An international British Air Mail Service was first proposed in July 1917. After much discussion and various trials carried out jointly 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 the 1st March 1919. Its purpose was to provide troops of the British Army stationed in Germany with a fast mail service.
To mark the centenary of this Air Mail Service BFPS has produced a commemorative cover published on the 1st March 2019.
An image of the original oil painting “First Air Mail” by Terence Cuneo forms the basis of this cover. A 1st class stamp ‘Sopwith Camel F1′ has been cancelled by the specially issued BFPS 3221 handstamp.
Each commemorative cover will have an A4 information insert both of which will be presented in a protective cellophane slip making a highly desirable collectable.
This cover will be signed by Wing Commander Tim Brookes* BA (Hons) MA RAF – Officer Commanding 18 (Bomber Squadron) who are descendants of one of the original squadrons participating in the airmail service.
British Pathe footage of mail being loaded onto an aircraft: https://www.britishpathe.com/video/air-post-to-cologne/query/mail
Film archive from the Imperial War Museum: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060023306