Witley, February 11, 1917

Sunday   The same as last Sun Rec’d a letter from J

Writing letters to one’s sweetheart — or one’s spouse, son, or brother — was not terribly expensive: in April 1915, postage rates to Britain had decreased from 2 cents per half ounce to 2 cents an ounce, but a war tax of one penny was applied. A one-ounce letter then cost its sender three rather than four cents. (1) In comparison a loaf of bread in 1917 cost about seven cents. (2)

postage-cdn-stamp-blogA soldier on active service paid no postage, though until July 1917, his envelopes had the requisite stamps added to them on arrival in Canada, at no charge to sender or recipient. (3) You can see how the Canadian stamp on this field post card is stuck over the original postmark, and is then cancelled with an Ottawa stamp.post-card-stonehenge-1-jan-1917-stamp

When Percy sent his Stonehenge postcards to Janie , he paid his own British postage. This one was postmarked in both Britain and Québec.


(1) “United Kingdom and Empire/ Commonwealth Letter Rates : 1859 -1971.” Postal History Corner. Canadian Postal and Philatelic History. (blog). September 16, 2013.
(2) Pearl, Raymond and Magdalen H. Burger. “Retail Prices of Food During 1917 and 1918.” Publications of the American Statistical Association. 16.127 (1919). 425.
(3) “George V Admiral Period. WW I Military Mail.”Postal History Corner.n.d.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”

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