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 Jacqueline Pearce-Gervis, Daughter of Flight Lieutenant Leslie Pearce – 120 Squadron RAF – One of the original pilots taking part in the air mail service. It is suggested that he was also the pilot in the Cuneo painting shown on the cover.
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
British Forces Post Office Celebrates Centenary of First Airmail Flights – Jacqueline Pearce-Gervis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nATSVBjXPGU