In WWI, when the German advance into Žemaitija and Courland started on April 27, 1915, Papilė (Popeljany) was entered by units of the 6th cav. div. (6. Kavallerie-Division) at mid-day on April 30. There had been a post office in Papilė in czarist times, but no such services were provided locally during the German occupation.
When the German retreat from Russia at the end of 1918 was followed by the Red Army, the 39th Regiment of the International Division came to Papilė in January 1919. No post office was set up (or planned?) during the Soviet period.
During the German Grenzschutz drive on Riga, Papilė was taken from the Bolshevik troops before mid-March 1919 by Abteilung Yorck from 1. Garde-Reserve-Division which was driving on to Jelgava (Mitau) in Latvia. In December 1919, when the “bermontininkai” were moving out of Latvia and north Lithuania, the route to Klaipėda (Memel) via Papilė and Telšiai was taken by the Russian component of so-called Westarmee or Zapadnaja Armija, watched by the Lithuanian 2nd Regiment.
A mandate dated May 8, 1919 to open a Lithuanian post office at Papilė was given to Stasys Jazdauskas who in czarist times had been a postal employee in Tbilisi (Georgia in the Caucasus) and at the end of the war had returned to Lithuania. As from December 1, 1920 Stasys Jazdauskas was placed in charge of the central office of the Lithuanian army’s field post and at Papilė he was replaced by Juozas Maculevičius. Another employee, as from June 1, 1919, was a postman, Justinas Pučkorius.
The first Lithuanian stamps available at Papilė were values from Fourth Berlin Issue, followed by the Sėjėjas Issue etc. As the P.O. had no formal postmarker, cancelling of stamps was at first done by handwriting, showing place and date.
Late in 1919 Papilė obtained an oblong box-type cachet inscribed “Papilė” and “No.” which was also used for cancelling, this practice lasting into the year 1920 before a regular calendar-type postmarker was supplied by ca. mid-1920.
It is not clear when Papilė was supplied with a standard registration cachet.
Known provisional cancelling:
Cancelling by MS:
4 / VI / 1919 single, Berlin IV 10 [colln. Doniela]
9 / VIII / 1919 single, Berlin IV 75 [colln. Doniela]
Cancelling by oblong box-type cachet:
date unclear, letter to USA, Berlin IV 30 x2 [colln. Lapas]
27 / XII / 1919, 4 / II / 1920, singles, Berlin IV 30 [colln. Lapas]
1 / III / 1920 pair, Berlin IV 10 [colln. Doniela]
5 / ? / 1920 single, Berlin IV 75 [colln. Liesis]
date unclear or no date, singles, Berlin IV [several collns]