Moscow-Berlin via Smolensk and Kovno.
April 30 Moscow-London. Cachet, probably used on other flights as well, consists of one line in some -
what ornate Cyrillic lettering and reading 'Aerial Post." J. H. Reynolds describes and illustrates it in the
BSRP Journal No. 14. The words are enclosed in a rectangle and it was handstamped in violet.
May 1 Moscow-Tiflis. Ordinary departure and arrival marks.
August 3 Verkhneudinsk-Urga (Mongolia) via Ulan Bator and Harbin. Ordinary departure and arrival marks.
Upon arrival at Urga it was backstamped and forwarded to Harbin where another backstamp was applied.
August 1 Moscow-Novosibirsk via Kazan, Sverdlovsk, Kurgan and Omsk. Ordinary departure marking.
Backstamped at Novosibirsk, August 2, 1928.
August 11 Moscow-Ulan Bator via Verkhneudinsk. Ordinary Moscow departure postmark and Ulan Bator
arrival mark of August 18. Reportedly, only ten covers were carried on this flight. Mine, which was registered,
was franked with 68 kopecks.
September 18 Moscow-Irkutsk. Serviced by the Dobrolet voluntary airways organization. Special large cir-
cular cachet in blackish-violet. Design shows three concentric circles with two lines of wording between them.
Outer line is in Russian and inner one in French. In the center circle is a drawing of a biplane. (I have two
covers bearing the Moscow-Irkutsk cachet. One, franked with 45 kopecks and registered, bears a Moscow post-
mark of September 18 and an Irkutsk arrival mark of September 22. The other, mailed unregistered at Minsk on
September 17 and franked with 28 kopecks, has no Irkutsk arrival mark.)
September 23 (?) Irkutsk-Moscow. Mail on this flight received a cachet handstamped in green similar in
design to the Moscow-Irkutsk one except that the wording, both in Russian and in French, reads "Irkutsk-Mos-
cow" instead of ''Moscow-Irkutsk." The date given for this flight in a 1963 Russian catalogue of cachets
was stated as 21-23 September, but in view of the September 22 arrival mark for the mail from Moscow it seems
likely that September 23 would be probable as the departure date from Irkutsk.
May 1 Alma Ata-Semipalatinsk. Ordinary departure and arrival marks.
May 15 Vitim-Bodaibo via Yakutsk. (Vitim is a navigable tributary of the Lena in Siberia. Its chief port is
Bodaibo and Yakutsk is one of the two principal towns of Yakutia, at this time an autonomous republic in the
September y Leningrad-Berlin 24-hour service via Moscow. Large ('/ inches in diameter) circular cachet
with two concentric circles between which were the words in Russian 'Aerial post Leningrad-Berlin." In
the inner circlewas a biplane with "C.C.C.P." above it and "-7 IX 30" below it. Four strikes of this were
applied on the obverse with black ink to obliterate the seven Soviet stamps affixed. On reverse is a single
strike of the same cachet but with the date reading "8 IX 30" and a Berlin arrival mark of September 8.
60' 100 140
atltc Sc a --Arttic O)cean
evt ro o .ad
ins o Archangel
,snmc ensk .
Aiev ^M g-u iz nii-Novgorod
"des lisavet rad I *
*Ch lyabinsk -
Tifie a VitimAa .
,Th .( Tashk en rckhneudio t. \
"ROUTES OF EARLY SOVIET FIRST FLIGHTS S '
1922 1930hab rov \
S(lace names used ae thoe na in rbincc
at tire mes o fights.)
See "Early Soviet First Flight Philately"'
by Fred W. Speers 1
September 10 Circular dated Moscow arrival mark applied to mail arriving by Graf Zeppelin. For mail re-
ceived in Moscow for transportation aboard the Graf Zeppelin on its departure the following day there was a
special circular cachet with a sketch of a dirigible horizontally across it and extending about 3/8 of an inch
beyond its circumference on either side. The inscription inside the outer circle reads "Par Avion Zeppelin -
Moscou" and the date "10-IX 30" appears in a vertical strip inside the circle.
September 11 Circular Moscow departure mark dated '11.9.30" applied to mail departing by Graf Zeppelin.
September 19 Leningrad-Berlin same day service. Same cachet as that of September 7 plane service but
with date of '19 IX 30" in center and Berlin arrival mark of same date on reverse.
It is this writer's hope that others interested in this field will correct and amplify the information contained
herein, particularly by supplying missing first flight dates. Perhaps inclusion of mention of the Graf Zeppelin
cachets was a bit cumbersome but nevertheless the objective was to point up the fact that in late 1931, interest
in aviation in the Soviet Union was rising to a high pitch spurred to a large degree by the feats of the German
Zeppelins and by the propaganda activities of the Osoaviakhim the Friends of the Red Air Fleet.
NEW ISSUES NEW ISSUES
Two stamps on 10 July 1969: 1969 a 4k stamp for the 50th anniv. of the
6k, Friendship between Soviet and First Mounted Army; des. by Nitrofan
Bulgarian Peoples; state emblems, flags; Grekov depicts Machine-gun Cart; two-
des. by Abram Schmidstain; multicolor color on plasticized paper.
offset; perf 12%. A 6k stamp for 25th Anniv. Two stamps on 9 August 1969
of Polish Peoples Republic; map of Poland, for the IXth Trade Union Summer Games
state emblem. Polish Flag: des. by Yury held in Lenin Stadium, Moscow; 4k and 10k,
Levinovsky: deep-etch process. On 15 July des. by Anatoli Zubov depicts a runner, and
1969, two stamps for 25th anniv. of a gymnast on the rings; also a 20k souvenir
Samarkand: 4k. Registan Square. and sheet with similar design by Yuri
Tchorsu trade-dome. Shir-dor medresse; Kosorukov. On 22 August 1969 a 4k stamp
Tillya-kari; Ulug-bek medresse buildings. for the birth centenary of V.L. Komarov,
The 6k stamp shows the Intourist Hotel, and botanist, and former president of the USSR
Gur-Emir Mausoleum; des. by Anatolity Academy of Sciences; fdc was sent by
Kalashnikov; perf 12x12z. Also on 15 July George V. Misehenko, Leningrad. On 1
1969 a 4k stamp for the 25th anniv. of September 1969 a 10k stamp for the birth
liberation of Nikolaev City; des. by Ivan centenary of Ovaness Toumanyan,
Martynov depicts the 68 Heroes Monument; Armenian poet; des. by Gratch Roukhkyan.
two-color deep-etch, perf 12%xl2. On 29 On 3 September 1969 five stamps with
July 1969 two stamps for forthcoming kayak- subject designs by Vasily Zavialov taken
canoe and volleyball championships to be from the Oriental Arts Museum, Moscow:
held in Europe, 4k and 6k, both perf 11%. On 4k, ornamental drinking-horn, Turkoman
the same date a 6k stamp for the 125th birth 2nd Cent. B.C.; 6k, man-bird figurine, 13th
anniv. of Mihal Munkachi, Hungarian Cent. Persia; 12k, ornamental head, Korea
painter; portrait des. by Igor Kominaretz, 8th Cent.; 16km Boddhisatva, Tibet 7th
and a fragment of Munkacbi's Cent.; 20k, statue of fisherman, Japan 17th
Peasantwoman churning butter, perf 11%, Cent. On 10 September 1969 a 6k stamp for
three-color deep-etch. the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi;
On 3 August 1969 five stamp reproducing portrait des. by Elena Kessarinskaya; perf
paintings of Ilya E. Repia, and 12x12%; on the same date, five stamps
commemorating his 125th birth anniv.: 4k, calling attention to the State Forest
Barges on the Volga; 6k, Not Expected Preserve Byeloveszhskaya Poushcha: 4k,
(done in 1884); 10k, Self-portrait; 12k, black stork; 6k, deer; 10k. aurochs
Confession; 16k, Dnieper Cossacks (1891); (buffalo); 12km lynx; 16k. wild boar; des.
des. by Viktor Pimenov and Alexander by Vladimir Kolganov. All stamps offset or
Ryazantzev; offset on chalky paper. First deep-etch process; comb perf. George V.
day cover was sent by G.V. Mischenko, Mischenko, Leningrad, also sent fdc
Leningrad. On 30 August 1969 a 4k stamp for bearing the 6k stamp issued 20 June 1969 for
Centenary of Donetsk in the Ukraine the centenary of Dmitri Ivanovich
showing the coal basin; des. by Anatoliy Mendeleev's Table of Chemical Elements
Oleinik; deep-etch; perf 11%. On 30 July (Phila. Bur. Moscow).
O FOR A SPECIALIST! O
O We are breaking up a O
O large specialized collection of O
O EMPIRE SOVIET (up to 1945) O
O 000000 O
O On hand a large selection O
O Accumulation of 40 years ...... O
0 ERRORS, COVERS, UNLISTED VARIETIES, Incl. 0
O Offices China, Levant O
O Armies, Far East. Armenia, O
O Georgia, Azerbaydjan, Latvia, Lithuania, etc. etc. 0
O We will gladly make approvals 0
O to a specialist. No obligations O
O Attractive Prices Convenient Terms. O
O We are paying TOP prices 0
O for scarce or rare varieties, collections. O
O covers (incl. ZEMSTVO) etc. O
O We are particularly interested in O
O buying large lots or collections. Please O
O make us offers for cash payment. O
0 S. SEREBRAKIAN, INC. O
O P.O. Box 448 MONROE, N.Y. 10950 O
THE FIRST STANDARD ISSUE OF THE SOVIET UNION
ADDENDA AND CORRECTIONS
0 by Kurt Adler
In my articles about the first standard issue of USSR in Rossica # 49/50, 52/53 and 54 I was trying to deal com-
prehensively with all aspects of this issue, based on research sources available up to the date of publication
(1956). At that time, philatelists in the USSR were not too concerned with research about that issue. More
recently, however, Soviet philatelists have been delving into that problem, having had access to official docu-
ments in the archives. As a result, the first standard issue is now one of their favorite topics, due mostly to
the articles of V. Karlinsky and A. Skrylev in 'Sovietskaya Philateliya.
With these addenda I shall endeaver to bring the readers of "Rossica" up to date with the latest research con-
clusions. I shall refrain from repeating myself and give only the changes to my former articles, wherever changes
First standard issue, lithographed, imperforate, unwatermarked
(ROSSICA # 49/50, p. 16).
The first stamps of this issue, the 1,3,4, 6 and 10 kop. appeared on October 11th, 1923, not in September. The
gold standard had been introduced on Oct. 1st, 1923. By the end of November, the 2 and 5 kop. were issued,
somewhat later the 20 and 50 kop. As stated by me, the 1 Rub, appearing at the beginning of February 1924
finished the set. There is one stamp, the 30 kop, violet which I listed as belonging to this set. It bears no
number in my former article but it had been mentioned in the Soviet catalogues from 1948 on. This stamp does
not belong to this set. It derives from printers waste of the lithographed perf. 14'4: 14 % stamp, issued in June
1924. Some sheets were not perforated by mistake and were therefore annuled by placing an additional perfora-
tion horizontally through the middle. Before this was done, however, the Soviet Philatelic Association sold
some of these imperforate stamps and put its guarantee mark on the gummed side. For this reason, the stamp is
not part of the lithographed imperforate set but a major variety of the perf. 14'/: 14% lithographed set of 1924.
It is a rare stamp and may be of course only found in mint state. Some of those imperforate 30 kop. stamps
have been faked from the typographed imperforate stamp. The figure 3 has been made to look like the 3 on the
lithographed stamp and the gum has been thickened to hide the relief of the frame ]Iges on the back. This
fake is not difficult to discover under a good magnifying glass.
The typographed, imperforate, unwatermarked set.
A major change in the cheek list of this issue concerns some of its stamps (ROSSICA # 49/50, p. 17). The
first stamps of this issue appeared in December 1923 (4 and 10 kop.). The 3 and 50 kop. followed during Jan-
uary-February 1924, and the 2,6,20 kop. and 1 Rub. all of them rare came out later that year. The postal
use of those last four stamps has yet to be established. They also have been faked by pressing some hard,
edgy objects on the frame lines and figures of lithographed imperforate stamps, thus fabricating a relief im-
pression on the gummed side. This can be discovered, however, because the sharp, edgy tools leave definite
traces on the face side of the stamps, if looked at under reflected light. The 4 kop. on pink background and
the 6 kop. light blue (ROSSICA #49/50, p: 16) are now adjuged to be proofs.
The interesting new discovery of this issue concerns the later issued stamps (January 1925) which were print-
ed mainly for philatelic purposes, in order to complete the set for collectors. They were printed on white,
thick paper in which tiny little honey combs appear when viewed against the light. But some of these stamps
appear also printed on grayish, thinner paper, namely the 5 kop., the 7 kop. chocolate, the 9 kop. and the 3
Rub. Type II. (ROSSICA # 49/50, p. 18). Besides these stamps, there are also the 8 kop, not mentioned by
Karlinsky and Skrylev, the 30 and 40 kop, the 2 and the 5 Rub., all printed on a grayish, thinner paper without
the honey comb pattern. None of these stamps belong to the additional denomination issue, printed on white
thick paper mainly for philatelic purposes. They are not even varieties of them, but they are varieties of the
typographed, perforated 1414: % set, stemming from some sheets that were left imperforate by chance. The best
proof for the existence of such varieties is the fact that they are found genuinely, not philatelically used at
earlier dates than those at which the imperforate values for philatelic purposes were issued. I am including
the 8 kop. stamp because I have it with wide enough margins, commercially, not philatelically used. Of
the 7 kop, chocolate stamp I have a copy postmarked 16-10-24, long before the same stamp on white paper was
issued. I have never seen the 30, 40 kop and 2 Rub. either mint or used and they have never been catalogued.
We have to take Mr. Karlinsky's word for their existence. I have, however, a pair of the 2 Rub. on greyish
paper mint with strongly misplaced red center. It is possible that Mr. Karlinsky may have been fooled by
the excellent fakes of the 30 and 40 kop. stamps, described by me in Rossica # 52/53, p. 28 and 29. These
fakes come in rows of four (instead of five) and are hand-set. They are not evenly spaced. One is a little
higher than the next one. The 3 Rub. stamp of this issue, Type II is being quoted in the new catalogue of the
Cerele Philatelique France-URSS with 1000 Fr. I have this stamp mint, light shade. There exists a fraud that
has the lower white line continued to end together with the upper one. But this can be easily ascertained with
the help of a good magnifying glass. Mr. Karlinsky's article also solved for me the riddle how I came to own
a strip of three of the 5 Rub. on greyish paper, postmarked Semipalatinsk, the date unfortunately weakly inked
in violet blue but appears to be 10.1.2 5.
Thus the 5,7,8,9,30.40 kop., 2,3, and 5 Rub. typographed imperforate on greyish thinner paper are varieties of
the perforate set and should be catalogued as such.
The lithographed, perforated 14/4: 14% and 11: 12/4 stamps, unwatermarked.
These stamps were considered great rarities (see ROSSICA # 49/50, p. 18) but are now known to be frauds.
They have been fraudulently, but faultlessly perforated from imperforate lithographed stamps which were avail-
able for a few kopecs. This "job" was done in Leningrad in the late 1930 's. It may come as an unpleasant
surprise to many collectors, as it did to myself. The story is the following: A Leningrad collector, probably
the faker himself, deposited sheets of these stamps in the Leningrad Postal Museum, saying that he had dis-
covered them in an old valise full of Soviet stamps. At the Museum they lay unnoticed and forgotten until after
World War II when they were "re-discovered" and included into the Soviet Catalogues. They are the 3 kop. in
both perforations, 4 kop perf. 11%: 12/4, 20 kop and 1 Rub in both perforations. The machine used for these
perforations must have been either an official one or an excellently constructed one because the teeth match
exactly those of the typographed sets. I even have used pairs of the 3 kop. and 1 Rub, the latter cancelled
Moscow 14-4-24! But there is no doubt that all these stamps are fakes and will not be included in future
Soviet catalogues. The new Cerele Philatelique catalogue already mentions them as being faked.
Typographed, perforated 14'4: 14 and 11: 1214 unwatermarked issue.
There are no new discoveries in these two different issues. The rare stamps, such as the most elusive 15 kop.
perf. 14 4: 14 % are getting rarer with every passing year and mint stamps of every denomination are very much
sought by collectors. The 3 Rub. perf. 10 mint (see ROSSICA # 49/50, p. 20) which V. Karlinskii avors exist
only in a few scattered copies is being offered occasionally in serious auctions, but has always been proved to
be a fake perforation. It is always of Type II, like the imperforate watermarked 3 Rub., instead of Type I, and
the teeth do not match those of easily available used copies. Collectors, beware
Typographed, perforated 11: 12', watermarked issue.
Not much new:ro report here, except that the re-engraved stamps of this issue may be easier to distinguish
by their difference in color. As is known, a distinction between the normal and re-engraved 1 kop, 5 kop. 8 kop.
and 20 kop. is difficult to make. The re-engraved 1 kop. stamp is of a red-orange shade, the 5 kop. either red
purple or vivid violet, the 8 kop. dark olive, the 20 kop. dark green. The variety of the 8 kop. stamp. perf.
14%;14 (ROSSICA #49/50, p. 22) has still not been explained satisfactorily...It may be that this perforation
is an unofficial one, made from the imperforate watermarked stamp. The 1 Rub. perf. 14/4: 14 which is very
rare in mint state (Scott 321a) has been extensively faked by perforating the watermarked imperforate 1 Rub.
stamp. It so happens, however, that the red color of the 1 Rub. imperforate is much darker than the color of
the normal 1 Rub. perf. 11 3/4:124 stamp. So, if you see this stamp mint, perf. 14: 14%, compare it with the
imperf. stamp of the same issue and if the red color is of the same dark shade, do not purchase it. It is a fake.
S I myself am a victim of this error of judgment. The 18 kop. violet, imperforate, which is a variety of this set,
coming from a few sheets mistakenly left imperforate, is not listed in the otherwise excellent catalogue of the
Circle Philatelique France-URRS. And, finally, the 10 kop. dark blue is said by Mr. A Prins of Holland to
exist lithographed, watermarked. Although he describes and illustrates this stamp in ROSSICA #75, p. 97,
judgment should be deferred until the stamp is being thoroughly expertized.
The check list of the first standard issue (ROSSICA # 54, p. 58-63) should be adjusted according to this article.
by C. W. Roberts
What! more about Ukraine forgeries?
Can there be any genuine tridents?
I suppose I have written as much, if not more, than anyone else in English about Ukraine forgeries, but even
if you feel rather tired of the subject, do read on as this is rather different.
To start with, may I dispose of the second question first. Yes, there are a great many genuine tridents and by
no means all of them are valuable. Although almost every type has been forged, genuine expertise copies of
most of them can be had quite cheaply, largely because, in order to encourage collectors, the U.P.V. (German
Ukraine Philatelic Society) experts have only made nominal charge for their services. Perhaps this has been
overdone and collectors may not have sufficient confidence that a stamp has really been expertise and pass-
ed as genuine if they can buy it for a cent or two. The truth is that it is an opportunity that should not be
The study of Ukraine trident is a fascinating one and though many will thinkthemtoocomplicated and too rid-
dled with forgeries remember that expertisation is available at almost absurd prices. I do not think any other
stamps can be expertise for so little, and do not forget that considering their rarity Ukraine stamps can be
bought extremely cheaply.
After this digression I will get on with the real subject of this article the forgeries.
I am going to suggest that some might consider making a collection of Ukraine Trident forgeries. Well, if they
are so plentiful, why not? To my knowledge there are more than 300 different forgeries and as some 60 differ-
ent stamps were overprinted the possibilities are considerable do not forget also inverted and double as
well as different coloured overprints. However, some forgeries exist on so many values that it is just poss-
ible that one or two may exist on all the possible stamps, although I cannot recall a case at the moment and I
think it unlikely there can be many cases of this and, on the other hand there are cases where we only know of
a forgery on one stamp.
I am convinced that a great many Ukraine forgeries owe their origin to the packet trade. The basic stamps in
many cases are even now fairly cheap to buy in quantity so if you are short of a few varieties to make up the
required number, one or more rubber stamps looking something like a trident could be the answer. I would not
expect to find such forgeries on the better stamps because their cost would make it quite uneconomic. Never-
the less there are cases, though forgeries on such stamps will mostly be better forgeries intended to deceive
collectors of Ukraine and not just to make up the numbers of some packets.
I think forgeries are still being produced. Certainly one comes across fresh ones from time to time.. Not so
long ago a Continental dealer advertised a collection of 500 different tridents for, I am told, about $12.00, and
I have one of these collections. Every overprint was forged and some were new to me and could well have been
produced for this particular packet. Nearly all the forgeries were on a number of values, and strangely enough
there were some on the better stamps such as the 31%/ R. grey & black of 1898, which is unusual in this type of
material. With the possible exception of Yekaterinoslav type I, all the forgeries were pretty obvious.
While I think my suggested forgery collection should be a most interesting one to make, it will not necessarily
be all that simple. Often some of the forgeries are more difficult to separate than genuine tridents. However,
if you have a collection of Ukraine tridents I have little doubt you will have the nucleus of a forgery collection
already, and it should not be too difficult to add fresh varieties. Do please be very careful to keep your forger-
ies separate, and you will find a small reference collection of genuine types to which you can readily refer is
a great help.
If you refer to the illustrations of forgeries in my handbooks you should be able to sort out quite a few forger-
ies, but some of those illustrated are not often seen and certainly there are a number of new ones since those
books were written. When you are absolutely certain an overprint is a forgery it is a good plan to mark the stamp,
though I know that this can lead to genuine stamps being marked "false" through lack of knowledge at the time.
However, even a pencil note on the back is better than nothing as it may save someone else at some future time
having to check it all over again.
Some of the commoner forgeries come from the early days and some even have genuine postmarks of the period
when the tridents were actually in use. Sets of stamps, some all genuine, some all forgeries and some mixed
were postmarked on envelopes, and some also have forged postmarks. Even whole covers have been forged and
these are often very interesting.
Even in the early days it was known that as well as the issues from Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav,
Poltava and Podolia, different overprints were also applied at a number of local places and some of the early
forgeries were attributed to various towns and districts such as Bachmut, Mogilev, Cherson, etc. With few ex-
ceptions genuine local overprints were, and still are, hard to come by, so it was nice to have these others as
examples especially when one was assured that they were all right.
How real the danger was can be appreciated when you realize that the bogus overprints of Bachmut were listed
as genuine in an internationally known catalogue, and in another one some of the illustrations of trident types
were clearly those of forgeries.
The U.P.V. waged an unceasing battle against forgeries and the handbooks of C. Svenson, although not infalli-
ble, did expose many others. There can be no doubt that the danger of forgeries is at least partly responsible
for the low prices which even genuine Ukraine stamps fetch today. Surely no other group with such a short life
has been forged on such a scale all the more for your collection of forgeries.
I do not pretend to know much about Western Ukraine overprints (on Austria) which have also been extensively
forged, but although interesting to the specialist I do not think a collection of the forgeries would make the
same appeal. For one thing they are much less obvious and expertise copies are much harder to come by and
far more expensive. In some cases a comparison with a known genuine overprint will help, but not in all. Ex-
pertisation can be a lengthy process and requires a great deal of material, so naturally it is expensive.
Although strictly outside the scope of this article, do not forget the forgeries, or reprints of the Definitive issue.
Some of these are excellent and they are cheap enough so perhaps you could, collect them in sheets.
THE POSTAL HISTORY OF EASTERN SLOVAKIA 1939-1945 AND AFTERWARDS
by Miroslav Blaha, Czechoslovakia
I. THE HUNGARIAN OCCUPATION:
The Vienna Award of 2 Nov. 1938, a consequence of the outrageous surrender at Munich, resulted in the ces-
sion to Hungary of the southern districts of Slovakia and Subcarpathian Russia (Carpatho-Ukraine) by the
Czechoslovak Republic. The occupation of this territory was naturally also manifested philatelically. Offi-
cially, the validity of Czechoslovak stamps and postal stationery ceased on 19 Nov. 1938. Hungarian cancels
were then introduced and magyarisation took place on all sides. A little later, the disintegration of Czechoslo-
vakia came about on 15 March 1939. The protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the Slovak State came into
being. The remaining territory of the Carpatho-Ukraine and small section of Eastern Slovakia, inhibited by
Ukrainians, were forcibly incorporated into Horthyite Hungary.
Within two days of the beginning of the occupation, this area received the new Hungarian designation of
"Karpatalja" (Subcarpathia). A whole series of adjustments came with the new frontiers, but the biggest change
occurred in Eastern Slovakia (see the section marked "I" on the map shown in Fig. 1).
The following post offices in Eastern Slovakia were incorporated into Hungary (names given in Slovak, Hungarian
and Ukrainian respectively):-
1. Bezovce, Bezo, Bezhovtsy (Fig. 2).
2. Klenova, Klenova, Klenova (Fig. 3).
3. Remetsk6 Hamre, Remetevasgyar, Remetskie Hamry (Fig. 4).
4. Sobrance, Szobranc, Sobrantsy (Fig. 5).
5. Stakcin, Takcsany, Stakchin.
6. Ubl'a, Ublya, Ublya (Fig. 6).
7. Ulic, Utcas, Ulich
8. Vel'ka Pol'ana, Nagypolany, Velika Polyana
In common with the remainder of the territory of the Carpatho-Ukraine, these post offices used until 1 August
1939 temporary rubber and metal cancellers showing serial numbers. It is believed that these were also ap-
plied as fieldpost markings. They were not of a completely definitive character and several offices went
through a series of them. For example, at the Chust (Huszt, Khust) post office, rubber markings numbered
101,102, 103 & 232 'and metal types with Nos. 310, 314, 363, 368 and 369 were utilized (please refer to my
article 'The development of the postal service in the Transcarpathian Province of the Soviet Union", Ross-
ica No. 73, pp. 37-43, Figs. 26 & 27 for examples of these cancels). The post office at Stakcin used metal
canceller No. 317, Klenova had No. 251 and the rubber one for Sobrance bore No. 118.
On 1 August 1939, standard bilingual Hungarian-Ukrainian cancellers were introduced (see Figs 2-6). The
registration labels, as well as some items of postal stationery, were also in the two languages.
An interesting philatelic transition period occurred again after the liberation of this area by the Red Army at
the end of October 1944. In accordance with acknowledged standards of international law, the integrity of the
borders of the Czechoslovak Republic in their Pre-Munich form was guaranteed by all the Allies and this ter-
ritory was then still a part of the republic. However, the situation was complicated by the fact that the official
Czechoslovak delegation from London had its seat at Chust, while the western portion of the province was ad-
ministered from Uzhgorod by the NRZU (Narodna Rada Zakarpats 'koyi Ukrayini National Council of the
Transcarpatho-Ukraine), which was oriented towards the Soviet Union.
It was only after the eastern border between the CSR and the USSR was finally fixed on the basis of an agree-
ment signed in'Moscow on 29 June 1945 that the official designation of the post offices under the control of
the Kosice postal district in Eastern Slovakia was altered.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: The section of Eastern Slovakia to which Mr. Blaha refers is part of the "Pryashivs'ka
Rus' or Prelov Rus', where many Ukrainians dwell. We can add to the list and types of post offices establish-
ed by the Hungarians in this area, drawing on a series of proof strikes of cancels in the collection of Lauson
H. Stone of Brooklyn, N.Y. Please see Figs. 7-11 for the bilingual postal agency markings assigned to the fol-
lowing villages:- -
(a) Bezovce, Bezo, Bezhovtsy
(b) Hunkovce, Alsohunkoc, Khun'kovtsy
(c) Jenkovce, Jenke, Yenkovtsy
(d) Krcava, Karcsava, Karchava
(e) Starina, Cirokaofalu, Starina
The last-named hamlet was also known to the Slovaks as "Stara Ves nad Cirochou", i.e. old village on the
Cirocha, which is an exact equivalent of the Hungarian name. It is now called Starina pri Snine (Starina near
We can also add to the rubber numbered markings used by the Hungarians in Chust. A registered cover held by
Mr. Cronin shows that No. 115 was also applied there.
II. THE 1945 ADJUSTMENTS IN THE COP-SURTY DISTRICT:
The adjustment of the southern portion of the frontiers between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, a conse-
quence of the agreement of 29 June 1945 is also reflected in the story of the postal services 'in Eastern Slovakia
(see the section marked "II" on the map shown in Fig. 1). As is known, this area was placed under Hungarian
administration by the Vienna Award in November 1938. After its liberation by the Red Army, it was arranged
that the border be shifted to the west for strategic reasons, so that the railroad and state highway between 6op
and Jzhgorod would not be broken. The following two post offices were ceded with this small part of Slovakia:-
(1) Cop, Csap, Chop
(2) Surty, Sziirte, Strumkovka
Some details on the postal history of these offices are now given:-
(1) COP: Fig 12 shows the first single-circle cancel used here during the first Hungarian administration (Aus-
tro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy period), Fig. 14 the circular date stamp used during the Czechoslovak period, Figs.
15 & 16 the bilingual Czechoslovak-Ukrainian types for RPO(TPO) No. 1001 between Cop and Uzok (Chop and
Uzhok), Fig. 17 the Ukrainian cancellation of the post office at Cop which was under the administrative control
of the NRZU before the signing of the treaty in Moscow on 29 June 1945. Figs. 19 & 20 show the types of Sov-
iet cancels which have been used there since 1945.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: To fill out the story of this office, we can cite Hungarian RPO. No. 59 reading
"SIANKI-CSAP-NYiREGYHAZA", dated 14 Aug. 1912 (Fig. 13) and held by Mr. Cronin. An unusual cover in
the Viktor Indra collection bears Czechoslovak postage to the value of KVs 4.30, which was sufficient for reg-
istration service at the time of mailing. Dropped into a letter box at Copion 15 Aug. 1945, i.e. after it officially
became part of the Transcarpathian Ukraine, it was cancelled at the Ukrainian post office there and forwarded o
on the Chop-Biela pri 6opi RPO (TPO), which placed registration label No. 27 on the cover at lower left. (see
Fig. 18). It was received at Stepanov near Olemouc on 19 August.
(2) SURTY: Fig. 21 shows the first single-circle Hungarian type, Fig. 22 the Hungarian cancel taken over in
1919 during the Czechoslovak period and Fig. 23 the current Soviet registration cachet for domestic usage.
t. W" KLENOVA' /
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S40 I la11. 39X 39 X. 10. 39 AX1.10
T'Atchr. POSTAUGYN. POSTA;.IYm. POSTAUGYN.
06.E n.EHT. nOT.ArEHT. nOUT.AF.HT.
Fig. 7Fig. 13' F
Fig. MAP OF EASTERN SLOVAKIA Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9
KAZRC SAVA 0'5I 'K,- 0 F:m(JAL1 l
MAPlAAB A CT AP "4A 5 AO
90. 40V. 29x 16 g2
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Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 J%
Fig. 13 Fig. 14 Fig. 15
Fig. 17 Fig. 18
Fig. 21 F
C. Fig. 22
THE "BEZ. PLAT." MARKING
by Kurt Adler
In No. 69 of our Journal on p.6, the editorial comment to an article entitled "An unrecorded money letter sent
thru the Russian Fieldpost in 1877-78" by our Bulgarian contributor D.N. Minchev, gave details of a stampless
cover sent through Fieldpost Section No. 11 of FPO No. 1 sometime during Sept. 1877 to Gachina and showing
on the front a somewhat distorted strike of a framed rectangular cachet with shaved corners, applied in red and
apparently reading ''BEZPLAT." ("free letter", or "free matter" see Fig. 1 herewith). This was attributed
by Glasewald in his two-page article "Russisch-Turkischer Krieg 1877/78" in the old days to a cachet of the
Russian Fieldpost in Roumania during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.
This cover is now in my possession (Fig. 1 & 2) and there, I thought, the matter rested. However, I was recently
working on my collection and was amazed to find in my stationery section a 10-kopek entire bearing a clearer
strike of the same marking, also applied in red (Fig. 3). Here are the details.
Sent from Ostrog on 25 June 1874, it is addressed as follows: 'To the Petersburg side on Spassk street, to the
St. Petersburg Military Grade School, to Master Dmitrii Stepanovich Tomich, pupil in the third grade, at St. Peters-
burg". Tomich sounds like a Serbian name. On the back is the arrival cancel of ''S. PETERBURG III", dated
JUN. 1874, 3 PM. (Fig. 4).
Careful comparison of both covers gave the following results:-
(a) Both cachets are struck in the same shade of red.
(b) Both strikes have exactly the same dimensions, namely 39 x 13 /a mm, and characteristics.
(c) The cachet reads ''BEZ. Plat.", rather than "BEZPLAT.", as originally surmised. (compare Fig. 1&3).
(d) Both covers passed through the St. Petersburg III office (see Figs. 2 & 4).
We can arrive now at the following deductions:-
(1) Rather than standing for "BEZPLAT." (NOE PIS'MO or NOE DELO) as formerly supposed, it now seems
certain that the cachet enclosed the abbreviation "BEZ. PLAT." (EZHA), i.e. meaning "without (the require-
ment of) payment". In the old spelling system, a common abbreviation consisted of dropping the "hard sign"
from the end of a word ending in a consonant and this is what presumably happened to the word 'BEZ".
(2) Although the 10-kop. envelope sent from Ostrog in 1874 was already fully franked, the "BEZ. PLAT."
cachet was applied at St. Petersburg III P.O. as a matter of form or automatically to a piece of mail addressed
to a military person.
(3) The 1877 stampless cover to Gachina originated from Roumania, as denoted by the FPO marking on the back
and the "BEZ. PLAT." cachet was applied to the front of the envelope in transit by St. Petersburg III P.O. to
ensure that no charges would be levied on the receiver. The folded letter enclosed had distorted to some ex-
tent the application of this marking. It would appear that Glasewald had seen a similar usage and assumed that
the marking had been used by the Russian Fieldpost in Roumania.
(4) The St. Petersburg III P.O. was the only office in the city that had this marking and it had been designated
to handle mail to and from military personnel.
The moral of the story is that we can only get the full picture of a phase of postal history by seeing as large a
Variety of material as possible. We can never afford to be dogmatic in our assertions, as something is bound to
turn up eventually to upset them. No doubt the last word has still to be written on this present subject.
:- .-. I. r .
", -. ... o :-"".
0 *- I 7. v "F
.. .- .,F i .
i- 3 o-8
A TYPICAL LETTER FROM EASTERN ROUMELIA
by D. N. Minchev
Recently we had the opportunity of becoming closely acquanted with a typical letter from Eastern Roumelia,
dating from the beginning of August 1880. It is very interesting as it constitutes a characteristic postal history
document which would attract the attention of specialists. This cover confirms and demonstrates the postal
arrangements established in Eastern Roumelia, which, for the period under review, are distinctive in their can-
cellations, frankings etc.
The letter in question is from Ikhtiman, an important town in Eastern Roumelia on the border with Bulgaria from
1879 to 1885 and it bears the date 2 August 1880. It is addressed to Vasil Khadzhi Rusev in the town of Yam-
bol and, as is noted on the face of the cover, it was destined for Miss Radka Nedelcheva of the same city
(Fig. 1). The cover is not franked with stamps as it was forwarded by hand from Ikhtiman to Plovdiv, so as to
be handed in at the post office there for suitable onward transmission.
Let us proceed further in the examination of the cover. Handed in at the Plovdiv P.O. where there were no
stamps at the time, it has a marking reading "FRANCO" in the upper left corner, confirming that the necessary
postal fees were paid in advance in cash by the person presenting it. The regular circular date stamp of the
Plovdiv P.O. dating 6 Aug. 1880 was applied directly over this first cachet. The ink used for both these mark-
ings is black.
On the back of the cover, there is a wax seal applied by the original sender of the letter. Two other circular
date stamps, for Plovdiv and Yambol respectively and again in black may be seen struck very clearly on the
same side (Fig. 2). The Plovdiv strike is dated 4 Aug. 1880 and that for Yambol 7 Aug. 1880. The same
Plovdiv cancel on the front of the cover is dated two days later. There can only be one explanation, i.e. that
the despatch of the letter from Plovdiv was delayed by two days, in accordance with the marking applied over
the "FRANCO" cachet and it arrived at Yambol the following day. This would correspond to the normal pass-
age of time for mail between Plovdiv and Yambol.
With these short notes, we believe that we have acquainted specialists with an interesting letter of classic
Bulgarian philately, such an item not being so easily encountered these days.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: The interesting point about this cover for our readers lies in the fact that all these
types of markings were originally supplied by the Russian administration in Bulgaria and applied during and
after the war of 1877- 1878. This is the first time the "FRANCO" cachet has been seen applied at Plovdiv,
the only office recorded by Stephen and Tchilinghirian as using this mark being Sliven. The "POSHTA/
PLOVDIV" despatch postmark dated 6 Aug. 1880 on the front of the present cover has previously been noted
in BJRP Nos. 33 & 34 by Mr. Minchev's compatriot, Dr. Vasil Stoyanov of Ruse, with despatch use dated 14
Dec. 1879. However, the "POSHTA /PLOVDIV" arrival strike, dated 4 Aug. on the back of the cover, is NOT
an impression from the same canceller as that struck on the front of the cover. The main differences are as
(a) Despatch type: The inscriptions between the two circles have relatively narrow capitals, with
the word "PLOVDIV" set closer to the outer circle of the postmark.
(b) Arrival type: The inscriptions between the two circles have squat and fatter capitals, with the
word "PLOVDIV" set at an equal distance between the two circles.
We can therefore now distinguish three distinct cancellers for Plovdiv which were supplied by the Russian ad-
ministration, as follows:-
(1) Bilingual Russo-Bulgarian "FILLIPOPOL' postmarker used during 1878-79.
(2) Despatch type inscribed exclusively in Bulgarian "POSHTA / PLOVDIV" in narrow capitals. The
earliest date so far known in 14.XII.79 in the Dr. Stoyanov collection.
(3) Arrival subtype of the above, with "POSHTA / PLOVDIV" in squat capitals. The only example so
far known is dated 4.VIII. 80 on the present cover.
Once again, it is obvious we still have a lot to learn about the Russian post in Bulgaria and we are much in-
debted to Mr. Minchev for bringing the present letter to our attention. We advise all readers to keep a sharp
lookout for any new material in this field.
"IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WRANGEL PLAIN 1000-RUBLE SURCHARGE"
by Edward L.Wisewell Jr.
All of the Wrangel Refugee Issue Surcharges show a number of more or less constant printing variations that
are peculiar to the genuine surcharges. Of these variations, some have been well covered before in the phil-
latelic press. These are the various Type identifying characteristics as covered in "Stamps of the Russian
Refugee Post" by Kethro and Ashford. Very little can be added to their excellent descriptions. There are
however in addition, certain other characteristics, that are common to all of the various types and most of them
are to be found clearly on all genuine surcharges. The accompanying illustration of the 1,000 ruble plain sur-
charge illustrates these printing variations in detail, as follows;
1A. .top left of 'P" is cut on a slant
1B. .top of 'A" has a distinct protrusion to the left
1C. .the short line under 'army" is slightly slanted up to the right and the left end has a very
1D. .the centers of the three "O"s of 1,000 grow progressively narrower, right to left.
1E. .The ball ornament at the end of the left stroke of the "L" of "ruble" is distinctively
different from the other surcharges and the stroke is narrowest at the bottom as it curves
to the ball ornament.
2A. .The top right side of the "0" of "postage" is flat
2B. .There is a bulge on the 'y" of "postage" as shown.
2C. .The left serif of "A2" is triangular with a small protrusion on the bottom.
2D. .The top right stroke of the 'y" is cut on a slant.
2E. .The outside of the left of the "C" is flat.
2F. .The right strokes of the "K" are cut on a slant, top and bottom.
3A. .The right hand stroke of the '" has a serif which is much shorter on the right than on
3B. .The 'i" is heavier on the bottom of the stroke than it is on the top.
Very few stamps will show all of these characteristics clearly, but used in conjunction with a study of the
''type" marks and a check of the color of the ink will make it relatively easy to determine the genuine sur-
Identifying Characteristics of the Wrangel Plain
1,000 RUBLE SURCHARGE
I .ON r TA
1 20 3A 2C t
THE STAMP COMMEMORATES
by Dr. G. Wember
(translated from the magazine "Schweizer Briefmarken-Zeitung", No. 3 for March 1968, organ of the Federation
of Swiss Philatelic Societies, by kind permission of the publishers).
Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol! He is relatively little-known and requested nowadays in German-speaking countries,
although his "The Inspector-General" is still often featured in theatrical programmes. And still he is the bard
who, with his fledgling work "Evenings on a farm near Dikanka" and his late, uncompleted opus "Dead Souls"
(Gogol had himself destroyed the already written second part before his death), was in days gone by mentioned
not only by every one in Russia, but elsewhere. People were also hearing about the young Russian poet in
European literary circles and there was soon a clamor that spoke of a Russian Moliere, while others saw ano-
ther Honore de Balzac in his realism. Gogol, the author of "Dead Souls", who himself completed only a little
more than forty years pilgrimage on the earth, departed from this temporal world as a "dead soul" in the truest
sense of the term. Still, he willingly put the final touch to the tragedy of the last act and readily shortened his
young life, which was still full of promise. Being driven by nervous obsessions, religious delusions and fits
of depression, which caused him to neglect taking regular nourishment, he starved himself to death.
Gogol came into the world on 20 March 1809 in the small town of Sorochintsy as one of twelve children, of whom
only four survived to grow up. His father was the owner of a small estate which did not make any great economic
strides and only by the strictest management could it barely assure the support of his family and the 130 depen-
dent "souls", Still, the estate got by, but when Gogol was 16, he lost his father and under the management of
his uneconomical mother, the property drifted more and more into debt. Lacking constant care, it no longer
yielded a profit and ruin was always hovering on the threshold. This soon affected even the growing Gogol,
who himself was not of an econimical nature but readily applied this personal trait to take from his mother's
hand whatever he needed in loose change.
Before the publication of his first success, young Gogol enjoyed poor health and he was in fact already told in
his childhood that there would be no long lifetime ahead of him. Brooding about this, he arranged for his edu-
cation as a boarder in the grammer school at Nezhin. He did not, however, develop into amodel pupil. On the
other hand, he quite soon discovered his talent for drama. He selected the practice of acting as a preliminary
profession, but abandoned it soon afterwards. Leaving this and his not very distinguished schooldays behind
him, Gogol utilized his experiences of the small-town attitudes of the citizens of Nezhin in a derisive style as
the basis for an early work, entitled ''Some notes on Nezhin, or for jesters no law is applicable". He soon
believed he should approach the full meaning of one of his later statements that 'I have sworn not to lose one
minute of my short life without having done some good", even if that meant doing good to his kind neighbors
and fellow mortals by reproaching them in an ironic and mocking way with an unflattering portrait of themselves.
After graduating from grammer school, he performed with difficulty his duties as a minor civil servant in St. Pe-
tersburg and also tried his hand in the poetic art. By the age of 22, he had already made his first successful
step in bringing out the first part of his 'Evenings at a farm near Dikanka". The second portion soon followed
in 1832. Here Gogol's keen sense of fantasy and his figurative speech succeeding in capturing the whole gamut
of his own little world. If we can imagine the melodies of the village songs, the Ukrainian summer nights and
the still of midday, if in the sky and over the beautiful patchwork of the earth everything is shimmering with a
glittering bluish lustre, then we are in Gogol's ''My Russia!". This is their land, their country Russia that
they all, despite its huge size with an area of more than 8,700,000 square miles altogether, call their "Little
In conjunction with the "Evenings on a farm near Dikanka", it should be noted that Gogol had already published
in 1829 an idyl with five illustrations, entitled 'Hans Kichelgarten", although under the pen name of A. Alov.
Success was not forthcoming. This first work of Gogol's is regarded nowadays as a bibliographic rarity, as he
felt so deeply about his poetic and literary reputation that he bought up all the copies still available at that
time in the bookshops and burnt them. Since he believed that he could not get over this disappointment, he made
the effort to go abroad. But even this attempt was given up. So we see Gogol already back in St. Petersburg
in 1830 an although he had to use the salary obtained from X civil service position in some ministry to meet his
living expenses, he also visited the Academy of Arts which was close by. A resultant work from this period was
"Bisavryuk". A year later, he found a temproary position as a teacher in a girls' school and, in the same year,
he got to know Pushkin. This lead to friendship. And directly through Pushkin's intercession on Gogol's behalf,
the way to his future literary creation was made open to the budding young poet.
In this way, Gogol soon scored his first big success. It was Pushkin who passed onto him the topic and idea
for 'The Inspector General'! In this accomplished five-act comedy, which was first performed in April 1836 at
St. Petersburg in the presence of the Tsar, Gogol sized up the general situation prevailing at the time in the
most incisive way and unleashed the thorn of criticism against the corruption which was then so rampant. How-
ever, in spite of its success, the reaction to the play was mixed. Not everyone was agreed that corruption was
so widespread. But how aptly Gogol had delineated the autocratic ways of the minor civil servants. The peo-
ple portrayed acted so true to life and so authentically. It is no wonder that the play went on all the stages of
Russia and abroad. The choice roles of the police sergeant and the rascally Inspector General have become
much sought-after parts for the actors performing therein and have remained so right up to the present day.
However, not satisfied with this partial success, Gogol turned his back again on Russia and went abroad during
the years 1836 to 1839. The more and more apparent religious tendencies gripping him contributed to his state
of mind. The first part of his main work 'Dead Souls" began to take shape. During his pojourn at Paris, Gogol
made the acquaintance of Aleksandra Smirnova, the beautiful friend of Pushkin and the news of the latter's death
hit him badly. Above all countries, Italy was a second home to him. He always found in Rome refuge and security
after setbacks or when his delusions troubled him. As he himself wrote, ''he whb has been in Heaven will not
hanker after the Earth". That was the way he saw Italy and Rome.
Among his stage pieces, the two-act play ''The Wedding'' and the one-act creation "The Players" should also
be cited. In the latter work, Gogol painted a picture of the world of the cardsharper with finely drawn character-
ization. Among his short stories, we should not omit ''The Cloak", which portrays its theft in a satirically
tragic way, and his "Nevskii Prospekt". Rightly or wrongly, the "Nevskii Prospekt" has often been regarded
as Gogol's best and most mature essay. His "Selected passages from correspondence with friends" issued in
1846 caused misunderstandings because of the conservative stand now expressed therein, in contrast to the tone
of his earlier works.
Gogol went abroad again from 1842 to 1848. There he worked on the second part of 'Dead Souls", which he
later destroyed. In these years, the incipient nervous breakdown brought on by religious delusions is now
apparent. In his book ''The Creative Genius", Herbert Eulenberg has perhaps sketched in a few well-chosen
sentences the lifestory of Gogol, as follows:
"Son of the cheerful Ukraine! Where is your bewitching laughter, which has beautified and illuminated Russia so
much for us? Enemy of bureaucracy, opponent of the knout, destroyer of tyrants with their old boyar prejudices,
why did you close so soon your glittering and dancing eyes, which radiated their sunshine everywhere and charm-
ed a Pushkin? Singer of the steppes, Homer of the Cossacks, the Catullus of the Dnieper, oh great bucolic poet,
you who have invigorated us like the wind which comes from the Caucasus. ......" (quoted with the kind per-
mission of ''Die Faehre" publishing house, Disseldorf-Kaiserwerth, West Germany).
Stamp Illustration: N. V. Gogol. USSR 1959. Famous Writers commemorative issue, 40;kop. value in green,
issue, 40-kop. value in green, olive-yellow and black. Designed by V. V. Zav'yalov.
Offset print, line perf. 121/.
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Dr. Wember's charming essay on N. V. Gogol should be of
great use to readers, not only as background information for the theme of Russian
writers in topical philately, but it should also encourage interest in the rich store- srok
house of Russian literature. As Dostoevskii once put it, "we are all descended from -
Gogol's 'The Cloak' ". There are excellent translations now available in cheap paperback editions of the
works of many Russian authors in English and other Western European languages.
Parenthetically, it should be pointed out that the literatures of Eastern Europe have been poorly known and
recognized in the West and undeservedly so. If it is considered that writers such as Dickens, Hugo, de Bal-
zac, Goethe, Zola etc., were among the great luminaries of their day in the Western world, then it can be de-
monstrated that their counterparts in the East such as Gogol, Pushkin, Lermontov, Turgenev, Tolstoi,, Shev-
chenko, Dostoevskii, Gorkii and others were literary geniuses by any international standard.
AN UNUSUAL RUSSIAN LEVANT COVER
by Sam Robbins
This is an item in my collection which demonstrates several interesting features, as follows:-
(1) The cover was mailed in Mitelin (Mitylene) on 12 July 1914, Old Style see Fig. 1.
(2) It was received at the ROPIT post office in Constantinople on 16 July 1914, i.e. 29 July New Style (Fig. 2).
At that date, World War I had not yet started, so far as Turkey and Germany were concerned.
(3) It is to be assumed that the ROPIT office in Constantinople sent the letter on right away. I think the let-
ter went by rail and somehow reached the city of Breslau in Silesia, where it was opened on 24 August-see
the label at bottom centre of the back of the cover in Fig. 2. This hurriedly prepared duplicated label,
which owed its existence to the ensuing declaration of war, reads as follows in five lines "For military
reasons under / the rights of war opened / Breslau, 24 / 8 1914 / Roll / Supervising Officer". After the
German authorities in Breslau found nothing of military value in the letter, they resealed it with the two
labels at left (see Fig. 2) reading 'Imperial Railroad Postal Service No. 5" and directed it back to Con-
stantinople with the cachet "Back! / No possibility of delivery" (see Fig. 1, under the registration label).
(4) The Ottoman post office in Galata received the letter on 22 Oct. 1914 and transferred it to the Istanbul
post office the same day (Fig. 2).
(5) They obliged by sending the letter on to London, possibly via Italy and France. Italy was not yet in the
(6) The cover arrived in London on 2 Nov. 1914. This proves that mail services function even in wartime.
It would be interesting to know if other members have similar examples of such unusual pieces of mail.
This fortunate find has been a very interesting experience for me, and I thought I would share it with our merr-
bers. I am enclosing some Xerox copies of the most interesting.
Kurt Adler, New York, N.Y.
(a) Please see Fig. 6 for an example of a Hebrew newspaper of one sheet, published in Warsaw, Russian
Poland in 1878, cleared by the censorship per the printed footnote in Russian and sent to Vienna early in April
1878, Note the bisected 2-kopok stamp, which is adequately tied by the Russian Warsaw postmark. Does any-
one have any other examples of such usages and who can confirm that the rate for a one-sheet newspaper sent
abroad was one kopek at that time?
(b) Lothar Schonauer, a P.O.W. in Russia during W.W.I., was a personal friend of mine and he designed the
first issue of Mongolia (Scott 1-7), while living in Urga after the war. Please refer to Fig. 7 for a photograph
of him taken during this latter period and sent to his relatives in Austria. There is a pencilled notation on the
back in his handwriting reading in German ''I with a Mongolian lady in front of her yurt". A yurt is a Mongolian
I distinctly remember him telling me he had to get a Mongolian scribe to write out the necessary inscriptions for
the stamps, as he was not that familiar with the language.
(c) I recently acquired a registered airmail cover sent by the philatelic department of "Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga"
from the Moscow 1st. Despatch Office on 10 Feb. 1941 and showing a cachet at top left, reading in German in
two lines "By First Flight/ Moscow-Minsk-Vilnius-Kaunas-Riga" (Fig. 8). The rate of 1 r. 30 k. appears to be
in accordance with the eighth schedule of fees for the USSR, in force from 6 Feb. 1939 to 15 Sept. 1948, i.e.
30 kop. for an intercity letter, with a surtax of one ruble for airmail, which at that time also covered full regis-
tration rights without any further charges, according to the data presented to us by Mr. V. A. Karlinskii in his
pioneer work entitled "Soviet Postal Rates".
The cover was handled in transit at Moscow-110 P.O. on 11 Feb. 1941 and received in Riga on the same day.
Has anyone ever heard of this flight before or have any additional information on it?
Joseph F. Chudoba, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Please see Fig. 9 for the picture side of a card sent from Chefoo on 4 Aug. 1909 with 4 Chinese franking and
French P.O. handling mark for international mail. This particular card features a contemporary photograph of
the Russian post office at Chefoo, with a notice board at the right side of the gate and inscribed completely in
English. It is headed 'MAILS CLOSING TODAY", with indecipherable details underneath.
Gordon H. Torrey, PhD., Washington, D.C.
I have run across another bit on the Russian troops in the Salonica campaign, as follows:-
" Departing from Archangel, the Russian brigade of General Dietrich arrived at Salonica in July 1916". This
unit was served by the French military post office and the Secteur Postal No. 507 was attributed to them.
Source: 'Histoire Postale et Militaire de l'Armee d'Orient 1915-20", by Lt.-Col. C. Deloste, p. 43.
Leo Gordon, Washington, D. C.
Supplementing Gordon H. Torrey's description of the misadventures of the Russian brigade on the Macedonian
front during World War I (Rossica Journal No. 74, 1968, pp. 32-34), I enclose copies of the military postcard
from the A. Eugene Michel collection of postal stationery at the Division of Philately and Postal History of
the Smithsonian Institution. (see Figs. 10& 11).
It is my opinion that these postcards were prepared for use by troops of this brigade when it was stationed in
France where they participated in the defense of Verdun. This fact is noted in The Literary Digest History
of World War I, Vol. III, pp. 110-114 (New York, 1919). The remnants of this brigade were subsequently shipped