Sending Mail to Canadian Prisoners of War (19 May 1915, 3 June 1915)

Prisoners of war were able to receive mail parcels not exceeding eleven pounds and to the knowledge of the Post Office Department in Ottawa, there was no restrictions on parcel content and tobacco could be sent duty-free. Instructions on how to communicate with a Canadian prisoner were given to Canadian citizens from the Post Office Department through newspapers. These instructions claimed that content within letters should only contain local and family news and business information if needed. There would be no paid postage, letters were to be left open, and any mention of military, naval, or political information would cause the package not to be delivered. Letters were also to never be placed within a parcel and no newspapers, under any circumstances, were to be sent. While it was preferable to send postcards, if a letter was being sent, it should not exceed two sides of a piece of note paper. Money could be sent as well; while sending actual bills was not recommended, an arrangement could be made with the post master for a remittance. Finally, there was no guarantee of delivery to or from a Canadian prisoner of war.

Letters were to be addressed as:

Rank, initials, name

Regiment or Unit

Canadian Prisoner of War

Place of Internment



“May write to War Prisoners,” Berlin Daily Telegraph, May 19, 1915.

“Re Correspondence for Prisoners of War in Germany,” Elmira Signet, June 3, 1915.