This J.C. Wilson WLS-E09 Type I Soldiers of the Queen E-1 (blank back) cover was postally used from British Army S. Africa Field Post Office 3 on June 5, 1900 to Miss Rachel Reade, 11 Beech Grove, Charlton C. Hardy, Lancashire, England, and has a Pietermaritzburg, Natal transit cancellation dated June 7, (heading in the direction of Durban, on the Indian Ocean) and a Manchester July 2 cancellation, on the back of the cover. In June 1900, according to Stephen Rich in his Philately of the Anglo-Boer War, the double circle FPO no. 3 was located in Wakkerstroom, the second oldest town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, formerly known as Transvaal. The cover was mailed on the day that Pretoria, the capital of Transvaal, was captured.
It has been franked with a Natal one penny stamp, Scott no. 67, and a British Queen Victoria Jubilee ½p, Scott no. 111, stamp.
Kenneth Rowe, in his The Postal History of the Canadian Contingents, Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, notes that perhaps two thirds of Canadian Contingent soldier’s mail did not receive the Contingent handstamp. He also notes that FPOs #1, #17, #21, #30 and #100 have been found on Contingent mail.
The 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles and the Royal Canadian Dragoons advanced on Pretoria, culminating in it’s capture on June 5th. They were posted to the north and east of the city following that date, and frequently saw fighting.
The British Army’s York and Lancaster Regiment, long with the 2nd Royal Lancaster Regiment, 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers, and 1st South Lancashire Regiment, formed the 11th Brigade. The battalion remained a long time about Volksrust, Wakkerstroom, Ingogo, and Utrecht.
As this cover was sent to Lancashire, and in light of Kenneth Rowe’s observations noted above, it is possible this was sent from a Canadian soldier, perhaps from the Canadian Mounted Rifles and the Royal Canadian Dragoons, or from a Canadian soldier enlisted in a British unit, or possibly from a British soldier to his home town on a J.C. Wilson cover perhaps purchased or traded from a Canadian soldier.
Below, the reverse of the cover.