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1 Pound 1951, Malta

in Krause book Number: 22a
Years of issue: 08.05.1951
Signatures: Treasurer: Mr. Edgar Cuschieri
Serie: Ordinance Number 1 of 1949
Specimen of: 1949
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 140 х 75
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

1 Pound 1951




Allegorical head of Malta - Melita.


1 Pound 1951

H.M. The King George VI

HM The King George VI.

George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George, 14 December 1895 - 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.

The George Cross

On left side is The George cross.

The George Cross was awarded to the island of Malta by King George VI in a letter to the island's Governor, Lieutenant-General Sir William Dobbie, so as to "bear witness to the heroism and devotion of its people" during the great siege they underwent in the early part of World War II. Italy and Germany besieged Malta, then a British colony, from 1940 to 1942. The George Cross was incorporated into the flag of Malta beginning in 1943 and remains on the current design of the flag.

While Italian and German bombers attacked the Maltese islands, the lack of supplies was soon felt. An invasion threat in July 1941 failed when coast defenders spotted torpedo boats of the Italian Decima MAS special forces. Whilst people suffered hunger, a final assault to neutralise the island was ordered by the German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. This assault again failed. On 15 April 1942 King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta in appreciation of their heroism.

The George Cross was awarded during the worst period for the Allies during the Second World War, as the Axis-force clearly appeared to have the upper hand. German planes struck the island around the clock, in an attempt to neutralise British bases in Malta, given these were constantly foiling their naval attempts to supply Rommel's North African campaign. Malta's geographic position, between Italy and North Africa, as well as dividing the Mediterranean basin into east and west put the islands in considerable danger. Malta-based British aircraft could reach as far as Tripoli in Libya to the south, Tunisia to the west and German bases in Italy to the north; on Pantelleria, Sicily and even as far as the port of Naples farther to the north.

At the time of the George Cross award, military resources and food rations in Malta were practically depleted. Fuel was restricted to military action and heavily rationed, the population was on the brink of starvation, and even ammunition was running out, so much that Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns could only fire a few rounds per day.

Italian battleships of the Regia Marina out-gunned the British, yet the Royal Navy was not out-classed. The German airforce had superior aircraft until Spitfires were finally sent to Malta. Also at this time, German and Italian strategists were planning Operation Herkules, a sea and air invasion of the Maltese Islands, an effort continuously postponed – until it was too late, because the Maltese Islands finally received their vital supply of fuel, food and munitions.

On 15 August 1942 (feast of Santa Maria) a convoy of Royal and Merchant Navy ships finally made port in Convoy of Santa Maria at Valletta's Grand Harbour, after completing what was considered one of the most heroic maritime episodes in recent history.

The George Cross (GC) is the second highest award of the United Kingdom honours system awarded "for acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger", not in the presence of the enemy, to members of the British armed forces and to British civilians. Posthumous awards have been allowed since it was instituted. It was previously awarded to residents of Commonwealth countries (and in one case to Malta, a colony which subsequently became a Commonwealth country), most of which have since established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians including police, emergency services and merchant seamen. Many of the awards have been personally presented by the British monarch to recipients or, in the case of posthumous awards, to next of kin. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

Denominations in numerals are in three corners. Centered, on top, in words.


1 Pound 1951

White shield (watermark area).


Around are the acanthus leaves.

The acanthus is one of the most common plant forms to make foliage ornament and decoration.

The decoration is made by analogy with the herbaceous plant of acanthus acanthus family, native to the Mediterranean. The shape of its leaves, with a few sharp edges, resembling a bear's paw, was the basis for the drawing.

Acanthus often represents life and immortality.


The paper currency issued during both World Wars though intended only for temporary use, was however found convenient, and Ordinance No 1 of 1949 (The Currency Notes Ordinance) finally put the issue of local paper currency on a permanent basis.