BFPO delivery service, anyone know how it works?

T_Jzz

Newbie
Hi all, I've sent a letter to my boyfriend in the RN he's shoreside in the UK but just wanted to know what the delivery process is. I sent it first class but can't imagine it's the same as any other post as it's being delivered to his ship. If anyone can tell me what stages it goes through and roughly how long it will take to reach him, that would be fab!
Thanks xx
 
@T_Jzz - Gleaned from a little memory + a little Googling:

Once posted the Post Office delivers BFPO Mail to the HQ BFPO at RAF Northolt who will then sort it and deliver it through their own networks which including 'service channels'.

https://www.postoffice.co.uk/mail/hm-forces-mail

From Wki: <<BFPO provides a postal service to HM Forces, separate from that provided by Royal Mail in the United Kingdom. BFPO addresses are used for the delivery of mail in the UK and around the world. BFPO moved from its original base at Inglis Barracks, Mill Hill to its current base at RAF Northolt in northwest London in 2007>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Forces_Post_Office

https://www.facebook.com/pg/HQBFPO/about/?ref=page_internal

At a guess, I'd imagine that timescale for delivery to a ship alongside would be very similar to First Class but you could check this out by asking him when he actually received your letter the next time you phone him.

Once a ship has left the wall the delivery process and route becomes a lot more complicated - anecdotes at RR include whole bags of mail ending up either lost in the oggin during ship-to-ship Helo transfer or even arriving at the wrong vessel halfway round the globe: eg For HMS Warspite but sent to HMS Wasperton & For HMS Swiftsure but sent to HMS Swift.

Not a full answer but other posters might be along to reply...

PS When/if you ever get around to sending him the traditional 'Dear John...' letter please try to make it original as these are... DELETED BY MODERATOR ;);)
 
@Taztiff - OP sez <<shoreside in the UK >> in one breath
then in the next<<it's being delivered to his ship>>

Puzzling until she appreciates the difference between shoreside & alongside and can differentiate between HMS for ships/submarines & HMS for stone frigates.

The clue might be that she's using BFPO rather than a straightforward Postcode but it would all depend on what else, besides his Official No., her boyfriend has not told her.o_O

r
 

Taztiff

War Hero
@Taztiff - OP sez <<shoreside in the UK >> in one breath
then in the next<<it's being delivered to his ship>>

Puzzling until she appreciates the difference between shoreside & alongside and can differentiate between HMS for ships/submarines & HMS for stone frigates.

The clue might be that she's using BFPO rather than a straightforward Postcode but it would all depend on what else, besides his Official No., her boyfriend has not told her.o_O

r
Thought that as well - but as I alluded, its been a long time since anyone wrote to me whilst I was living in (or on if we want to get into that old conversation! :D) a stone frigate! (Haven't even asked my lad what his address is in Collingwood - now that we have Whatsapp and other techy stuff)
 

T_Jzz

Newbie
@Taztiff - OP sez <<shoreside in the UK >> in one breath
then in the next<<it's being delivered to his ship>>

Puzzling until she appreciates the difference between shoreside & alongside and can differentiate between HMS for ships/submarines & HMS for stone frigates.

The clue might be that she's using BFPO rather than a straightforward Postcode but it would all depend on what else, besides his Official No., her boyfriend has not told her.o_O

r
Yeah ok I get your point. You've got to understand when you're not surrounded by this type of language everyday it can take a while to pick it up completely. There isn't exactly a handbook on it.
So ok his ship is "alongside" I gather from your oh so helpful comment as he is on board but stationed in one port.
I know of course which HMS ship he is on and it's BFPO number which I used to send the letter.
We've never really discussed sending letters before so I just wanted to ask some people who might know from experience rather than ruining the surprise and asking him. It might not be the done thing nowadays but I consider it a nice notion and easier than trying to text.
 

Taztiff

War Hero
Yeah ok I get your point. You've got to understand when you're not surrounded by this type of language everyday it can take a while to pick it up completely. There isn't exactly a handbook on it.
So ok his ship is "alongside" I gather from your oh so helpful comment as he is on board but stationed in one port.
I know of course which HMS ship he is on and it's BFPO number which I used to send the letter.
We've never really discussed sending letters before so I just wanted to ask some people who might know from experience rather than ruining the surprise and asking him. It might not be the done thing nowadays but I consider it a nice notion and easier than trying to text.
One of the greatest pleasures when you are in the mob is the receiving of a (physical) maily in the post. I do not expect that the ease of electronic mail changes that.
A letter is tactile, can contain more then just words, has a smell, can be read again and again when at sea.
When the ship is away from the wall, mail will be delivered on a hopefully regular basis no matter where the ship is (stand fast some of the underwater patrols).
I still have letters from my then girlfriend from when I was deployed to the Falklands - we have been married 30 years this year.
Go for it - it may not be as quick as a text but in my (old) view, much better.
 
One of the greatest pleasures when you are in the mob is the receiving of a (physical) maily in the post. I do not expect that the ease of electronic mail changes that.
A letter is tactile, can contain more then just words, has a smell, can be read again and again when at sea.
When the ship is away from the wall, mail will be delivered on a hopefully regular basis no matter where the ship is (stand fast some of the underwater patrols).
I still have letters from my then girlfriend from when I was deployed to the Falklands - we have been married 30 years this year.
Go for it - it may not be as quick as a text but in my (old) view, much better.
True, I usually give the wife a quick ring at Lunchtime and one of the first questions I ask is "did we get any mail?", she thinks I'm obsessed with it.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
My wife never, or very rarely wrote to me. Being on boats, by the time the mail caught up with us we were already home!
 

T_Jzz

Newbie
Just an update: Sent the letter, took 5 days to arrive - was expecting it to be longer - and he loved it. Thanks all for your help!! x
 

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