-MILITARY POSTMARKS
  Nr 1 until 6: division of the army with the same number
Nr 7 :cavalery division
Nr 8: headquarters at Houthem.
This was the situation before 2/1915. After that date the numbers were separated from the divisions for military safety. Also appeared a postmark without a number.
Starting from 3/1915 the postoffice in the headquarters was overworked, and it was divided in two,one with the number 8,situated in Calais, the other with the number 8bis,situated in Coudekerque-Branche.


 







REGISTERED LETTER TO LONDON.
STAMP : POSTES MILITAIRES BELGIQUE BELGIE LEGERPOSTERIJ 8.
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 FOR SOLDIERS.)

FRONT SIDE OF THE LETTER.
1) 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.

 2) R GATA : N° 372 : French strip 'registered' ( under it 'recommandé' written by hand).
  G : Group
A : Administratif
T : (of the) Troops
A : (of the) Army

 3) 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.
 1) 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.

 2) 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

 3) 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.

With thanks to Arille Tassin.