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RE: [borderpoint] British Sovereign Bases / BFPOs

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  • David Gatenby
    Joachim Thank you for the clarification. I stand corrected. Guten Rutsch!David To: borderpoint@yahoogroups.com From: jduester@oman.org Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2012
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 29, 2012

      Thank you for the clarification.  I stand corrected.

      Guten Rutsch!

      To: borderpoint@yahoogroups.com
      From: jduester@...
      Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2012 23:36:43 -0800
      Subject: RE: [borderpoint] British Sovereign Bases / BFPOs

      In addition to "BFPO", the cancellation includes the number of the BFPO which clearly indicates from which field Post Office the mail was posted.
      You can look up the the use of these numbers - where and when they were used - in the philatelic literature. There is a wealth of philatelic literature on field post offices and their cancellations, BFPO as well as other forces. Just in order to avoid misunderstandings: BFPOs can be set up everywhere were troops need them - they do not require to be operating out of a British military base.

      Best wishes for 2013


      --- On Fri, 12/28/12, David Gatenby <gingenby@...> wrote:

      From: David Gatenby <gingenby@...>
      Subject: RE: [borderpoint] British Sovereign Bases
      To: "borderpoint@yahoogroups.com"
      Date: Friday, December 28, 2012, 10:24 PM


      Just one point.  British field post offices will only have a frank on the stamp saying, "FIELD POST OFFICE" so nobody knows where the item was sent.

      To: borderpoint@yahoogroups.com
      From: Dallen.Timothy@...
      Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2012 17:45:54 +0000
      Subject: RE: [borderpoint] British Sovereign Bases


      Hi Len
      Thank you for the erudite answer, and yes, the ancillary material is very interesting and useful. I would love to have you scan the cards and send…would love
      to see the different stamps with different postmarks.
      Looking forward to seeing the scans.

      From: borderpoint@yahoogroups.com [mailto:borderpoint@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of lnadybal@...

      Sent: Friday, December 28, 2012 10:37 AM

      To: borderpoint@yahoogroups.com; borderpoint@yahoogroups.com

      Subject: RE: [borderpoint] British Sovereign Bases


      Hi, Dallen,

      The UK Forces in Akrotiri, etc., have available the British Forces Post

      Office Service (BFPO), which exchanges local bi-lateral [international]

      mail with the Cypriot post offices and for other countries through the

      central base post office in the UK which interfaces with the British

      civilian system. They use regular British stamps, but have special

      discount tariffs that apply. (Used to be 2p for 20g letter from BFPO to

      local host nation civilian addresses aas well as addresses at other forces'

      POs. It may still be 2p, because it wasn't intended to cover costs, it was

      only intended to be a beeny for soldiers and at least get a stamp affixed,

      so that when the forces turned the mail over to the host without postage

      due markings, the host would consider it fully paid. Because of this,

      reciprocity comes into play - 20g letter mail from civilian Cyprus to the

      bases is fully paid at Cyprus domestic rates - postage normally applicable

      to the UK need not be applied. I'm not sure what rate applies from

      Turkish Cyprus to the base addresses - Turkey is in NATO, and domestic

      rates apply between Turkey and Turkish Cyprus (in fact, turkish Cyprus

      stamps are valid in Turkey).

      British forces members may also take advantage of the military postal

      services of the other sending states that participate in the UN mission as

      well as the Greek-Cypriot civilian service. Theoretically, a British

      forces member could also cross the lines and mail from the Turkish-Cypriot

      POs. Inbound mail to the bases (with destination BFPO addresses on them,

      in contrast to a civilian "open" street address) would only be delivered by

      the BFPO (through a PO box of a soldier's supporting mail room). It's

      always remained unclear to me how mail would get handled that is addressed

      from a country to Cyprus but at a quarters address (i.e., a building number

      on a named street) that is inside a base.

      On bases in Germany, Italy, etc., mail addressed like that gets delivered

      by the host country's postman, except on "closed" bases, where arrangements

      have been made for the local post office to give the mail to the base post

      office or mail room for distribution. Registered mail is an issue in this

      mix - in some countries R-letter service is equal to US certified, and can

      be turned over to a base PO for obtaining a signature. UK R-letter service

      is like the US registered service, and local post offices may not give them

      up to military offices.... they can only leave notices for the recipient to

      come to the local PO and pick them up and sign form them. Cyprus' R-letter

      service was niitially designed by the British, but I've not kept abreast of

      how that may have loosened that up in Cyprus after independence to where

      may now be nothing more than what we call "certified mail". The difference

      in Cyprus is that the bases are sovereign UK, and the "local postman" would

      have to leave Cypriot territory to deliver such mail. In countries where

      the post office is governmental, that's an issue. In countries where the

      post offices have been privatized, cross border deliveries by a company

      employee (as opposed to a government official) isn't a problem (see example

      of Swiss Post International, a private sector, for profit division of the

      governmental Swiss post office that originates mail outside of Switzerland

      and delivers to third countries by routing through Switzerland to get into

      the international mailstream). I bring that up, becaue I'm not certain

      about the current status of the Cypriot postal system (comm'l or Govt??).

      At times, since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, there have been up to 8

      postal systems simultaneously operating on the island. I have some

      presentation cars I got from dignitaries years ago, with, I think, if I

      recall correctly, 6 stamps of six administration, each cancelled with the

      proper postmark of its own service. Getting the Danish stamp postmarked

      was an issue for the preparers, because under danish law, the stamps

      affixed on Cyprus could only be postmarked upon arrival in Denmark, and

      then forwarded - but for these cards, the Danish government allowed an

      exception. I can scan one for you and send you an image if you are

      curious. Among the stamps is a British one with a sovereign base postmark

      (BFPO + number, whatever it was).

      Long answer to a short question - but I hope the ancillary material is of

      interest, nevertheless.

      Happy New Year to you and yours.


      Len Nadybal

      Original Message:


      From: Dallen Timothy Dallen.Timothy@...

      Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2012 16:41:48 +0000

      To: borderpoint@yahoogroups.com

      Subject: [borderpoint] British Sovereign Bases

      Len or anyone else, do you know about the postal system on the British

      Sovereign Bases of Cyprus? Are there post offices in either sector, and

      what stamps to they use?




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