Saturday, May 30, 2009

V for Victory

I have to admit that I have been lazy to update the blog. You see last month there was only one blog. But, I had excuse for that :-) There was interior work happening in my new apartment and it took all of my weekends running here and there. This month was different though.

Nonetheless, I am back. I will give double bonanza by updating blog both on Saturday and Sunday this time to make up for my laziness. Hope! June will be different ;-)

It's while since I showed some postal items. This is third such post in war postal stationary series category though second such postal envelope/cards lot. Today's theme is "V for Victory" or "V".

Shown above is used VP cover addressed to "H. H. the Thakor Saheb" of Vala State (part of Eastern Kathiawar Agency) in 1943. The cover has red circular "V for Victory" label attached to it. The envelope was posted from Bombay.

Kathiawar Agency was a political unit that was part of the old Bombay Presidency in British India. Situated on the Kathiawar peninsula in the western part of the Indian subcontinent, it was composed of almost 200 princely states, which were merged into Bombay State upon India's independence in 1947. The region became part of the new Gujarat state in 1960, when Bombay state was split into Gujarat and Maharashtra states.

There were altogether 193 states of varying size and importance, of which 14 exercised independent jurisdiction, while the rest were more or less under British administration. Vala (Valla, Vallabhipur Talooka, Vulla) was one of such state which was merged in Saurashtra, part of now Gujarat state.

Next item shown above is used postcard of Patiala state dated 1941. The postcard has "V for Victory" franking in blue color with Patiala state stamp on it.

This item is not really an Indian one. But, I generally keep Burma postal items of world war II period in my collection as part of Indian collection because of involvment of India in CBI theater. And that's the reason it is displayed here. The envelope shown above is a used one from Rangoon with Burma stamp on it. The envelope has thick blue color "V" franking on it.

Here is the last item in this post and also one of my favorite one. This used bookpost cover was issued in 1942 from Bombay. The cover has a large blue color "V" franking in front. This cover is different from other covers because the large "V" has been made of number of tiny "V"s with circle around it. It's amazing to see such a creative mind at work during war days.

The envelope becomes more special because it carries a slogan "Join ARP services" trapped in large arrow in reverse side.

Hope, you will enjoy these varities of "V for Victory" frankings. I have more items on same theme which I will share in upcoming posts though they will not be necessarily postal stationary.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Britain Delivers The Goods - WWII Patriotic Cards

The great war had started. Factories in Britain and its allies had started smoking out fear and building confidence by producing all kinds of goods required to sustain in war. To keep the momentum going, British ships started carrying the raw materials from Asia and Africa to factories in Britain and other allies places and then ship the manufactured goods to all the allies post. Ships were (perhaps) the most viable option for transportation at that time.

It was then U-boats, who started intercepting and sinking the ships created a much fear in British Empire that the ships has to be protected by British Navy to ensure safety. British navy slowly started engaging German navy and U-Boats to protect ships. The navy warships formed a convoy under whose protection most of ships used to transport goods from one destination to another. Even then the convoy could never guarantee 100% safety of crew, ships and goods that it carried. But, it was the most important morale booster that navy gave to ships.

At the same time, sometime in mid 1940, a textile firm in Bradford came out with idea of stenciling on its export packing cases the cheerful slogan "Britain Delivers the Goods", surmounted by a Union Jack. So excellent did this seem to the Export Council of the Board of Trade that similar stencils were sent to thousands of exporting firms. Some adopted a variant of the wording: "Shipped in a British ship under the protection of the British Navy." Both slogans served to impress the consignees with Empire's confidence of outwitting Hitler's vaunted blockade.

The slogan became so popular that variety of labels and cards were printed to enthuse patriotic feelings among carriers and people under allies protection. Below is one such set of 3 patriotic cards printed during world war II in red, brown and blue color.

The above card shows convoy of British warships and white ensign with narrative:

"Britain Delivers The Goods - Thanks to the British Navy"

On the reverse, same slogan is printed in 12 languages including Hindi, Urdu, Burmese, English and others. It is one of interesting patriotic cum propaganda card ever known.

I have also learnt that forged copies of such card is very common in market because of popularity of these. So, buy them only from reliable sources and become part of history!

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