Tirkšliai is a township in Žemaitija (Samogitia) which seems to have had no post office before WWI. In WWI it was occupied during the German push into Žemaitija and Courland which started on April 27, 1915. While the township was visited by German reco cavalry troops soon after that date, it was passed through in greater force by units of 6. Kavallerie-Division on May 11, 1915. During the German occupation there was no post office on Tirkšliai.
When the German Army retreated from Russia, Tirkšliai was entered by the Soviet Bolshevik troops on or about January 23, 1919, by units of 39th Regiment, International Division. During the German volunteer (Grenzschutz) preparations to re-occupy Riga, Tirkšliai was subject to several skirmishes and was finally taken on March 3 by Company Kurowski (1. Garde-Reserve-Regiment).
There is no official record of a Lithuanian post office being opened in Tirkšliai in 1919, and formally it was opened a few years later. However, there exists a cut-out with a provisional cancellation by hand, showing “Tirkšliai“ and date “10 / V / 19”, also Seda as place of arrival. The circumstances are not clear. Allowing that this item may be an early forgery, it is nevertheless possible that a postal agency was organised there on the initiative of the district post office Seda (which is reported to have been opened in February 1919), which at that time was one of the most active offices in northern Žemaitija. Interference by foreign troops being almost a daily occurrence, communications with Kaunas tended to be irregular and resulted in some cases of local ad-hoc arrangements.
The cut-out shown below is seemingly the only one known with a Tirkšliai provisional cancellation and is presented here with some reservation about its authenticity.
Known provisional markings:
Cancelling in manuscript:
10-V-19 cut-out, Berlin IV 30 [colln. Doniela]