Kėdainiai is a major town on the Šiauliai – (Kaunas) – Vilnius railway line. In World War One it was taken by 3. Kavallerie-Division on July 24-25, 1915. During the German withdrawal from the East at the end of 1918, in early 1919 Kėdainiai was at first held against the Red Army by German Grenzschutz troops, then by Lithuanian regulars who gradually advanced east.
In the czarist period, Kėdainiai had a post office Kejdany. A Postgebiet Ob.-Ost branch Kiejdany (Litauen) is presumed to have been in operation for a short time from November 11 to December 16, 1918 but there is no surviving evidence. A resident Feldpost 281 was active from October 1916 to December 1918. In the first half of 1919, Grenzschutz troops operating in Kėdainiai area were served by Frw.Feldpost 728 stationed in Kaunas.
A mandate as įgaliotinis to open a Lithuanian post office at Kėdainiai was issued to Bronislovas Petravičius, as from December 16, 1918, which is well before the closing-down of Ob.-Ost post offices in late December 1918. The actual opening date of the Lithuanian P.O. at Kėdainiai is not known. On November 5, 1919, Bronislovas Petravičius was replaced as postmaster by Dominikas Petrauskas who stayed on in 1920 and probably longer.
For stamps to start with, the Kėdainiai post office was supplied with at least some values of Second Vilnius Issue but it may have had First Vilnius Issue as well. Kėdainiai also had Second and Third Kaunas Issues followed by Fourth Berlin, the Sėjėjas Issue etc.
Earliest cancelling was effected in manuscript “Kedainie”, so far seen only undated.
By March 1919 cancelling was done by a unique three-ring ornamental circular cachet. Most likely, the cachet was the remaining outer frame of some kind of official seal. Usually, the place “Kedainie”, “Kejdany” and later “Kedainiai” was written into the ring, mostly accompanied by date.
A standard calendar-type postmarker was provided in the second half of 1919.
Prior to obtaining a standard cachet for registration Kėdainiai made use of a home-made rectangular frame with “R” and “A” (= apdraustas) written in. Other modes of provisional registration marking are possible, and a manuscript registration marking has been reported from 1924, though a standard registration cachet had been provided in ca. 1920.
A facility also existed at the Kėdainiai Railway Station for sending private telegrams. This type of service at railway stations was introduced on April 1, 1920. For cancelling the prepayment by stamps the Kėdainiai R/S used a one-liner cachet “St. KĖDAINIAI” where the prefix “St.” = Stotis = Railway Station.
Provisional postal markings:
Cancelling by manuscript “Kedainie”:
No date [early 1919] cover to Kaunas, Vilnius II 15 x2 [colln. Bubnys]
No date, cover to Kaunas, Vilnius II 10 x3 [colln.?]
No date [early 1919] cover to Kaunas, Vilnius II 40 x3 [colln. Bubnys]
No date [early1919] cover to ? , Vilnius II 10 x3 [colln. Lindberg]
Cancelling by ornamental circular cachet:
24 / III 19 cover to ?, Kaunas III 15 x2 [colln. Lindberg]
26 / III 19 cover to ?, Kaunas III 15 x2 [colln. Bubnys]
4 / IV 19 cover to Kaunas, Kaunas II 15 x2 [colln. Ušpuras]
5 / IV 19 single, Kaunas III 15 [colln. Doniela]
9 / IV 19 single, Kaunas II 30 [colln. Doniela]
11 / IV 19 single, Kaunas II 20 [colln. Bubnys]
24 / IV 19 cover to Kaunas, Berlin IV 30 [colln. Bubnys]
5 / V 19 cover to Kaunas, Berlin IV 15 [colln. ?]
Date unclear cover to Kaunas, Berlin IV 10, 20 [colln. Lapas]
Various dates, singles etc., Berlin IV various values [several collns.]
Covers to Paštų Valdyba [reported by Norton]:
19 / IV (2)
21 / IV (5)
23 / IV (1)
24 / IV (6)
25 / IV (1)
Provisional registration marking:
115 4. IX. 19 reg. cover to Germany, Berlin IV 40 x3 [colln. Doniela]
134 2. 6. 1924 no details [reported Fugalevičius]
Provisional cancelling at Kėdainiai R/S “St. KĖDAINIAI””
No date pair, Berlin IV 30 [colln. Doniela]
No date single, Berlin IV 40 [colln. Wilson]