During the German withdrawal from Russia in December 1918, a Lithuanian post office was opened in Vilnius on December 27, 1918 (or on a different view – December 26 which was the hand-over day of the Postgebiet Ob.-Ost branch Wilna).
Vilnius was occupied by the Red Army on January 5 -6, 1919. In turn, the Soviets were pushed out by Polish forces on April 21, 1919.
During the subsequent Russo-Polish War, Vilnius was again entered by the Red Army on July 14, 1920 and eventually fully handed over to the Lithuanians. A Lithuanian post office was opened in the city of Vilnius once more, with several first appointments effective from August 1, 1920.
In addition, a Lithuanian post office was established also at the Vilnius Railway Station. The precise date of its opening is not known but among the earliest dates seen are 12 VIII 20, 14 VIII 20, 16 VIII 20 etc. A provisional postmaster, Aleksandras Mejeris, was appointed only later, formally as from September 1, 1920. He had been a valdininkas at the Vilnius city P.O. since August 1. Due to military action, Vilnius and its railway station were evacuated by Lithuanians and taken over by Polish forces on October 9, 1920.
The Lithuanian post office at the Vilnius R/S appears to have been provided with a standard postmarker right from the beginning. It read “VILNIUS g.k”, “g.k.” being an abbreviation of “geležinkelio kontora” = railway office. There is no record of any provisional modes of cancelling.
However, the Vilnius R/S post office had not yet received a standard registration cachet. As a result, registration was indicated in a provisional manner by means of a hand-drawn rectangular imitation. It is not clear whether a standard registration cachet was supplied before evacuation.
[For more details and unresolved questions associated with the history of Lithuanian post offices in Vilnius in the summer of 1920 see an article /in Lithuanian/ by Vytautas Doniela,“Lietuvių paštas Vilniuje 1920m.” in Journal of the “Lithuania” Philatelic Society, No.234 (2005)]
Known provisional markings:
Provisional hand-drawn registration:
264 12 VIII 20 reg. cover to Germany, Berlin IV 20, 40, 1a [colln. Lapas]
1814d 21 VIII 20 reg. card to France, Berlin IV 20, 1a [colln. Lapas]
2592 16 VIII 20 reg. cover to Kaunas, Berlin IV 1a [colln. Bubnys]