In WWI, after repeated and final capture of the important communications hub Šiauliai (Schaulen) on July 21, 1915, the German forces in northern Lithuania (Njemen-Armee) were given a double task: to secure the left flank against Daugavpils (Dunaburg, Dvinsk) and to provide a base for a major flanking offensive against Vilnius. Pasvalys (Poswol, Posvol) was caught up in a zigzagging war of movement and was taken by German cavalry on or about July 25, soon reinforced by Brigade Homeyer.
In czarist times Pasvalys had already had a P.O. since before 1900, but no such facility was set up within the civilian Postgebiet Ob.-Ost system. When the German army retreated from Russia at the end of 1918 it was followed by the Red Army, assisted in some places by local Red committees, including one at Pasvalys. No P.O. was re-opened here during the Bolshevik period. In April and May 1919 local battles were taking place between the Bolsheviks who had retreated a little further east and self-organising Lithuanian units, known as Joniškėlio partizanai. Pasvalys was finally cleared on May 24. Later, however, clashes developed with the foraging “bermontininkai” and Pasvalys was given a Lithuanian military command centre (komandantūra).
In these unquiet times a mandate to open a Lithuanian post office in Pasvalys, as from June 18, 1919, was given to įgaliotinis Alfonsas Mitransas who had been a postal official in the Russian army in the Rumanian theatre-of-war. As of August 10, he was transferred to open a post office in Pakruojis and was replaced by Stasys Kaupas. In succession, three more employees (valdininkai) were appointed: Jeronimas Lansbergis, Feliksas Barkauskas on August 11 and Leonas Jasiūnas on October 1. However, as of August 1, 1920, Stasys Kaupas was entrusted with the setting up of a Lithuanian post office in the recently regained Suvalkai (Suwalki) where he stayed until its evacuation at the end of August 1920. His place at Pasvalys was taken by Benediktas Jamboras [Samboras ?].
The earliest Lithuanian stamps available at Pasvalys were values from the Fourth Berlin Issue, followed by the Sėjėjas Issue. Pasvalys had no formal postmarker to start with, and the very earliest mode of cancelling is not known. During the tenure of Stasys Kaupas cancelling was done in manuscript and included not only the place and date but, frequently, the signature of the postmaster himself.
A standard postmarker seems to have been supplied only in the second half of 1920.
Known provisional markings:
Signed also by S. Kaupas:
22 VIII 19 single Berlin IV 30 [colln. Doniela]
28 VIII 19 strip x3 Berlin IV 60 [colln. Doniela]
Not signed by S. Kaupas:
31 VIII 19 single Berlin IV 60 [colln. Doniela]
17 IX 19 single Berlin IV 60 [formerly Norton]
24 IX 19 letter to USA Berlin IV 60 [colln. Lapas]