Memories of the Jewish Legion 1917 – 1920
Identifying Markings On Mail
A GENERATION AGO
collecting covers bearing the markings of the Jewish Legion was a respected niche area in Palestine Philately. F. W. Pollack, editor of the Holy Land Philatelist gave article space to the history and legends of the Legion. He also promoted items available in postal auctions, which he sponsored. Time effaces all things and this area has passed from view. With the recent relocation of the San Diego Philatelic Library and the culling of excess material from the Israel holdings, these gems have come to light again.
Of especial interest are the lands of origin of the men who joined the Jewish Legion and the wide variety of mail, which they generated. Jabotinsky’s call for volunteers for an all–Jewish fighting force evoked an enormous response spanning four continents.
The units that did see service in Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt were largely composed of men from the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Argentine and Brazil, as well as a near company–strength unit of Turkish Jews
released from a POW facility in Egypt. Enormous numbers from other nations volunteered: 1600 from Salonika, over 2000 from Italy, and a deputation from the mountain Jews of Dagestan in the Caucasus..
Even though the Legion was dissolved in 1919, intact units were reassigned to other military formations and continued in service till 1920. Several units guarded various mail trains.