REGISTERED LETTER TO LONDON.
STAMP : POSTES MILITAIRES BELGIQUE BELGIE LEGERPOSTERIJ
STAMPS NR 126,127,128 and 145. NR 126,127,128 USED AS VIGNET
, NR 145 USED AS PORT.
NORMAL PORT = 25C, REGISTER RIGHT ONLY ( FREEDOM OF PORT
FRONT SIDE OF THE LETTER.
BLUE CROSS : This is the English indication of an registered
piece and originates from the time there were no special
stripes to do this. We also find the blue colour of this
cross on the English strips later, in contrast with other
countries where the strips were painted in red.
GATA : N° 372 : French strip 'registered' ( under it 'recommandé'
written by hand).
A : Administratif
T : (of the) Troops
A : (of the) Army
S M : Service Militaire. This notation had to be put on
by the Belgian military on all their letters send in portfreedom.
The latter was introduced on the seventh of August 1914.
On registered pieces the notice S M usually was omitted
( the exception proves the rule.)
BACK SIDE OF THE LETTER.
OVAL STAMP : AU 16 LONDON. The oval stamp was only used
for registered pieces . REGISTERED in the top ; In the middle
the date of passing the post office : ? Augustus 1916 ;
Beneath : LONDON.
RIGHT LOWER CORNER : # D 28/30 REG FPO. In Anglo-Saxon countries
the sign '#' has the meaning of 'number' . REG means registrated
and FPO field post office. So this letter passed through
the English field post office and has received a number
( like all registrated pieces) . Here it was number D 28/30
ENVOI DE P. MAECK B 183 2' Cie A.B. Thus the letter was
posted by P.MAECK of the 24' company of B 183 of the Belgian
army. Concerning the notation "B 183" : Each part of the
army was not mentioned by name, but received a code, consisting
of a letter and a number, obviously for reasons of security.
This code changed every year:
A = 1915
B = 1916
C = 1917
Z = 1918
The code mentioned here B 183 matches with the code C 58
and stood for: Premier groupement du corps des travailleurs
Auxilliaires du Génie . Soldier P. Maeck belonged to the
24 ' company of this part of the Belgian Army.
thanks to Arille Tassin.