Some postal history items definitely go beyond the purely philatelic! I obtained this item recently on account of the various interesting and rarely seen markings(postmarks!) which does tell a story.
It was posted in France on 17-1-89 addressed to a Mr Dyak in a non existent street in Jesselton, Sabah , North Borneo. Of course, no such person exists with this surname and by 1989, Jesselton has been known by its more modern name of Kota Kinabalu for many years.
The sender has clearly included his details knowing full well that it will be returned. Towards the bottom, the cover has been endorsed on 1/2/89 with " alamat 'dak lengkap" which is Malay for "incomplete address". But it languished in the post office until 16FEB89 when it was decided that it should be "Retour". This can be seen by the Kota Kinabalu N7 datestamp.
In addition, we have the violet "return to sender" cachet which is also present faintly on the front of the cover. Bellerive-sur-Allier is a very small town in central France. Probably, there is not a lot going on there apart from farming. Collecting postal history would have been a good hobby for some.
This is an interesting aspect of postal history. Just as a reminder, my previous posts of "Retour" material include:
posted April 2012 click here.
also posted April 2012 click here.
posted July 2012 click here.