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Indian FPO 144

Started by mgibbs, February 19, 2022, 06:45:02 AM

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Hello there;

I have recently acquired an inbound cover from UK to a member of the Frontier Force Rifles backstamped with the Indian FPO 144 and I wondered where this was recorded to have been based, if anyone knows?

I have been very much enjoying reading a plethora of old posts with huge variety of subjects. The level of expertise is certainly daunting for a fairly beginning collector!  :D I have followed the military subject area vaguely for quite a few years in an off and on way but am really amazed to see the levels of collecting dedication of some. (My main interest lies in researching personalities, especially Indian Army, either senders or recipients of mail I have collected, but also in Empire Air Mail routes, how can one be confined to one interest area?  ;D

Kind regards
Matt Gibbs

Michael Dobbs


Welcome to the Forum - we all started from somewhere and our knowledge has grown over the years.  Even our "experts" can learn something new from time to time.

Can you provide a date for your Indian FPO 144 postmark please.

Thanks, Mike


Hi Mike,
Yes, thanks I should have put that in the first post, it is 17 OCT 23


Apologies if I presented a tough one as my first question. Can anyone point me towards a publication I can try finding?

Nick Colley

Well, Ted Proud's series of books on the history of various army postal services included at least three volumes on the Indian Army Postal Service. I have a copy only of Volume 3, spanning the years 1931-1947. Hopefully there's a reader of the Forum who owns a copy of Volume 2, which should cover 1923. If there is, do please pull it off your bookshelf, and help Matthew.

Sorry I can't be of more use, Matt.


Ross Debenham

According to Entwhistle's publication "Indian Base and Field Post Offices 1914-1924" it was on the North West frontier in India.

Chris Grimshaw

Hello Matthew

Welcome to the Forum, hopefully the first of many posts.

Proud Vol II 'History of the Indian Army Postal Service 1914 - 1931' records the following for this IFPO.

IFPO No 144 India N.W.F. HQ 16 Division, Dates given (Note in brackets denotes can be extended)

(19.7.19) -   

(3.1.23) - (3.3.24) 

No other details of location are given.


Michael Dobbs

Thanks for your response Chris.  I attended the Royal yesterday andwent to the Library with the intention of looking at Proud Volume II.  However, it wasn't there - either on loan or missing / mis-filed!  Typical - Volumes I and III were there but not the one I wanted!

I asked Richard Berry if he could bring our FPHS Library copy to our meeting on Saturday (or his copy if the Library does not hold a copy) - I will now stand him down!



Thank you so much for all the support Nick, Mike and Chris.

The letter I have is from Reigate, Krag machine cancelled there on 26 Sep 23 to Lt C.E Morris 4th Frontier force rifles, later Colonel and C.O of his Regt.
It is addressed to "Piazha Raghza, Waziristan". Presumably being deployed forward into the Frontier territory for deployment if necessary for punitive expedition. I gather the locale was partly a supply base. The Indian FPO 144 mark.on reverse is 17 Oct 23. Presumably applied at the point of distribution from FPO to the 4th FFR. I need to read more on that routing  Presumably via Peshawar.

My collecting interests are probably odd, mostly I guess social / military history, officers working in Piffer units, Frontier  or interesting looking careers. Especially indian mountain batteries. I am also collecting covers to personages with different  post nominal for fun. (General His Highness the Maharaja of Bikaner is my best so far as he has loads of decorations!)

Regards and thanks,

Peter Harvey

Hi Matt,

Interesting you mention that he later became C.O. of the regiment. I would assume that in 1923 as a Lt, he was a young man. So this would be the same officer that went on to serve with some distinction in WW2.

Temporary Lt Colonel in 1943

Served Middle East (including Egypt, East Africa, Western Desert, Sudan, Greece, Crete, Syria & Tobruk)

Distinguished Service medal in 1944



Matthew Gibbs

Thank you very much for those links Peter.
I've had a fair bit of time away from collecting as my mother passed away but I'm working on a few bits of research again now.

Michael Carter

I collect stamps and postal history in connection with activities in the Middle East, Africa and Dodecanese Islands. Many of the covers involve Indian Forces and I have had problems with identifying the Indian Forces concerned and where operating, through their FPO nos. I recently acquired a superb book, Indian Army Post Offices- Locations and Movements - 1939 to 1947 by Brigadier D. Virk who was in charge of The Indian Army Postal Services in the above areas. This book is essential to postal historians in these countries during WW11.

Indian FPO 144 was in use from 1942/46 in India. It was raised at Delhi in 15.12.42. Then used at Poona (Dehu Road) from June 1943 to August 1943 then at Dhond from September 1943 to 7th February 1946. It was disbanded at Nagpur on 4th May 1946. I hope this assists and I would recommend you try and get a copy via the Internet

Matthew Gibbs

Thank you Michael. I shall endeavour to seek out the title you recommend, sounds very useful, thanks. I enjoy reading around the subject although I'm highly unlikely to ever exhibit anything.
Kind regards
Matt Gibbs