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Postal History of the Naval & RAF Postal Services

Edward Proud



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From the eighteenth century the post office made special agreements for naval mails. Letters were made up in special bags for the squadrons serving overseas. These mails were usually carried both ways by the packet or a naval vessel.

Special civil offices (called Naval Post Offices) were operated at Portsmouth, Devonport and Plymouth to deliver and receive naval letters. In the First World War, the post office continued to handle most of the mail from the navy, marking the envelope "received from "H.M.Ships" in the large offices, or merely cancelling the stamp with a "dumb" mark in the smaller offices.