Category Archives: Salvation Army History

2016 – Commencement in China

The Salvation Army’s ministry opened in mainland China in 1916 and quickly expanded across the northern and eastern provinces until 1949, when it withdrew from the mainland.  Ministry and social services were retained in Hong Kong. In 1985, at the invitation of the Yunnan Provincial Government, the SA provided disaster relief and recovery in mainland China. This opened the door to further collaborations and partnerships which resulted in a wide geographical distribution of service and a greater recognition of the organization’s presence. The below cover was issued at the 100th Anniversary of the Commencement of the Salvation Army in China. Very limited edition, made by Kinnon Covers.

2016 – Anniversary of the Commencement

1991 – Russia – New beginning

1991 – The Salvation Army starts anew in Russia

The Salvation Army initiated work in Russia in 1910. After the Feburary 1917 revolution the work flourished, Russia became a distinct command and reinforcements arrived from Sweden. However, as result of the October revolution they had to be withdrawn at the end of 1918, leaving 40 Russian and Finnish officers to continue the work under extreme hardship until the Army was finally proscribed in 1923. Salvation Army activities were officially recommenced in Eastern Europe in July 1991, with the arrival of Lieut-Colonels John and Bjørg Bjartveit from Norway, beginning in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). The present cover commemorates the new beginning. Limited edition (250 ex). Source:

1932 – Netherlands Indies FDC

SA 1.1 – SA Community welfare FDC

The first country to release stamps to commemorate the Salvation Army’s work was the Netherlands Indies (or Dutch East Indies), renamed Indonesia in 1948. The work started in 1894. Like in many other countries there was fierce opposition to the work. Seven years later a disastrous flood led to the government handling over the management of a Beggars’ Colony to the SA, where the natives were taught to earn a living. A set of four charity stamps was issued in 1932 to commemorate the event. There was an add-on on the postal value to support the SA in their work. Only plain FDCs are known from this issue. (Source: Ken Daws. The world of SA stamps, 1996).

1984 – Christ – Hope of the world

In 1984 the Salvation Army reaffirmed the Gospel of Christ and chose the slogan: “Christ – Hope of the world”. The logo was also pictured on a cachet issued by Historic Relics. In addition to a UK issue, at least two other regions/countries (Isle of Man and Zaire!!) issued the cachet with related Salvation Army stamps.

1984 - Hope of the world
1984 - Hope of the world
1984 - The SA reaffirms the Gospel

SA 19A.2b – Singapore signed FDC

SA 19A.2b – SA HQ numbered & signed!!!

This month’s prospect is a RARE Singapore FDC. One of the stamps in the National Monuments set of 1984, the 10c stamp, depicted the House of Tan Yeok Nee, the Salvation Army HQ in Singapore. The cover was issued by the Salvation Army HQ and a few were signed the day before (!!!) the issue date by the commanding officer, with a occasion specific slogan PM. The signed & numbered cover was issued in a very limited edition, possible up to 100 covers (I’ve only seen to no. 26). This is no. 1 !!!!

1978 – Batley Castle Building Fund

1978 – Batley Castle Fund – Limited ed!!

Harry Hayes was a knowledgeable SA philatelist and was also the first editor of the SA Philatelic Circle Journal (1991 – 2005), later called the Australian and again later the International SA Philatelic & Historical Journal. His home corps was Batley Castle. In 1978 they tried to build up a building fund. To support the fund, Harry issued a few limited FDC issues of the 25th Anniversary of the Coronation of QE. A special “parachute post” slogan PM was added and the text “Issued in aid of the SA Batley Castley Building Fund”. The shown cover here was made in a very limited edition of 45 and had two prestamped QE 5p in addition to a single blue coronation stamp.

Asian SA covers – postal history

The first Asian outpost was established in India, 1882, hence, the Indian centenary cachet. William Booth’s dying wish was for the Salvation Army to be established in China. In 1916 the first officers were sent. Following political difficulties by 1949 the Army withdrew from mainland but work still continued in the provinces of Hong Kong and Taiwan. The SA re-established in mainland China in 2017. The Chinese letter is really postal history; an official SA cover sent to Sweden in 1924, eight years after SA began in China!!  (Ref: The Salvation Army in mainland China).

1982 - India centenary cachet
1924 - Official SA cachet - China - RARE!

Salvation Army Centenary in Norway

SA 25.6 – “Attack on a fishing village”

The work in Norway was officially opened in January 1888. Eight salvationist from Sweden “opened fire”. Typically for the SA, half of the group were women. The uniformed and music loving soldiers who showed their Christian faith in practice, received a mixed response, also with some unpleasant experiences. However, the work spread rapidly, and in one year there were already 10 corps in Norway.

SA 25 – Centenary stamp

Two centenary stamps were issued in 1988. One depicts an open air meeting and a SA band with singing soldiers in the back. A maxicard with similar motif was also issued by the SA army. The maxicard was a copy of “Attack on a fishing village”, a painting by Wilhelm Peters from 1895 (source: History of SA in Norway).