On His Majesty’s Service
This well franked envelope certainly passed through a lot of hands before it reached Captain Stabb of the S.S. Lahore in 1941. Passing the censor’s office by way of the Bombay General Post Office and various other bodies, its route makes more sense when we consider the fate of the Lahore.
The envelope is postmarked 5th May in Bombay. It was presumably still in transit when, just three days later, the ship was torpoedoed by U-124 (a type IXB ‘Edelweiss boat’) just north of the Cape Verde Islands. One of four ships sunk in the attack, it caught fire and was abandoned the following day. Fortunately, all 82 crew were rescued by the British destroyer, HMS Forester. The mail ship’s wasted journey may well explain how the letter came to be surcharged twopence when it was eventually delivered to Captain Stabb!
My thanks to the redoubtable Michael Burroughs of Anything Militaria for sending the photos and information.