Kruopiai is a township in northern Žemaitija, ca.45 km north-west of Šiauliai. In World War One, during the two battles for Šiauliai, Kruopiai witnessed volatile cavalry movements. It was rushed through (as Krupe) by squadrons of German 6. Kavallerie-Division on May 3, 1915, later reclaimed by Russian cavalry, then secured by German 6. Reserve-Division on July 6.
After the German withdrawal from Russia, troops of the Red Army came to Kruopiai area in mid-January 1919. During the German Grenzschutz push for Riga, Kruopiai was taken without fight by Detachement Yorck on March 10. In the second half of 1919, the formation of Bermondt’s Russo-German Westarmee placed Kruopiai within the zone controlled by the “bermontininkai”. Under pressure, they left for Germany in November – early December 1919.
In the czarist period, just before WWI, Kruopiai was given a country-type postal facility (Krupenskoje V.P.). A Lithuanian postal facility (probably an agentūra) was opened in 1921 or early 1922, but no further details are known. By 1923 Kruopiai had Post Office status.
For stamps, Kruopiai had some Fourth Berlin values, then the Sėjėjas Issue etc. In the absence of a formal postmarker, cancelling was done by means of a two-liner cachet showing place and date, the year written in full, e.g. 1922.
No other provisional markings have yet come to light. A standard calendar-type postmarker was provided in ca. 1923, followed by a standard registration cachet.
Known provisional markings:
Cancelling by two-liner cachet:
…4. 1922 single, Sėjėjas 1 a [colln. Doniela]
10. 6. 1922 single, Berlin IV 75 [colln. Liesis]
12. 6. 1922 pair, Sėjėjas 1a [colln. Doniela]