Jonava, with its important railway station, lies 25 km north-east of Kaunas. In World War One, it was taken by German 1. Kavallerie-Division on August 20, 1915, shortly after the fortress of Kaunas had fallen on August 18.
During the German withdrawal from Russia at the end of 1918, Jonava was defended by the Grenzschutz’s 13th Volunteer Batallion which in February 1919 took part in thwarting Red Army’s moves to encircle Kaunas. In March 1919 and later, Jonava was one of the bases for Lithuanian troops regaining Aukštaitija from the Bolsheviks.
Jonava had a post office (Janov) in the czarist period and a civilian P.O. (Janow) within the Postgebiet Ob.– Ost, which functioned from July 1, 1916 to December 26, 1918.
A mandate, as įgaliotinis, to open a Lithuanian P.O. at Jonava was given to Mečislovas Daugvila, effective from March 5, 1919. Prior to that, he had been appointed, unrealistically, to open a P.O in Radviliškis. At Jonava, he was assisted by Pranas Čechanavičius and, from July 16, by Zofija Daugvilienė. In 1920, a further assistant was Antanas Žilinskas.
As far as is known, the earliest stamps available at Jonava were values of Second Kaunas Issue, then followed by Fourth Berlin Issue, the Sėjėjas Issue etc.
In the absence of a formal postmarker, earliest cancelling was done in manuscript, indicating date and place.
A standard calendar-type postmarker was provided in the second half of 1919 after it had been used in a quasi-legitimate manner elsewhere. Stamps of Second Berlin and Third Berlin Issues, both perforated and imperforate, cancelled-to-order with the standard postmark “JONAVA” and dated ca. May 1919, were speculative items produced at Kaunas, not Jonava.
In the second half of 1919, while already in possession of a postmarker, Jonava still did not have a standard cachet for registration, so provisional registration was marked in handwriting, indicating place and serial number.
Known provisional markings:
Cancelling by MS date and place:
25 / IV / 19 single. Kaunas II 30 [colln. Bubnys]
Registration in manuscript:
380 15. IX. 19 reg. cover to Holland, Berlin IV 20, 1a [colln. Doniela]