To celebrate the news that we could be seeing Mail Rail back on track as part of London’s underground network for the first time in over ten years, we take a look at some of the other historical aspects of the postal service and how sending a parcel abroad might have differed during the First World War.
The Post Office was by far the most lucrative enterprise in the country back in 1914, becoming “the largest single employer of labour in the world” according to the British Postal Museum. Once the war began, many of the workers decided to leave their jobs as staff and left the country to fight or contribute to the war in other ways.
The number of postal staff that ended up joining the army was staggering, as they had been encouraged to enlist in the first place. There was even a battalion, the Post Office Rifles, created that was made up entirely of post office workers.
The APS was then introduced as a means of getting letters to and from the trenches. The Home Depot was introduced in Regents Park to sort all these letters. By the end of the war, the Home Depot had dealt with over 2 billion letters.