17/05/2017 General, Covers
For those military and civilian personnel captured and imprisoned during wartime, the scant and unreliable mail services became, next to food, water and shelter, the most important services they could hope to receive.
Collecting mail from these POWs and civilian internees is a fascinating pastime. One can only imagine the isolation of a German soldier held in Natal during the First War, but we can at least own something that he mailed, with all its poignancy (and postal censorship markings)! With the Second World War we can see the myriad of covers from French and Polish prisoners held in German camps, alongside those sent by German prisoners in England, Canada, America and beyond.
The aftermath of war also brings fascinating mail from displaced persons' camps and from the tracing services. These operated long after the hope of finding a loved one must have faded for many people.
In short, there is no better place in military postal history, to find the humanity of those caught up in the misery of war.