Postal Service


The official Emergency postal service, performed by Scouts, mei 1945 in Rotterdam.

The Scouting Postal Service was a part of the Jeugdhulp (Youth Aid) Rotterdam. In October 1944 the decision was made by a number of leaders from the N.P.V. region Rotterdam to prepare for a “Scouting aid Service”. This service should start as soon as the possibility arose to act on allied side. It wasn’t already determined which activities this service would do. Off course certain issues could be determined like message service, aid to wounded people,  aid to food distribution etc. In April 1945 above mentioned vague ideas were discussed with the “Central Meeting”, an organisation, in which all Rotterdam youth organisations were represented (later called Youth community). It was decided that the Scouting aid services would be the basis for such a service for all youth organisations, by which aid on larger scale could be possible.

The Scouting Postal Service was a part of Jeugdhulp, which had her central post in the building on Hofdijk no. 11. Regarding the work on the headquarters of the Youth Aid, it was almost solely done by scouts. This section of the aid campaign started on May 10th 1945. The first days this services wasn’t fully operational, but several hundreds of letters were already received.

Youth aid providing a postal service was not foreseen. When desired to take over al large part of the Postal Service mr. D.P. Heyink was assigned as Postmaster at the request of the Headquarters of Scouting Aid.

On May 14th this service was organised, so that incoming mail was stamped with different stamps in green and violet. The postal service was, regarding to city deliveries, helped by five district bureaus of Jeugdhulp, amongst others “Jeugdhulp Blijdorp” and “Jeugdhulp Spangen. Mail addressed to the rest of Holland was sorted on province and, when time made it possible, even on the larger towns in the provinces. Since there was no direct connection with the south of the Netherlands yet , all mail for that part of the country went to Utrecht, Nijmegen en ’s-Hertogenbosch, where postal services functioned normally.  Gratefully they used the offer of  1st Lieutenant Kavelaars, who had transported mail for Brabant en Zeeland with the "Comm. Affairs Troops". Even former scout Van der Poort, who was stationed in Vught temporary, was kind enough to take mail with him.

A lot of mail travelled with chauffeurs who came to the west from Brabant with food. The scouts of the scout aid services from Groenlo and Barneveld, who arrived in met Rotterdam. with parcels of food, also took large amounts of mail with them. The first days there was only few mail, later it accumulated to large numbers. May 10th there were 900 peaces of mail, while on May 16th 5800 pieces were counted. The record was 9265 pieces of mail on May 18th. City mail in Rotterdam was shut down on May 17th, while the postal services started delivering mail once a day. There remained enough work to be done for the Scouting Postal Service regarding regional and international mail. Especially the Red Cross delivered a load of work in 25 word forms. A very important part was parcel-mail. Several campaigns like “South helps North” delivered truckloads of parcels.

Almost from the beginning of the postal service until May 17th all mail was stamped, prepaid or not. These stamps were linocuts, designed and cut by mr. A. van Eijnsbergen. On May 17th the deputy chief of the traffic department of the postal services requested to stop stamping over the stamps.

The Scouting Postal Service was ended on May 25th 1945, as the postal services functioned properly by then.

Parcels and letters came and went from and to Holland. A record delivery Groningen must be mentioned in this context. In 48 hours a letter was sent and returned answered in Rotterdam. Transport of mail  was done with the help of the Red Cross, Military Authority, trucks from campaigns like “South helps North” etc.

Received international mail must be noticed: Greece, South Africa, Trinidad (British West Indies), Canada, Belgium, Curacao, Spain, Portugal, Switserland, Venezuela, Argentina, Australia, West Africa, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia, France, Egypt, Brasil and Italy. Mail from England and the USA was in large quantities. The first days mail was received from France, while there was mail sent to Switserland, England and the USA.

Other cities worked almost similar and special stamps were also used, like in The Hague, Delft Schiedam, Gouda, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Amersfoort.

The museum is always interested in "old" Dutch scouting stuff.
Are you considering removing your old stuff, please contact us.