Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"World War 1" & "Netherlands & Colonies"


Professor Ray Welland


It was a "Display of two halves" at the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society on Friday evening (3rd February) given by Ray Welland of Dumbarton and of the Caledonian Philatelic Society.

He began with a fantastic display of historic postcards showing "From Battlefield to Prison of War Camps" during World War 1. These showed German and French prisoners-of-war being taken to the camps - and also gave an impression of life in the camps - long queues for food; going to work – repairing roads/ garden work. Also leisure and entertainment – football; concerts & theatrical shows. 

A display of preprinted letters informing families of loved ones feared missing – possibly in POW camp. Also a letter from King George V to a POW on his release from camp. Other cards showed internment in Switzerland of wounded personnel – who were later sent to POW camp on their recovery.

An interesting display of postal covers showed something of the extent of world Censorship during the War – these included letters sent from Bermuda to Netherlands; Argentina to Switzerland; Malta to Britain; Switzerland to Ceylon – all of which were subject to Censorship. Even Internal mail in Germany was not exempt!  Also some letters which were not accepted for postage at all – because of the contents or being sent to "neutral" countries.

The second ‘half’ was a display of "Netherlands and Colonies". This began with a great display of postcards illustrating Rotterdam before and after the War. Nearly all buildings were destroyed and the decision was made not to rebuild the original city – but to let a new one emerge from the destruction.

As Ray’s father was in the Army, the family often travelled between Harwich and the Netherlands by Troop ship – so a display of postcards and cachets of Troopships was viewed – including SS Macklenburg; SS Duke of York; RMS Arnhem – among many others.

The Dutch West Indies – Netherlands colony in the Caribbean. A display of many covers showing the first airmail flight from Curacao to various countries of the world – similarly from Suriname. During World War 2 the same Censorship problem was faced – many examples were shown -letters sent from Curacao and from Aruba displayed with the Censor label attached.

Alan Wishart led members in thanking Ray Welland for showing such a fascinating and informative collection.

Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday, 10th February 2017, at 7:30pm when Dr David Cumming will present his displays "Iceland" & "French Antarctic". 

Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc is very welcome to attend.