In WWI, Pumpėnai (Pompjany) a township in northern Lithuania, ca. 20 km north of Panevėžys, was taken by German forces after their successful second attempt to occupy Šiauliai on July 21, 1915. Pumpėnai was entered by units of 78th Res. Div. (78. Reserve-Division) on about July 25. When the German army was withdrawing from Russia at the end of 1918, Red Army troops came to this region in the first half of January 1919.
During the Wars of Independence, Red Army’s or Bolshevik formations present in northern Lithuania faced constant opposition, including attacks by local Lithuanian para-militaries, “Joniškėlio partizanai”. The latter pushed the Bolshevik troops out of Pumpėnai on May 23, 1919.
Pumpėnai had had a post office (Pompjany) in czarist times, but none during the German occupation. An attempt to re-activate postal links was made in the early months of 1919 by the short-lived Bolshevik administration. An archival list includes a post office at Pumpėnai (Pompjany) and names as its postmaster Piotr Naidionov (later adapted to Petras Naidionovas), but there is no surviving evidence of its activity.
A mandate to open a Lithuanian post office in Pumpėnai was signed on June 12, 1919, naming as postmaster (įgaliotinis) Antanas Jozėnas, till then postmaster at Kuršėnai. Petras Naidionovas who had been at Pumpėnai in czarist times as well (?), was promoted to postmaster of Raseiniai, as of June 10, 1919.
The stamps available at Pumpėnai were values of Fourth Berlin Issue, followed by the Sėjėjas Issue etc. In the absence of a regular postmarker, early cancelling at Pumpėnai was done in manuscript, showing date and place.
A regular dated canceller seems to have been provided in 1920. As yet, nothing is known about other early markings, including registration.
Known provisional markings:
17 / [?] / 19 pair, Berlin IV 15 x2 [colln. Liesis]