17 July 2019
Philatelists Chris and Birthe King recently displayed part of their Denmark collections to members of the Bromley & Beckenham Philatelic Society.
Birthe King gave her display and slide show ‘Refugee Camps in Denmark 1945-1949’.
At the end of the war approximately 250,000 German soldiers and 250,000 refugees from different European countries were in Denmark and were housed in various camps throughout the country, varying in numbers from 1000 to 35,000 in each.
Birthe’s display, which was accompanied by a knowledgeable and entertaining discourse, included letters and covers to and from many of these camps, and nationalities, accompanied by documents, postcards and photographs, as clear from the synopsis and representing many of the islands where the camps were located.
Chris King then gave his display and slide show ‘Denmark and the Napoleonic Wars’, which served as a commentary on the events during this period in which Denmark or the Danes had been involved. Chris set the scene as it was in 1800, and the battle of Copenhagen in 1801 when Nelson famously ‘did not read the signal with his blind eye.’
Chris moved on to the ‘Continental System’ a blockade of Europe denying the British ships entry to European ports, then the consequences of Trafalgar when the Danish Fleet was coveted by France (which had suffered heavy losses); the 2nd Battle of Copenhagen in 1807 when the British seized the Danish fleet.
Then there followed a review of the Grand Armee and its various marches and campaigns, postal markings, etc. Chris explained the significance of Anholt an island at the entrance to the Baltic Sea, seized by the British and designated HMS Anholt in 1809, eventually returned after the Treaty of Kiel 1814.
Finally Chris talked of the Danish involvement in the Demilitarised Zone along the French/German border after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo for the period 1816-1818.