In the context of such numbers, it is not surprising that a post office was opened in the Hospital Quarter just as one was in the Barracks or Camp Quarter [ Korpus'ny Gorodok ]. In 1959, Tchilingirian and Stephen in Stamps of the Russian Empire Used Abroad, Part Five recorded a cancellation from the Camp on the basis of a single example. But they did not record a cancel for the Hospital Quarter. I show an example below; the cancellation is identical in style to the Camp Quarter cancel and reads KHARBIN GOSPIT. GORODOK serial "b". The card is an Imperial Formular card, pre-addresed in hectography to the Maria Feodorovna charities in St Petersburg.
What is puzzling is why this cancellation and the Camp cancellation should - apparently - be so rare. There were a very large number of people in Kharbin who would have wanted to write home at this time. Perhaps cards like this one are buried in dealer boxes, but after a hundred years that seems a bit unlikely - I did not find this in a dealer box and paid a three figure sum for it But maybe readers do have other examples of this cancel and the Camp cancel. I will happily show them here if sent scans.
12 June: YES is the answer to that - and I am wrong.Jack Moyes tells me in conversation that this stamp is a Theatre Tax stamp ( he tells me that he has in the past owned theatre ticket stubs) but that it is a First World War (Imperial period) stamp. We discussed why the theatres weren't using Maria Feodorovna Theatre Tax stamps and came to this conclusion: Kharbin was not part of Imperial Russia! It is for this reason that the stamps could be issued by the local government of Kharbin