Standard Printing & Song Backs


A standard, unused copy of WLS-E08. With a blank back, this would be variation Type E-1.


Song Back 9, Type E-2.


Song Back 10, Type E-3.


Note that on the standard version of Song Back 11, the author of the words & music, H.H. Godfrey, is accredited, while on the subsequent variations, this is not the case.



Song Back 11, Type E-6, showing the cost for bulk purchase of the envelopes from J.C. Wilson & Co.



Song Back 11, Type E-7, showing the inscription:

“These envelopes supplied gratis, for free distribution to Canadian Soldiers in, and going to, South Africa, by Nelson Lodge, Sons of England, Almonte, Ont. Canada.” as illustrated below.

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Song Back 11 Type E-8 showing the lack of attribution for the author of the song and music, as Types E-6 & E-7, but also lacking the printer’s inscription near the bottom of the cover.

Canadian and Overseas Uses


Above, J.C. Wilson’s The Maple Leaf For Ever Type II Patriotic Envelope E-3 Patriam Amamus Postmarked St. Roche, Quebec to Sydney, Cape Breton, NS, September 9, 1900. Below, a second example with a strip of four ½¢ QV Numeral stamps mailed to St. Roche de Quebec from Nova Scotia.

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An example of a Maple Leaf For Ever Type II E-4 cover, mailed from South Ohio, NS, to Connecticut on September 1, 1900.


This J.C. Wilson patriotic cover with Maple Leaf For Ever Type II design, E-1 variety, has been mailed from St. John, N.B. to Miss Jeannie W. Malcolm of Park View, Greenhand, Bridgeton, Glasgow, Scotland on August 30, 1900, and has a receiving cancellation dated September 8, 1900.

Bridgeton is located south east of Glasgow city centre. The envelope has been franked with a Queen Victoria 5¢ Numeral issue (no. 79) stamp on bluish paper (stamp was first issued July 3, 1899). This is an unusual rate for this destination, as, since December 25, 1898, the postage required was 2¢ per half ounce to Britain, so that this stamp was payment for a heavier mailing. Prior to December 25, 1898, the rate was 5¢ per half ounce.


The Maple Leaf For Ever Type II Patriotic Envelope E-4 Patriam Amamus Postmarked Port Hope & Midland Mail Coach No. 1, Sept 15, 1900 to Bristol, England. The M.C. cancellation is near the end of its period of use, and has a rarity factor of 40.

Below, Song Back 11, with receiving postmarks

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This WLS-E-08 cover

A registered copy of WLS-E08 with 2¢ and 5¢ QV Numeral stamps, mailed from Toronto to Preston, Ontario, November 23, 1902. Ex. Colin Banfield Collection.

The Maple Leaf For Ever Type II Patriotic Envelope E-3 mailed October 29, 1900 from Quebec City to Weymouth Bridge N.S., with an October 31 receiver bearing a 2¢ Map stamp, with the oxidized “muddy water” colouration. From The Hugh Westgate 1898 Map Stamp Collection Below, the reverse of the cover.

Below, the reverse of the cover.

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This WLS-E08 Type II cover has been overprinted by L.H. Betts & Co. of Wallace, Nova Scotia, for business use. What makes this cover distinct is that reverse, which carries Song Back 11, “The Land of the Maple”, lacks the printer’s attribution normally found on the standard song back printing.

Below, the reverse of the cover.

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Boer War Uses


The most frequently found usage of a J.C. Wilson patriotic envelope related to the Boer War was the Maple Leaf For Ever design, WLS-E08 Types I & II.

These covers include uses from Canada, such as the unique copy of a cover with the EN ROUTE handstamp, dated January 30, 1900, one of the scarcest Canadian Boer War markings, through uses from the war to Canada and to Australia. Below are some WLS-E08 Type II examples.
These envelopes supplied gratis, for free distribution to Canadian Soldiers in, and going to, South Africa, by Nelson Lodge, Sons of England, Almonte, Ont. Canada.
J.C. Wilson & Co., Montreal, Publishers

This J.C. Wilson patriotic is thought to be unique, the only known Wilson patriotic showing the EN ROUTE oval handstamp indicating that Canadian Contingent mail was dispatched from a ship en route to the war. In Kenneth Rowe’s The Postal History of the Canadian Contingents, Anglo-Boer War, 1899–1902, he notes that “The ‘EN ROUTE’ handstamp is one of the scarcest Canadian Boer War markings.

For more on this cover, see this page.

This J.C. Wilson patriotic Maple Leaf For Ever Type II, variety E-2 cover was postally used from Colesberg, C.G.H. on October 28, 1900 to Miss Helen R. Livermore, 358 Linden Street, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A. / Shelby Co., bearing three Cape of Good Hope 1d stamps with a pair of Colesberg squared circle cancels. Helen R. Livermore was born about 1885, and by 1930, was living in Shelby, Tennessee.

For more on this cover, see this page.

The Maple Leaf For Ever Type II cover pictured above was mailed from British Army Field Post Office Capetown Base Office in South Africa to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on May 13, 1901 from an unidentified Canadian Sergeant. It was mailed using a 1 penny Cape of Good Hope stamp at the 1d soldiers’ concession rate for mail to Postal Union countries. It was received in Sydney four weeks later on June 10.

For more on this cover, see this page.