In WWI, when the German advance into Žemaitija and Courland started on April 27, 1915, Ariogala or Airiogala (Ejragola, Eyragola) as a township on the river Dubysa (Dubissa) within a few days found itself in the battle zone for the militarily important possession of the river crossings. First taken by the German cavalry (Abteilung Cnopf), in mid-May Ariogala was back in Russian hands, then in the second half of July was safely re-taken by German infantry.
After the retreat of the German army from Russia at the end of 1918, the Red Army was stopped before reaching Kėdainiai (ca. 40 km east), and the area around Ariogala remained relatively peaceful.
Though there had been a post office in Ariogala (Ejragola) in czarist times, there was none there during the German occupation. The task to open a Lithuanian post office was entrusted to Antanas Radzevičius from the Virbalis P.O. with a mandate effective from December 2, 1919.
The earliest stamps available at Ariogala were values of Fourth Berlin Issue, followed by the Sėjėjas Issue etc. In the absence of a formal postmarker stamps were pen-cancelled “Ariogala”, though the full wording may also have been “Ariogalos paštas”.
It took some time for Ariogala to receive a standard registration cachet. As late as 1922 Ariogala resorted to a makeshift two-line registration cachet inscribed “Airiogala” and “No.”
Probably in 1920 or 1921, Ariogala was supplied with a standard calendar-type postmarker with the spelling AIRIOGALA of which only a fragment has been recorded by Fugalevičius. In early1922 it was replaced by another one with index “b”. Some years later the spelling on postmarkers was altered to ARIOGALA, with the first “I” removed from the cancellers provided so far. (The sequence is shown by Fugalevičius, Nos. 283 – 286).
Known provisional markings:
Cancelling in manuscript:
No date, pair Berlin IV 10 (colln. Lapas)
Provisional registration marking:
1026 10. VII. 22 reg. cover to France, 4a/75 x2 [colln. Bubnys]