Canadian Participation in the South African War, 1899-1902 (Col)
The Postal History of the Canadian Participation in the South African War, 1899-1902, 2013 by Frank, Joachim. A fresh look at the postal history of the Canadians who served in the 1899-1902 South African war, with many one-of-a-kind items. BNAPS Exhibit Series #73. Colour version. Spiral, 110 pp.
The Postal History of the Canadian Participation in the South African War, 1899-1902 exhibit documents the complex involvement of some 8000 Canadian volunteers who served in South Africa during the conflict and its aftermath.
The First Contingent, consisting of the 2nd Bn Royal Canadian Regiment, left from Quebec on 30 October 1899, on the “SS Sardinian”. It was followed on 27 January 1900 by the Second Contingent, which included the 1st and 2nd Bns Canadian Mounted Rifles, the Royal Canadian Field Artillery, a Nurses group and the Canadian Postal Corps. Also in January 1900, the 3rd Bn Royal Canadian Regiment was sent to Halifax, NS to relieve the Imperial garrison for service in South Africa.
Lord Strathcona’s Horse, an Imperial unit raised in Canada, followed in March 1900. The Third Contingent, arriving in January 1902, involved the 2nd Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles and the 10th Canadian Field Hospital. The Fourth Contingent, consisting of the 3rd – 6th Regiments, Canadian Mounted Rifles, was in South Africa from June July 1902. The Contingent for the South African Constabulary, the last of whom remained in South Africa till 1908, did not have a free franking privilege.
Among the rare or unusual items in the exhibit are a “Mail Service Suspended” cover returned to the sender only 12 days after war was declared, mid ocean mail transfer covers, the only recorded Registered Canadian Contingent parcel label and an official mailbag tag, three En-Route items and a rare SO Canadians cover. Letters from Canadians who participated in the relief of Mafeking are of great interest, as is the only known item from the 4th Regiments, Canadian Mounted Rifles, part of the Fourth Contingent. Patriotic covers used at home are complemented by patriotics used in South Africa.
In 1944, when he was just six, Canadian troops liberated Joachim Frank’s home town of Oss, Netherlands. Stamps the Canadian troops gave the children from their mail must have destroyed some good postal history, but they kindled in him an interest in Canadian philately and history. After emigrating to South Africa in 1951 he graduated from the Medical School of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, subsequently specialising in Gynaecology. He practiced in that city until 2010, when he retired and relocated to London, England.
A member of the Philatelic Society of Johannesburg since 1955, Joachim served as its President and is the oldest subscribing member. His main collecting interest has been “Canada”, particularly the Victorian issues of the Dominion period, and his “Canada 1868-1897” exhibit received two South African National Large Gold Medals and the National Grand Prix (State President’s Trophy), as well as a Vermeil at International exhibitions in Canada (1996) and Large Vermeils in Israel (1998) and Korea (2002). He joined BNAPS in 1966 and the Royal Philatelic Society, London in 1972. In 1994 he was elected to sign “The Roll of Honour of Distinguished Philatelists of Southern Africa.”
After contributing to recent Canadian handbooks but unable to exhibit his Victorian stamps internationally, he disposed of the Canada collection except for “The Postal History of the Canadian Participation in the South African War, 1899-1902”. This has been developed into a substantial exhibit which was awarded a Large Gold medal and special prize at Pezapex 2007 (Port Elizabeth, SA), a Vermeil at “Israel 2008” and a Gold medal at Autumn Stampex 2012 (London). He is also the author of a number of articles, based on this collection, for “The South African Philatelist”, exploring the Canadian contribution, in all its forms, to a war which was to change the history of South Africa.