Mavis displays naval mail

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A display of French naval mail was given by Mavis Pavey from the Galashiels-based Borders Philatelic Society. She is no stranger to the local members having been a guest speaker on many occasions.

With on-board post offices, the cancellations applied to covers identified each ship and complementing these were postcards showing the actual vessels.

The first part of the display covered the years 1824-1918, the First World War mail was free to France, payment only required when registered or to a foreign country. Notable items were mail from hospital ships and submarines, and two covers of special interest were from China to France in 1901 during the Boxer rebellion.

In many cases the history of each ship was detailed, including campaigns involved in, if sunk and when scrapped.

The display continued with mail from between the wars, during the Second World War and from 1945 onwards.