Memoir 17

Memoir: 17

Title: The postal history of Southern Rhodesia during World War II

Author: C.J. Cooksey and K.G. Harrop

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Non-Members Price: £25 plus P&H.

 

The authors have produced a comprehensive record of specific aspects of the postal history of a country involved in a war which took place elsewhere; as a result the subject lacks the glamour of campaign covers and battle memorabilia, and has largely been ignored until now. This has now been redressed, and this work provides an important exercise in collecting together in one place a number of diverse threads of the story of how the postal services coped with the problems of long range communication in era of political disruption. Some of these problems were the same as those encountered by British colonies elsewhere; some were specific to Southern Rhodesia.

There is a full listing of the postal rates and services in force from September 1939 to the end of the war, and a detailed list of the cachets used by the S.R. Air Force and the Rhodesia Air Training Group and the Air Force Camp Post Offices which builds on earlier information; there were also numerous RAF Camps involved in training for the war, and this detail is also included, as is the Army and related mail. Much of the information was previously unrecorded and the illustrations are particular good.

Active Service Letter Cards, Airgraphs, Censorship, Patriotic items, and War economy labels followed the pattern established elsewhere, but here we have the specific rules applicable to S.R.; events and aspects specific to S.R. are also included with details of their impact on postal history, such as the South African War Train 1941 (a recruitment drive), internment and refugee camp mail , and the S.R. War Fund which was set up to assist those who served under Southern Rhodesian conditions of service and their families. This work will appeal to all students of WW II postal history, where it adds to the wider story; it will also be of particular value to collectors of this material who now for the first time have a guide on which to build their collections.

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