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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Field Post Office postmark with "H.P." initials


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A few days ago, I posted

a query

which prompted JWK to post a link to a useful on-line guide.

Now I have another FPO postmark


with the initials "H.P.", which are not mentioned in the guide.

Any ideas as to what they may indicate, please?


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E B Proud in his Vol 2 History of the British Army Postal Service records thus:

Canadian Corps

redesignation of HX in 1917. D/S possibly only used by Canadian Corps after Jan 1919. Used by H3 from 1.8.18 - 31.1.19.

HOWEVER - IMHO you have a weakly inked F.P.O. HR with an almost missing leg to the R. This cancel was in use by IX Corps at Bailleul at this time. Proud's image of the HP cancel has a round centre to the 'P' whereas the centre of his 'R' is a similar shape to your scan above.

AFAIK the censor mark has not been attributed to a particular unit.

Hope this helps!


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  • 1 month later...

The front of the card is captioned "Rue de la Gare" with the name of the town crossed out and shows a fine row of houses. Jim's reference to Bailleul prompted me to put "Rue de la Gare Bailleul" into the Google Images search box, and, sure enough, this produced a photograph taken further along the street shown in my card - and also some postcard photographs taken later in the war showing the devastated ruins.

It looks as if the erasure of "Bailleul" (on the card, that is) was done with blue ink that has run - which would usually be regarded as a disfigurement that would lower the card's value, though in this case it adds extra interest.

Thanks again, Jim!


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