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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 9 years 1 month ago #13519

  • dunnboer
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Hello David,

Are you a member of the Anglo-Boer War Philatelic Society? I am sure that among the membership there are individuals with considerable knowledge of this subject. I can supply contact details if you wish as the website is somewhat out of date. There will be a meeting of the Society at my house in Worcestershire in late September and you and your covers would be most welcome!

Regards
Paul

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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 6 months ago #18876

  • David Grant
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After much searching I managed to get a copy of Edward Proud's History of the Indian Army Postal Service which has ......... nothing at all about the Boer War. Anyway in correspondence with the author I have managed to establish that the comment in “The Postage Stamp in War” authored by Fred J. Melville is not factual. Here mention is made of “The Indian forces in South Africa also had their own postal establishment, with a special series of postmarks.,” Proud seems to think that there was no Indian Postal Establishment rather a few attached personnel to help with the APO which does not make an "establishment". Also there was no special postmarks. Less to collect I suppose but still intrigued.
Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
I collect primarily QSAs to Indian Recipients.

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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 6 months ago #18886

  • djb
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David,

It is good to find out information like this but frustrating when you come to a dead end. Are there other avenues you can pursue?

Presumably the Indian APS was tasked to send and receive Indian mail of which there would not have been very much?

Does this imply the colonial forces had similar arrangements for Australia, NZ and Canada?

Kind regards
David
Dr David Biggins

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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 6 months ago #18902

  • David Grant
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I think the APO dealt with it all - certainly looking at the sale recently of Boer War mail, all the colonial mail seems to have been sent via the APO. I think the "Indian mail" was sorted in the APO system and sent to Durban where it was shipped to Tuticorin for distribution. The Indian Personnel were possibly used to distribute incoming mail since the average Tommy Postman in 1900 could not read Urdu.
There is a book by Ormassi(?) "Indian Voices in the Great War" which quotes vast quantities of Indian mail that had been censured and archived - well worth a read -only 14 years later - I think you would be surprised at how erudite and educated the average sowar was. So to keep 2 post masters and 2 clerks busy for the best part of two years, there must have been more mail than we would necessarily expect from the dearth of material that I have found.
I need to find some incoming mail items. I need some sleep! I need a life!
Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
I collect primarily QSAs to Indian Recipients.

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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 6 months ago #18913

  • djb
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David,

It would be nice to think there are packages of these mails yet to be discovered? It is likely many survived do you think?

Best wishes
David
Dr David Biggins

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Postal History of the Indian Contingent in the Boer War. 8 years 4 months ago #19566

  • David Grant
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Reading "St.Martin Le Grande" Vol 10 1901 ( which is the Newsletter of the GPO ) I came across this little gem

“Our Army Post Office is not the only one in the field, as the Indian Government has made a similar arrangement in Natal for the benefit of the troops sent from India.”

This agrees with Melville, disagrees with Proud, is not supported by the medal rolls and just adds to the confusion.
Looking for Salutries, Salootries and Veterinary Duffadars.
I collect primarily QSAs to Indian Recipients.

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