Friday, July 20, 2007

The Field Post Office

When we were moving around the country with out air force dad, we would be passed on from one APO (Army post Office) to the other. I found it fascinating then and still do that a chap might be posted in the far flung hill ranges of the Himalayas but, if you only put on the envelope, his name followed by the APO he was under, the letter would make its way to him.

In the Indian Army, the first field post office came into operation during 1856 to accompany the expeditionary forces to Persia. This FPO operated in Bushire from 12 December 1856 to 02 Oct 1857. The location of Bushire can be seen on the first of the stamps in the series (a revelation to the map challenged person like me)

The field post office was set up initially only during war time , but over the years it has become an integral part of the defense services. In 2006, the FPO completed 150 years of service and this set of four stamps was released.

The First day cover is good as it contains a collage of small pictures. I can't identify any of the pictures as being very famous pictures, but I'm sure that they must be. On the right top corner of the envelope, you can spot a small stamp featured on the cover. On enlarging that stamp, I could read out the script in Hindi " Bharatiya suraksha Ghatak korea". In English this translates as "The Indian Contingent force - Korea." The stamp is for the value of 4 Anna's.

1 comment:

pm said...

There are actually only two APO's covering the whole of India .( I really do not know if these two also cover personnel posted in foreign countries as well, may be they do !) 56 APO and 99 APO.
As velu has written , one just writes personal details , the unit of the individual and APO concerned eg . Flt .Lt PMV 10126, No 22 Sqn,AF , C/O 99 APO , and the letter would reach Flt . Lt. PMV no matter where in India he was posted / 22 Sqn was located. It was amezingly efficient as well .