Krakiai, ca. 1926 renamed Krakės, is a township 18 km north-west of Kėdainiai. In World War one it was briefly touched by German reco cavalry (3. Kavallerie-Division) during the first battle of Šiauliai on May 6, 1915 and was secured during the second battle of Šiauliai, by 25. Kavallerie-Brigade on July 22.
After the German withdrawal from the East, Krakiai was not affected by subsequent hostilities, as one of the Red Army’s vanguards was stopped by Lithuanian troops and German Grenzschutz east of Kėdainiai in early February 1919.
Krakiai had a post office (Kroki) during the czarist period. A mandate to open a Lithuanian post office (then spelled Krakiai) was given to Julijus Kolis, as of August 1, 1919, who was replaced as postmaster by Feliksas Danielius on July 1, 1920.
Early stamp stock consisted of Fourth Berlin Issue, followed by the Sėjėjas Issue etc.
In the absence of a regular postmarker, early cancelling was done in manuscript, showing place and date.
In addition, manuscript cancelling has been reported in a longer mode, reading probably “Krakių valsčiaus paštas”.
It must be stressed that fragmentary MS cancels of Kr–akiai are easily confused with those of Š–akiai. Not only do the two place-names have in common a long second half, but the postmen’s handwriting is similar as well. It is useful to note that there are considerably more provisionals from Šakiai than from Krakiai.
Probabaly in 1920 Krakiai was supplied with a standard boxed registration cachet which then was used also for cancelling. However, later this cachet must have been lost or whatever, for in 1922 registration on at least some postal articles was indicated by means of a provisional hand-drawn rectangular frame.
In 1919 this post office was given the name “Krakiai” and so read its first standard calendar-type postmarker supplied by mid-1921, possibly earlier. However, ca 1926 the place-name was amended to “Krakės” with a corresponding change in postmarkers etc.
Known provisional markings:
Cancelling in manuscript:
5 / X / 19 single, no details [reported Fugalevčius]
date unclear, single, Berlin IV 20 [colln. V.Jurkša]
MS cancelling probably reading “Krakių valsčiaus paštas:
9 / XI (1919) singles, Berlin IV 15, 60 [colln. V. Jurkša]
Cancelling by registration cachet:
No date single, Berlin IV 60 [formerly Norton]
No date pair, Berlin IV 30 [colln. Doniela]
Provisional registration by a hand-drawn rectangular frame:
798 2 / IV/ 1922 reg. cover to USA [formerly Norton]
1862 16 / IX/ 1922 reg. no details [reported Fugalevičius]