Four stamps were used on prepaid civilian mail: Palestine no. 1, the one piastre indigo or deep blue stamp was issued on February 10, 1918 and civilian letters sent abroad then required one piastre postage. Palestine no. 2, the five milliemes cobalt blue stamp was issued on February 16, 1918 for internal letters, and post cards everywhere. Both were without gum. These were followed on March 5, 1918 by Palestine No. 3 (one piastre ultramarine) and No. 4 (5 milliemes ultramarine), and both were gummed stamps. I have used Bale/Gibbons catalog numbers. Figure 7. Earliest known prepaid civilian cover mailed on February 13, 1918 at FPO DMI. Palestine No. 1 was affixed and canceled the next day at FPO GMI.[Ed. Also on “Stamps” web page.]
The earliest known prepaid civilian cover was mailed at the military Field Post Office DMI on February 13, 1918 (Figure 7).
POSTAL HISTORY OF PALESTINE’S 1918 INTERIM PERIOD
The Israel Philatelist. August, 2000, Pages 134- 136; Vol 51, Issue 4, Page 16.
At first there were no civilian posts. Civilians could use the military postal system (Figure 15). Military control lasted until 1920.
A Brief Overview of Holy Land Philately. The Israel Philatelist, Winter 2017, P. 54.
The earliest known prepaid civilian cover was mailed at the military Field Post Office DMI on February 13, 1918 (Figure 7). The clerk collected the postage and canceled the cover. It was sent to FPO GMI where a no. 1 stamp was affixed and canceled the next day. This combination of a cancel where the cover was received and the stamp canceled at another location a day or two later is necessary to prove a proper prepaid civilian cover.
POSTAL HISTORY OF PALESTINE’S 1918 INTERIM PERIOD. The Israel Philatelist, August 2000, pp 134-6; Volume 51, Issue 4, Page 16.
In Figure 2 we have a commercial cover of the Rishon le Zion Winegrowers Cooperative to the Societe Carmel Oriental, Le Caire, P. 0. Box 84 7. This cover was handed in for posting at Army Post Office SZ 32 on 9 JY 18 and similar to two other covers recorded’ in BAPIP Bulletin No. 48, was accepted against a cash payment of 1 piaster, as per manuscript mark “1P” at the right over the postmark. The reason for this notation was due to a lack of postage stamps at this Army Post Office in June/July. The franking was applied at Field Post Office MG 1, as evidenced by the postmark of 10 JY 18, cancelling the 1 pi Palestine blue (#3). It should be noted that APO SZ 32 was then at Bir Salem-Ramleh. The cover was forwarded to FPO GM 1 at Jerusalem for franking and censoring. This is shown by the violet “PALESTINE/CENSORSHIP/ No. 3” in a box and the 1nitial “M” in black at the lower right, this latter being the censor’s personal mark. The cover reached its destination only two days later, July 12th as per the arrival postmark on its reverse.
(Ed. note: *The extent to which the APO facilities were made available to the civilian public and whether the service was entirely “free” has not yet been recorded. It is a fact that private personal mail posted at the A.P.O.’s in the pre-stamp period is remarkably scarce.)
INTERESTING ITEMS of the FIRST INTERIM PERIOD of PALESTINE
The Israel Philatelist, 1974, Volume 25, Issue 3-4, Page 25 (492).
In 1918 the country was governed by the Military Command Galely, “Egyptian Ex-peditionary Forces”, E.E.F., and later by the “Occupied Enemies Territories Admin-istration” “O.E.T.A.” The Civil Mail Service were assured by the Army Postal Organization and manipulated accordingly. The presented cover shows all the components of the service:
1) The E.E.F. stamps for civil postage.
2) The Army Post Office active in Palestine: S Z (Suez Zone) and GM (General Headquarters), both types.
3) The “Palestine Censorship” cachet, (in use Nos. 1, 2, 3) applied in violet or red.
4) The Registration Label.
5) The “Opened by Censor” sealing label.
6) Military Censor Cachets.
7) Arrival Postmark in Cairo.
8) Transportation times: Jaffa-Bir Salem, one day; Bir Salem to Cairo one day.
9)Handling time at Headquarters, three days.
So much information reflected on a single cover.
A Single Cover
The Israel Philatelist, Volume 32, Issue 34, Page 31
Prepaid postcard from HEBRON to Jerusalem 4 March, 1918. Postage ‘½PE’ receipted in oval rubberstamp: ‘Assistant Administrator O.E.T. – HEBRON’. Postage stamp S milliemes on 1 pia affixed at APO SZ 44 (Jerusalem) 6 MR 18. (O.E.T. indicates Occupied Enemy Territory).
THE FIRST (PALESTINE) INTERIM PERIOD. The Israel Philatelist, 1976, Volume 27, Issue 1-2, Page 7.
Postage receipted ‘1/2 Pt’.
This is the latest known prepaid civilian cover from Palestine.