Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vithalgadh Cash Coupon - WWII India

Today's post is continuation of cash coupon series. It is about Vithalgadh or Vitthalgarh state issuing cash coupons during WWII.

Vithalgadh was a princely state (formerly Western India States Agency, Eastern Kathiawar, Jhalwar Prant) in British India. The state was of size 56 square miles consisting of only 5 villages. The princely state is now a normal city in modern Gujarat state of India.

The state was ruled by (Kayasth Prabhu) Shri Ramchandrarao Fanse (Vijay Singhji), born 1896, between 1920 to 1947 till India got independence. Thus, it carries the portrait of the ruler on both the cash coupons issued by the state.

Shown above is both the cash coupons issued by Vithalgadh state. The right one was issued with pale green color in 1 anna denomination. It has been given catalogue number of 36.1 by Indian Paper Money Catalogue of Kishore Jhunjhunwalla.

The left one was issued in navy blue color in 2 annas denomination. It has been given catalogue number of 36.2 by Indian Paper Money Catalogue of Kishore Jhunjhunwalla. Both of them carry numbers on back side and supposed to be issued around 1940-41 though it is difficult to ascertain the year.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Burma State Lottery - WWII

Today's post is on Burma State Lottery. Even though, Burma was separated from Indian Empire in 1937 and came under direct British Administration, I still collect Burma as part of my Indian collection because of Indian Army involvement in this theater of war. Burma and North East India were the main area where Allied (British & Indian) and Axis (Japanese & INA) forces fought hard pitched war during WWII.

Burma became province of Indian Empire on 1st January 1886. Since 1886 to 1937, Indian stamps were used in Burma. Between 1942 to 1945 part of Burma was under Japanese and British administration and during that time both of them ran their postal system in parallel.

During WWII, British Government came up with Burma State Lottery to raise funds. I don't have much details on it. But, I have two of such samples in my possession which mentions war.

First of such item is shown below. It is a ticket of Ninth Burma State Lottery, issued in 1941 to someone called Ramajayam.

The ticket is priced Rupees 2 and have a illustration of Burma's pagoda and Buddhist temples.

The back side of the ticket has as usual rules listed in English and Burmese. The rules state that the draw will begin on the 24th march 1941 while tickets will be sold till 10th March 1941 in Rangoon and 3rd March 1941 outside Rangoon.

And here comes the main rule which is of my interest: no war tax or other deduction will be made from the prizes.

Here is some information shared by fellow blogger Ramanathan on this lottery:

In the first lottery signed 'Sree Ramajayam' in the 'Nom De Plume' section of the lottery, the actual owner is S.V.RM.V.Ramanathan Chettiar of Pallatur, Ramnad District. Further, this lottery belongs to this gentleman (Ramanathan Chettiar) because people from the Chettiar community were major traders, money-lenders, and merchants in Colonial Burma. During the British Raj, Ramanathanpuram was written as Ramnad and Pallatur belongs to one of the 96 small villages / towns the Chettiar community is spread across -- today it has shrunk to 75 villages. Pallatur is a small village next to Karaikkudi. Family of AMM group, manufacturers of BSA cycles, trace their ancestry to Pallatur (before their venture into industries, ancestors of this AMM family had large investments in Burma).

Here is another sample of lottery ticket. This one is quite interesting since it has postmark on it :-)

If you notice this ticket carries a postmark of some KANYUT.... I can't decode it. I would really appreciate if someone can tell me which place it refers to. This is 1st time I have seen a lottery ticket being carried like this in postal system without any stamp on it. Or could it be some official seal while selling the ticket?

Again, fellow blogger Ramanathan helped to decode the mystery:

It is a postmark of 'KANYUTKWIN' located in Irrawady district. Such items may have been posted from Burma to India or vice-versa, hence that postmark seal. You see the name 'ANNAMALAI' in Nom De Plume section, again, this could be that of a Chettiar's name.

-- thanks a lot Ramanathan for helping with both the lotteries. Your analysis was as usual perfect and complete.

Anyway, this is 12th issue of same year 1941. Back side of this lottery mentions that the draw will begin on the 18th December 1941 while tickets will be sold till 4th December 1941 in Rangoon and 27th November 1941 outside Rangoon.

Like previous one, this also mentions that no war tax or other deductions will be made from the prizes.

I am sure British Government would have issued such tickets until they were run over by Japanese Occupation Forces in Burma or perhaps such tickets were continued to issue in regions of Burma under British control till end of war.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

WWII Slogans on Envelopes - India

Here are some of the other envelopes I have with WWII slogans that I wanted to share. This is 3rd such post in series showing all sorts of slogans postmarked on envelopes by British India during WW2 days.

Shown above is an envelope with slogan "Careless Talks Cost Lives" with "V" sign. The slogan postmark is dated 25th April 1945 and issued in Jaipur City.

Shown above is an envelope with slogan "A.R.P. Protects You" with siren. A.R.P. stands for Air Raids Precaution. The slogan postmark is dated 14th February 1943 and issued in Namakkal.

This is another of same slogan envelope. It is just that it has same slogan postmarked twice. This one is dated 28th November 1943 and issued in Mylapore.

Last one that I want to share is an Indian Bank envelope with slogan "Buy Defence Savings Certificates" in waves format. It is dated 9th March 1941 and issued in Madras.

WW2 Pamphlet V for Victory Bugle Man - India

Today's item is on pamphlet issued in 1946 during Delhi Victory Week which was official local celebration of victory by the Allies over Germany and Japan.

The Delhi Victory Week was celebrated on March 3rd to 9th, 1946 in New Delhi, India. The Victory Week saw more than 100,000 visitors. Highlight of the week was the parade on 7th March, in which 10,000 men and women, horses, mules, camels, mechanized equipment, bands and airplanes took part. The Viceroy of India, Lord Wavell; the Supreme Commander of Southeast Asia, Lord Louis Mountbatten; the Commander-in-Chief in India, Sir Claude Auchinleck; and the U.S. Acting India-Burma Theater Commander, Maj. Gen. Vernon Evans, were on hand to witness the event.

Most of the literature printed during Victory Week had same design as shown below in the pamphlet.

The pamphlet shows a large V of Victory sign with a Bugle Man. The pamphlet is of size W 6.2" X H 9.6".

Continuing on the celebration events, the parade was led by units of the Armored Corps. Artillery, and Engineers of the British and Indian Armies with their equipment. It was followed by massed pipe bands and massed flags of formations. A crack detachment of 200 American troops, led by Capt. Donald McCullough, headed the marching columns.

The parade also showcased detachments from Nepal, West Africa, East Africa, Burma, the Royal Indian Navy, the Royal Indian Artillery, the Royal Indian Engineers, British Infantry, Indian State Force Infantry, Special Detachments, Royal Indian Army Service Corps, Indian Army Medical Corps, Indian Army Veterinary Corps, Indian Army Ordnance Corps, Army Remount Department, Indian Pioneer Corps, Indian Army Corps of Clerks, the Royal Air Force, and Royal Indian Air Force.

It was followed by massed provincial banners, Boys Detachments from most of the units of the Indian Army, Boys Detachments representing Indian State Forces, a Boys Detachment from the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, Women's Services, and Delhi Police Band and Delhi Police Department.

Another highlight and huge crowd puller was the fly-past by planes of the Royal Air Force and Royal Indian Air Force which concluded the parade. They included three Cornells, five Harvards, three Dakotas, six Hurricanes, 36 Spitfires and six Lancasters.

The week's events got underway on 4th March morning with a "Remembrance" Ceremony at Memorial Arch. Two thousand troops, representing all arms of the Indian, Nepalese and Burma Services, joined in exercises dedicated to those who lost their lives in World War II.

A military "tatoo" was given on 4th March evening at Irwin Stadium and repeated on 6th, 8th and 9th March, in which various exhibitions of marching, bagpipe playing and mechanized equipment were given, and the sky was lit brightly with fireworks.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

War Related Advertisements on Jodhpur Govt. Gazette

Sometime back, I had bought a cartoon full of Princely States Gazettes of War related articles. I was initially too much excited thinking about materials that it contained but once I realised the mammoth task I had in hand of scanning and checking them then I lost my interest :D It has been since lying in my bookcase for months.

At one fateful day I dared to scan, could do so for some 50-60 documents, only to fall prey to my laziness. You can obviously guess, that today's post is fruit of that labour ;-) I have published couple of articles on Princely States Gazettes earlier also but they were more of official literature. This post is different from earlier ones as this contains some WWII period advertisements published in Princely States Gazettes. As far as I know, it is a bit uncommon to find private advertisements in official Government Gazettes. Though, I may be wrong here. Still, I found them interesting and hence sharing here.

Shown above is a Jodhpur State Gazette, dated August 23, 1941, containing an advertisement in English. The advertisement is about quality food provided by a general provision store run by its proprietor - Achalraj Lodha. The advertisement shows a Large "V" symbol with text "For Victory" - a very common design for Victory used during those times.

This is another advertisement again from the Jodhpur Government Gazette but dated October 3, 1942. The advertisement is published by Oriental Government Security Life Assurance Company in Hindi.

The translation of advertisement text in English is:

We hope that sand bags and brick walls can protect you from air raids.
If they couldn't then we would definitely do so provided you have got your self and your relatives insured with us.

We don't charge any special fees for War risks as of now.

Amount which has been claimed ------- More than 260 Million Rupees
Total amount in current policies ------- More than 855 Million Rupees
Annual Income of 1941 ------- Around 50 Million Rupees
Total amount of last yr policy ------- Around 300 Million Rupees

Oriental Government Security Life Assurance Company Limited

Established 1874 Headoffice, Bombay

Phone no. 319 Branch Office, Court Road, Ajmer
Inspectorate Office, Court Road, Jodhpur

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Save for India's Defence - Patriotic Label WWII

I know it's again after a long time that I am updating blog ;-) Well, I was as usual lazy. I was thinking to publish an article on today's item for long but simply couldn't. So, let's quickly start. Today's item is on a set of patriotic labels issued by British India during WWII. Before I showcase them, let's have some history lesson!

September 5th 1939, the day Britain declared war on Germany, witnessed also the passing of the Defence of India Act. Under this Act the Viceroy of India was given power to pass any ordinance which he considered necessary for the security of India and for the proper prosecution of the war.

Thus, by a stroke of the pen, the few political rights which the Indian people had won after decades of struggle, were filched away. That was a big blow to the Indian Freedom Movement led by Gandhiji & other nationalist leaders of Congress and Subhas Chandra Bose of Forward Bloc (later INA).

Initially, Gandhiji and Congress resisted the legislation and continued their mass protests which led to arrest of Gandhiji under the Defence of India act; he was encouraged to speak out against the INA and the Japanese. Eventually, Gandhiji and Congress started supporting the cause.

As India was one of the most prized asset for Britain and supposed to provide man, machinery, resources and money during WWII (just like during WWI), British Government came out with patriotic war labels encouraging people to save for India's defence. British India issued set of 3 such patriotic labels under the name of "Save for India's Defence". The exact date of issue of these labels are not known but they are predicted to be somewhere around 1941.

Shown above is a Defence Saving Card printed in Urdu from Kasur province of now Pakistan. The below image shows reverse side of same card where 1 Re and 8 Anna denominations of Save for India's defence labels were used on 13th Dec 1943.

The label shows a native soldier with sword. The three different denomination were in Re1, 8 Annas and 4 Annas. They were issued in 2 different size. The 4 & 8 Annas one were of perforation 11.5 with size 18x22 mm.

Here is another example of usage of Save of India's Defence label. This one was also issued in Kasur province on Defense Saving Card.

The reverse side of card shows usage of 10 labels of 1 Re denomination each, dated 4th Jan 1944.

The last variety i.e. of 4 Anna one is shown below:

And, this is one the interesting variety of WWII label where 1 Re denomination of patriotic label were overprinted with "PAKISTAN" word. This case is same as with other British India stamps which were used by Pakistan overprinting on India immediately after the partition after all the resources were divided.

Though, I don't think the below stamp would have been ever used since the label was meant for WWII and partition happened after that. So, I really wonder the need for Pakistan overprinting on such labels.

Another fact about these labels is that it was the same British Government that strongly cracked down on the use of nationalistic cinderellas and labels (Boycott British Goods, Swadeshi and Buy Indian Goods) in the 1930s encouraged the use of patriotic war labels during WWII for obvious reasons.
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