To mark the centenary of the first International British Air Mail Service, The British Forces Philatelic Service (BFPS) has published a commemorative cover featuring the original oil painting “First Air Mail” by Terence Cuneo.
An international British Air Mail Service was first proposed in July 1917. Following trials jointly carried out by the RAF and the Royal Engineers (Postal Section), a regular air mail service was set up and began to operate between Folkestone and Cologne on 1 Mar 1919. Its purpose was to provide troops of the British Army stationed in Germany with a fast mail service.
A 1st class stamp ‘Sopwith Camel F1′ has been cancelled by the specially issued BFPS 3221 handstamp. As well as the standard cover, there are three signed limited editions available, all of which will help raise funds for The RLC Benevolent Fund.
These limited editions are signed by: Colonel AD Moffat OBE – Head, British Forces Post Office, Wing Commander Tim Brookes BA (Hons) MA RAF – Officer Commanding 18 (Bomber Squadron) (a descendant of one of the original squadrons participating in the airmail service) and Jacqueline Pearce-Gervis, Daughter of Flight Lieutenant Leslie Pearce – 120 Squadron RAF.
Lt Pearce was one of the original pilots who took part in the air mail service and it’s suggested he’s also the pilot in the painting shown on the cover.
The covers have an A4 information insert and are presented in a protective cellophane slip. Costing just £7.50 for a standard version and £12 for the signed limited edition, they can be ordered from the BFPS online shop (www.bfps.org.uk/shop) or by post by sending a cheque (payable to ‘BFPS CIC’) to BFPS, The Old Post Office, Links Place, Elie, LEVEN, KY9 1AX.
The BFPS fundraises for Service charities through philately and is a not-for-profit organisation run by a small team of volunteers, both of whom are veterans.
BFPS is a registered Community Interest Company (CIC) working closely with the British Forces Post Office (BFPO).