Rear area postal service

Administrative mail

Each Lines of Communication Inspectorate had a department for the civilian population, the Zivilverwaltung. This administration was responsible for social, political, financial, economic and industrial affairs, as well as supplying the population.

It oversaw the Mining Administration and the Banking Control Office. It had several departments, including the Finanzabteilung (Finance Section) and the Abteilung für Handel und Gewerbe (Industry and Trade Section). The offices of the Civil Administration were located at 12, rue de la Halle in VALENCIENNES.

Instruction II c 2580 of 17 February 1917 issued by the Quartermaster General (Generalquartiermeister) and its point 12 tell us:

" 12. Administrative censorship took place alongside military censorship:

a) On letters from local public services, civil servants and ecclesiastics concerning official mail - if necessary - by senior officials of the Civil Administration [Zivilverwaltung] or their representatives appointed by the L. of. C. Inspectorate [...]"

The Zivilverwaltung did not cancel postage, as it collected mail that had already passed through the military postal control centre.

The German Civil Administration's examination marks are few, even though a large proportion of administrative mail passed through it.

The Civil Administration was responsible for policing regulations and for ensuring that the population complied with the decrees of the L. of C. Inspector. It was also responsible for supervising local police forces, communal authorities and public services in occupied regions, as well as censorship of newspapers, books, theatres and cinemas.

The Zivilverwaltung employed a intendant (Verpflegungsoffizier) to supply the population and deal with the various food committees in the occupied zone.

VALENCIENNES to LOURCHES (6th Army).

Although it is a service letter, it was controlled militarily on 2 May 1916 ("Geprüft F. Postüberwachungsstelle 6. Armee") and by the intendance officer at the 6th Army Civil Administration (stamp "Verpflegungsoffizier f. d. Civilverwaltung VI.").

VALENCIENNES (6th Army) to MONS (Belgium)

Service letter from the Comité d'alimentation du Nord de la France examined by the intendance officer of the Inspection d'étapes of the 6th Army (stamp "Verpflegungsoffizier f. d. Zivilverwaltung Nordfrankreichs Et. Insp. 6."). Zivilverwaltung Nordfrankreichs Et. Insp. 6.").

Verpflegungsoffizier f. d. Zivilverwaltung Nordfrankreichs Et. Insp. 6
Verpflegungsoffizier f. d. Zivilverwaltung Nordfrankreichs Et. Insp. 6
Verpflegungsoffizier f. d. Civilverwaltung VI.
Verpflegungsoffizier f. d. Civilverwaltung VI.

SEBOURG (6th Army) towards VALENCIENNES (2nd Army). Postal censorship carried out by the 6th Army in TOURNAI. Arrived at VALENCIENNES, the Civil Administration carried out a new control and applied its paper seal.

The paper seals used as control marks are not very common.

Briefstempel Et. Insp. 2. Civilverwaltung
Briefstempel Et. Insp. 2. Civilverwaltung

VALENCIENNES (2nd Army) to LEIPZIG (Germany), 21 October 1917.

Postal control by the Postüberwachungsstelle 39 (stamp "Geprüft P.Ü.St.") and administrative control by the Zivilverwaltung (stamp "Briefstempel Et. Insp. 2. Civilverwaltung").

Geprüft Aushändigung genehmig. Civilverwaltung 2.
Geprüft Aushändigung genehmig. Civilverwaltung 2.
Verpflegungsoffizier f. d. Civilverwaltung I.
Verpflegungsoffizier f. d. Civilverwaltung I.
Genehmigt Etappeninspektion 1 Zivilverwaltung
Genehmigt Etappeninspektion 1 Zivilverwaltung

THUN-L'EVEQUE towards VALENCIENNES (1st Army), 17th January 1917. Administrative control by the 1st Army intendant. This officer was in charge of supplies for the municipalities.

FRESNES-SUR-L'ESCAUT (6th Army) to VALENCIENNES (1st Army). After a military examination, this letter was checked by the Civil Administration of the 1st Army in VALENCIENNES (stamp "Genehmigt Etappeninspektion 1 Zivilverwaltung").

LA SENTINELLE to VALENCIENNES (2nd Army). Control by the Civil Administration of the 2nd Army, control stamp "Geprüft Aushändigung genehmig. Civilverwaltung 2." (Examined routing approved Civil Administration 2.). Postage stamps are cancelled by a mark "Inhalt Geprüft" (contents checked). The postage at 1 Fr corresponds to a weight of 120 g (rates of 20/03/1917).