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2 Shillings 1939, Malta

in Krause book Number: 17a
Years of issue: 13.09.1939
Signatures: Treasurer: Mr. John Pace
Serie: Emergency Issue of Second World War
Specimen of: 13.09.1939
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 130 х 71
Printer: Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company Limited, New Malden

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2 Shillings 1939




2 Shillings 1939

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.

Photo by Dorothy Wilding, HM The King George VI after the Coronation Day, 1937

This engraving is done from the portrait by photographer Dorothy Wilding, made ​​in 1937, after the Coronation Day of His Majesty. The original portrait is now in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners. In center in words.


2 Shillings 1939

Uniface note. White.


Another type of this banknote existed. It was printed on thicker paper and has a watermark - map of Malaya. The signature was the same, as on this type - Treasurer: Mr. Edgar Cuschieri.

World War II Emergency Issues by the Paper Currency Board in 1939.

As early as June 1938 the Secretary of State for the Colonies advised Parliamentthat, should war break out between Great Britain and Germany, difficulties regarding the resupply of currency notes to the various colonies would surely arise. It was suggested that notes in denominations of 2 shillings, 2 shillings 6 pence, 5 shillings, 10 shillings and 1 pound be printed and held in Maltese banks in the event of an emergency. It was further suggested that £750,000 would be adequate to meet demand. Since there were no suitable printing facilities on Malta at that time, the job was given to the lowest bidder, which happened to be Bradbury, Wilkinson and Company.

When Germany attacked Poland on 1 September, 1939 Great Britain and France declared war. Two days later the use of temporary paper money in the colonies was announced. Issuance of these notes, it was pointed out, was strictly temporary in order to alleviate the shortage of circulating silver coinage and was made in anticipation of difficulties which would certainly arise due to the German U Boat campaign. Since insurance rates were rising rapidly for the shipment of currency, time was also of the essence.

The first of the temporary notes to be released was the 2 shilling 6 pence. Release occurred commensurate with a drop to less than one week's supply of the island's silver half-crowns and florins. Shortage of small change became so dire that, at one point, postage stamps were being accepted for bus fares. The Governor of Malta could no longer delay the release of the balance of notes which had already been printed and delivered. Two days later the £1 note entered circulation. Transport of emergency currency was handed over to the Admiralty and Air Ministries which employed every method available to get them there.

Naval ships, submarines, flying boats, merchant ships and aircraft were all pressed into service. To add to the difficulties, all shipments did not get through. For example, when HMS Beconshire was sunk off Malta, only 12,000 of the 84,000 £1 notes on board were recovered.

Temporary notes were not stamped with the signature of the Treasurer until after arrival in Malta. This was accomplished using hand fed machines at the Government Printing Office. When heavy aerial bombing intensified, the stamping of currency notes was dispersed among several locations throughout the island using available printing shop facilities and even a brewery.

Two types of £1 notes signed by Treasurer Pace exist; one bearing the date "1939" under Pace's signature, whereas later series do not have the date. The reason for this is unknown.