Seirijai is a town in southern Lithuania, ca.25 km south-west of Alytus. In First World War, during a major encirclement battle for Augustow, Seirijai was first briefly touched by advance units of German 77. Reserve-Division in mid-February 1915, with consolidation to follow later. During the German withdrawal from Russia in late 1918, local population formed a limited but vigorous self-administration and provided numerous volunteers during the ensuing territorial skirmishes with Polish forces.
Postal history of Seirijai goes back at least a couple of centuries. In the 19th century, within czarist Russia but under autonomous Polish administration, it first had its own boxed cachets SEREIE and SEREY and later its post office was assigned a four-ringed canceller “32” (rare !) found on Poland’s first stamp. After 1865,the Seirijai name was russified as SEREE with correponding markings and cancels on stamps of czarist Russia. There was no local postal facility during the German occupation.
The date of the opening of a Lithuanian postal facility is not known but it must have been in the first half of 1919, possibly sponsored by the local “Komitetas”. It is not known who was in charge, but it is recorded that on July 10, 1919, Mykolas Gureckis was additionally appointed as telephone operator.
For stamps, it is not known whether Seirijai P.O. had received any Vilnius and/or Kaunas Issues. But it did have BerlIn IV, Sėjėjas Issues etc. Not having a regular canceller, cancelling at first was done in MS by indicating place and date.
No other provisional markings have been noted so far. A dated canceller and a registration cachet were supplied by mid-1921, probably earlier.
Cancelling by MS, place and date:
– / IX (1919?) single, Berlin IV 10 [colln. V. Jurkša]