It has been suggested from time to time that Israel may join The Commonwealth. This seems unlikely but the country then known as Palestine was under British rule from the end of the First World War to 1948. Israel issued a single stamp on 14 April 2015 to commemorate the centenary of the establishment of the Zion Mule Corps which served with the British and Allied forces in the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.
The Zion Mule Corps resulted from the acceptance in Alexandria by the British in February 2015 of a plan by Zeev Jabotinsky and Joseph Trompeldor to establish a military unit from Russian Jewish émigrés from Palestine to help to drive out the Ottomans from Palestine. The British commander, General Maxwell, was not legally able to enlist foreign nationals as fighting troops but could set up a volunteer transport Mule Corps. Trompeldor recruited volunteers from those Jews in Egypt who had been deported there by the Ottomans and 650 of them formed the Zion Mule Corps with 562 of its members being sent to Gallipoli in mid-April 2015 to carry water to the troops.
The Zion Mule Corps arrived at Cape Hellas on 28 to 29 April, just 3 to 4 weeks after it had been raised. The Zion Mule Corps was landed under artillery fire. Private M. Grouschkowky was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal after preventing his mules from stampeding while under heavy bombardment at Krithia on 5 May. Despite being wounded in both arms he delivered necessary ammunition to the troops. Captain Trumpeldor who was second-in-command of the Mule Corps was shot but refused to leave the battlefield.
The Mule Corps was returned to Alexandria on 10 January 1916 and disbanded on 26 May. The Mule Corps had experienced 13 fatalities during the Gallipoli Campaign. In August 1917 a Jewish Battalion was established as the 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusilers and was made up of British volunteers, the Mule Corps and many Russian Jews. In April 1918 the 39th Battalion was raised in Nova Scotia mainly made of Jews who lived in North America and the 40th Battalion was established largely made up of Palestinian Jews and captured Ottoman Jews. The 41st and 42nd Battalions were established at Plymouth as depot battalions.
The 38th, 39th and 40th Battalions were involved in fighting the Ottomans north of Jerusalem and in the Jordan Valley. In September 1918 the Jewish Legion, as the five battalions become known, fought against the Ottomans at the Battle of Megiddo which was a decisive victory in the Allied War with the Ottoman Empire.
The new Israel stamp shows the Zion Mule Corps at Gallipoli with the tab showing the flag of Israel and the Union Jack (shown at head of this blog).
One stamp which has up until now completely escaped my awareness of it, is the old $2.50 Tanager definitive stamp with the old value cancelled by a large rectangle and the new value printed above it unlike the first which merely has the new value printed on it. This is said to have been issued during 2014. Both surcharges were carried out by Benji Quick Quality Printing Services:-
The roll out of IAR Post And Go kiosks in the Royal Mail Enquiry offices of various English towns continues with 3 more being set up at the end of April 2015. The offices at which the machines are sited are:-
M004 - Kingston upon Thames - from 27 April 2015,
M005 - Croydon - from 28 April 2015 and
M006 - Doncaster - from 29 April 2015.
These machines will dispense stamps in the Machin Head and Machin Head Second Class designs and will not have location identifying inscriptions as was the case with the Crewe and Bradford North locations for a limited period.
Meanwhile it has also been announced that the Jersey Post IAR kiosk JE01 will travel to London to be used at the Europhilex Philatelic Exhibition from 13 to 16 May 2015. The kiosk will dispense Jersey Flag labels with an additional inscription applied to them, "Europhilex 2015/Penny Black 175". Jersey Flag labels with the same inscription applied to them produced by the back office machine B002 will be sold by the Jersey Philatelic Bureau. JE01 will also dispense the Jersey Protected Species labels at the exhibition in London but without an additional inscription.
India Post issued a single stamp on 21 April 2015 to commemorate the bicentenary of the Old Seminary (Orthodox Theological Seminary) in Kottayam. The seminary is run by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church - the St. Thomas Christians who are known as the Malankara Nazranis:-
Isle Of Man Stamps issued a "Smiler sheet" on 24 April 2015 which contained 10 x £1 stamps with attached labels to commemorate the bicentenary of The Gurkhas serving as part of the British armed forces. The £1 stamp used in the sheetlet was originally issued on 26 February 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. A photograph of Prince Henry of Wales with a Gurkha soldier is featured in the lower border of the sheetlet:-
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