In WWI, Babtai [Bobty] a township on the river Nevėžis (Nevjazha) was taken in late July 1915, when German forces were making preparations to storm the Kaunas fortress, which fell on August 18, 1915. After the German army’s withdrawal from Russia at the end of 1918, Babtai found itself, for a few months, within the area overseen by the Grenzschutz Kommandantur at Kaunas.
Babtai had had a czarist post office named Bobty but none during the German occupation. A mandate to establish a Lithuanian post office was issued to Vitalis Kevelaitis, effective from July 24, 1919, though the actual day of opening is not known. He was there as postmaster in 1920 as well.
For stamps, Babtai seems to have started off with Fourth Berlin Issue, followed by the Sėjėjas Issue etc. In the absence of evidence, the earliest mode of cancelling is not known. But by mid-1920 Babtai had received from the Pašto Valdyba at Kaunas the three regular items of postal equipment: a calendar-type postmarker, a box-type cachet with “R” for registration and a similar cachet without “R” for money orders and parcel cards. But for cancelling the postmaster was using the cachets rather than the circular postmarker provided for that purpose. (Lack of previous postal experience?) However, he did apply the dated canceller as a kind of confirmation.
Known provisional markings:
Cancelling by box-type cachet without “R”
[8 VII 1920] letter to USA, reg. No. 461, Berlin IV 1A, 30 x2 [formerly Matuzas]
[? XII 1920] card to Kaunas, Berlin IV 10 x2 [colln. Liesis]
no date, single, Berlin IV 50 [colln. Lapas]