Stamp Domain Logo - Stamps and Postal History

The Cologne Post 1921 - 1929

Cologne Post 1921 Army Post Office S.40
A GB newspaper wrapper postmarked Army Post Office S.40 28 05 21
with handstamped COLOGNE POST, addressed to Nelson, New Zealand.


The Cologne Post  Newspaper Wrapper
Postmarked Army Post Office, date unreadable.
GB KGV ½d  newspaper wrapper overprinted THE COLOGNE POST and  THE RHINE ARMY DAILY NEWSPAPER


Army Post Office S40 was established in Cologne in 1919 to provide postal support for the first British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). When the British Army withdrew from Germany in 1929 the Army Post Office was closed.

On 31 March 1919 the first issue of a daily newspaper for British Armed Forces in Germany was published. The Times newspaper reported on this event as follows
This morning was published the first number of the Cologne Post, a daily paper “published by (and primarily for) the Army of the Rhine" at the price of 20 pfennigs, or rather less than a penny. It is to appear every day except Monday, and it will be a great addition to the life of our men in the occupied territory, and doubtless also of the troops in Belgium and France.

To-day's issue consists of four pages, and it has a refreshingly English look about it. The front page consists chiefly of political and personal news, and comment on subjects of the day, such as the Danzig difficulty, Bolshevism, and the League of Nations. The third page is devoted to sport at home and in the Army of the Rhine, and on the back page there is a useful map showing the British advances from August 8 to November 11.

The title of the leading article is "Why We are Here."

We are here in Cologne, the writer reminds his readers, because the British Army took a big share in the fighting by which the Allies brought the German and Austrian combination to its knees. We are here to enforce on the aggressors the terms which justice demands. He points out that it was the enemy Military Headquarters, including Hindenburg and Ludendorff, and not Berlin, which insisted that an armistice must be concluded at once. "Lest we forget " is, in fact, the main motif of his argument. “To wish to live on good terms with our surroundings," he writes, "is a natural human feeling, and there is no need for discourtesy, still less for truculence, but there is need to remember."
The newspaper, the Cologne Post, continued to be published till 17 January 1926. The name of the paper was then changed and from 28 January 1926 till 3 November 1929 it was published as The Cologne Post and Wiesbaden Times. When British troops were sent to Upper Silesia an Upper Silesian edition was published in Opole (Oppeln) between 17 June 1921 and 6 August 1921.

Very little information appears to be available about this newspaper. What little I have managed to gather is as follows

In an obituary for William Edward Rolston (Royal Astronomical Society, Report of the Council to the 102nd AGM, in February 1922) the following is stated:-
After the Armistice he went with the Army of Occupation to Cologne. There he was attached to the Military Governor’s Staff and became the founder and managing editor of the Cologne Post, a remarkable daily newspaper printed in English by German compositors, and much appreciated by the British troops in Cologne. Rolston threw himself with unsparing zeal into the labours of his task; and when British Forces went into Upper Silesia in the summer of 1921, an Upper Silesian edition of the Cologne Post was issued, which aimed at supplying news at Oppeln forty-eight hours ahead of that in the papers received from home. It seems clear that he must have overtaxed his strength, for he died after a few hours’ illness on 1921 August 9, in the midst of his work, and on the very day that he was expecting his wife and children to join him at Cologne. He was buried at the Stüdfriedhof with military honours—a man of earnest character and of public-spirited interests. His early death in the prime of life is a matter of deep regret to his colleagues and many friends.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission site gives Rolstons’ rank as Captain serving in the The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) and shows him as Publicity Editor of the Cologne Post.

In the book "Germany as it is To-day" (by Alan Lethbridge, published by Eyeleigh Nash Company Limited in 1921, page 43), the following is stated:-
And then there is the daily paper, The Cologne Post. Who its responsible editor is, I am unaware. But it is an excellent publication, replete with the latest cables from London, plenty of sporting news dear to the heart of all Tommies, and notes as to what is happening in the City. There are editorials and special articles contributed from outside, and all are written with the most complete absence of prejudice.

Hansard reports that on 1 May 1919 a question was asked in the House of Commons by Mr. Bottomley who "asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to advertisements of German firms appearing in the ‘Cologne Gazette’ which is described as a daily paper published by the Army of the Rhine; whether the Army authorities have any control over such paper; and, if so, whether directions will be given for the exclusion of such advertisements in future?"
Mr. Churchill replied that "the 'Cologne Post' is under the control of the General Officer Commanding the Army of the Rhine. A Report on the matter has been called for."

Hansard reports that on 1 August 1923 in reply to a written question to the Under-Secretary of State for War, Lieut.-Colonel Guinness stated that "... the 'Cologne Post' ... is an independent organisation not financed from Army funds."

machine room of the Kolnische Volkszeitung

The Australian War Memorial website show this photograph with the caption "Cologne, Germany. c. 1918. The machine room of the Kolnische Volkszeitung where the British Rhine Army published a daily paper called The Cologne Post. This machine could print 18,000 copies per hour. The manager and editor are in this photograph. (Donor British Official Photograph C3341)"


The British Library lists the Cologne Post  as an Armed Forces Newspaper for the British Army
Issued from 31 March 1919 to 17 January 1926 : Nos. 1-1815; New edition nos. 1-88 
Continued as: The Cologne Post and Wiesbaden Times
28 January 1926 - 3 November 1929 : Nos. 89-481 
Published in Wiesbaden, Germany from 28 January 1926 onwards 
A daily paper published for the Army of the Rhine 

The Cologne Post (Upper Silesian edition) 
17 June - 6 August 1921 : Nos. 1-43 
Published in Oppeln  (now Opole, Poland)
A daily paper published by the Army of the Rhine for the British Forces in Upper Silesia 


The above two wrappers are the only ones from "The Cologne Post" that I have ever seen.
Do any other ones exist?
Email me if you know of any other copy.