Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Call To The Nation - WWII Pamphlet

Today's post is a WW2 pamphlet asking people of India to buy defence loans. British Government had issued similar war defence loan schemes in most of the colonies during WWII. Thus, I assume the slogan "A Call To The Nation" used was very common. Though, the slogan was published with an Indian bugle man in India. This was common design for such advertisement since I also have an edition of Indian Information publication by Govt. of British India which has same front cover design.

Shown above is front side of pamphlet. While reverse side carries the need for such scheme and how can one make investment in that.

The text in English reads:

MODERN war means mechanised armies, tanks, aeroplanes - thousands of them - and guns, in addition to men and munitions, and to equip and maintain a modern army for defending our homes will cost very large sums of money. Every patriotic Indian can help to make India strong and thus protect his home and family by saving as much as possible and lending his savings to Government. The Government of India have issued Defence Loans to suit the convenience of different classes of people. The object of these Defence Loans is to raise money to expand and equip our army, navy and air force for the defence of our country. By subscribing to these loans you will be paying the best insurance for your freedom and happiness.

(I) 10-Year Defence Savings Certificates

These certificates are a very safe and convenient method of investment. The minimum value of certificates is only Rs. 10. They are, however, issued in larger amounts also - Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 500, and Rs. 1,000. A ten rupee certificate carries interest at the rate if five annas for each complete year, except the first year. In addition to interest, a certificate holder is entitled to a bonus of four annas at the end of the fifth year and eight annas at the end of the tenth year. The interest is income-tax free. Thus, at the end of ten years, the certificate is valued at Rs. 13-9-0, having earned Rs. 3-9-0. This works out at the rate of 3-1/8 per cent. compound interest. The certificate can be bought at any post office, but no person can buy more than Rs. 5,000 (face value). Unlike other securities, fluctuations in the market cannot diminish their value. For if a holder wishes to get his money back before 10 years, he has only to apply to the Post Office from which he bought the certificate and he will get back his deposit of Rs. 10 plus the interest and bonus that has accured on it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

War Supplement, 18 April 1942 - Jodhpur State Gazette

Today's post is a war supplement to the Jodhpur Government Gazette issued on 18th April 1942. This particular edition is special because it contains a photograph printed using cyclostyle method which is obsolete now. Even those days, very few gazettes used to carry photographs.

The gazette shows photograph of German planes lying in junkyard after shot down by allied forces with a comment below "What a fine bag!". It is a sarcastic comment on Nazi air power.

Finally, it urges people of princely state to donate generously to Shri Umed Singhji Air Defence Fund created to raise squadrons of RAF to fight enemy.

The text on Gazette reads:


India needs more Fighter-aircrafts to drive the enemy away.

Give generously to




Your contribution shall be gratefully accepted by the Hon. Treasurer.


Issued by the P.O. on behalf of Shree Umed Singhji Air Defence Fund Committee, Jodhpur.


The article will be incomplete without mentioning a brief note on Maharaja Umed (Umaid) Singhji of Jodhpur. He was a keen aviator besides being a great ruler. In the very first year of his accession to the throne of Marwar, he established the first landing ground at Jodhpur in 1924. The Maharaja was in fact the first Indian prince to earn an ‘A’ Level flying licence. In 1931, he established the Jodhpur Flying Club (JFC) with his two Tiger Moths. By 1938, the JFC was at the forefront of civil aviation in India, with three international airlines operating air services to Jodhpur. The Maharaja was also a stakeholder in the first aviation company in India. With the rumblings of World War-II, and as the Battle of Britain raged in Europe in 1940, the Maharaja - a true soldier complained to the then viceroy, “I have no use for the Honorary rank”. His position did not allow him to personally engage in dogfights in Spitfires and Hurricanes, so he had to be content with the command of his base at Jodhpur.

As the focus of the war shifted to Burma and the far East, Jodhpur became a hub of the air operations, and in 1941, Jodhpur Air base was transformed into the No 2 Elementary Flying and Training School.

One can now easily understand the reason behind such air defence fund advertisement in state gazette. Due to his distinguished services, he was conferred as Air Vice Marshal of Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF).

Sadly, Lt. Gen. Air Vice Marshal HH Umed (Umaid) Singh died in an air crash on 9th June 1947, on Mount Abu.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

WW2 Patriotic Slogans on Envelope

Today's post is on two interesting WW2 envelopes used in India. Both of them carry WW2 slogans printed on it.

The first one (shown below) is an used envelope dated 12th January 1943 with a meter franking of "Help The East India Fund For British War Services" with 1-1/2 Anna denomination. This patriotic slogan was used quiet a lot during WW2. One can easily find such franked letters. But what is interesting is that franking is done on top of printed WW2 slogan so I would say it is double bonanza :D As you can see the letter also carries a printed slogan of "During An Air Raid Stay Under Cover".

It is said the East India Fund was established with help of East India Bank located in Calcutta. The fund for British War Services contributed mostly on raising Spitfire squadron. In the beginning it started with hoping to get an aircraft named after the fund only to get a full squadron named after it shortly. Such was the phenomenon response people of India and other British Colonies gave to the fund.

An article found on internet mentions that "On May 22, 1940 the committee of the East India Fund for British war services forwarded to the Air Ministry from Calcutta a cheque for £30,000, with an intimation that they were desirous of contributing as much as possible towards the cost of providing a flight of fighter aircraft which they hoped might be given a special title indicating its association with the East India Fund. The initial equipment of such a flight comprises eight machines and the cost amounts to some £88,000.

This generous gift was gratefully acknowledged by the Air Council, and the committee were informed that arrangements would be made for the flight of Spitfire aircraft which they were hoping to provide to be named The East India Fund Flight, and that this designation would be inscribed on the aircraft of the flight.

On June 16, the committee forwarded a further gift of £10,000; and they have now contributed another £15,000, making £55,000 in all, towards the cost of the initial equipment of aircraft for the East India Fund Flight. The Air Ministry are greatly encouraged by this evidence of the warm interest which the citizens of Calcutta and other parts of Eastern India, both British and Indian, take in the activities and achievements of- the Royal Air Force, and they have sent most grateful acknowledgments."

In fact, immediately prior to its direct involvement in the Battle, 65 Squadron of RAF was honoured by being chosen as the unit which would be sponsored by the East India Fund. On 15th July, 1940 a party including Captain Balfour, the Under Secretary of State for Air, and Mr.R.Hodge representing the East India Fund presented no fewer than eight Spitfires to the Squadron. Despite pouring rain, a fly-past was arranged for the visitors. The Squadron was in future to be known officially as 'No.65 (East India) Squadron', and the Operations Record says that the new name 'looks really wizard painted on the engine cowlings'. Later, the aircraft carried the name in a small rectangle just below the cockpit.

Shown above is another of such envelope which shows pictorial image of an army soldier holding a rifle with slogan "Help Him To Defend You Buy Defence Loans". The envelope was issued by "Bombay Suburban Defence Loans Committee, Santacruz", mentioned on back side. It carries postal cancellation of 11th April 1943 with 9 paisa stamp on it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Indargarh Cash Coupon - WW2

Today's post is on cash coupons issued by Indargarh estate during WW2. Indargarh was a former jagir (estate) of Princely state of Kotah which later merged into modern state of Rajasthan after India got independence from Britain.

Indargarh consisted of 92 villages under it with 400 square miles of area. It bordered on the south by the Etawah Nizamat; on the north by Japiur and Tonk and the river Chambal; on the east by Gwalior and the river Parbati; and in the west by Bundi and Tonk. It was situated at the extreme northern tip of Kotah state, about 45 miles northeast of Kotah city.

Shown above is two of cash coupons issued by Indargarh estate during WWII. Both the cash coupons have same pattern where it mentions "Tankharch" in Hindi meaning for daily expenses with a serial number on front.

First one (on left) was issued with denomination of 1 anna. It shows print-drawing of reverse of British India One Anna coin dated 1933. It has been recorded as number 15.1 in Indian Paper Money Catalogue by Kishore Jhunjhunwalla.

Other one (on right) was issued with denomination of 2 annas. It shows print-drawing of reverse of British India Two Annas coin dated 1939. It has been recorded as number 15.2 in Indian Paper Money Catalogue by Kishore Jhunjhunwalla.

As usual, I have no information on Indargarh's contribution on WWII front i.e. what kind of assistance it extended to British Empire during those days. Thus, any information in this regard will be highly appreciated.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Early SEAC Leaflet - WW2

I have been grateful to one of renown collector of propaganda leaflets that he offered me part of his collection built over 30 years on India. Now that I have lots of such leaflets, I think I shall share leaflet today than other materials :-) I think in future also, you will find me posting more on war propaganda leaflets than postal items.

Today's leaflet is an interesting set. In fact, a first such set in my collection where 2 propaganda leaflets were dropped with same content and same pictures by allied forces (or I shall say SEAC [South East Asia Command]) on Indian soldiers under Japanese forces (read INA: Indian National Army raised by Subhas Chandra Bose). The only difference between the two leaflets is language used. One of them is in Hindi while other is in Urdu.

Shown above is early SEAC leaflet depicting a large bomber plane in front with text in Hindi which translates as:


This is message by United Nations. Don't help Japanese by any means. Stay away from air bases, railway stations, markets, ports, major bridges, armed camps, warehouse and all those places where Japanese live or work.

Don't take this warning in light manner

When we drop bomb from such high altitude then it is impossible for us to differentiate between friends and enemy.

Japanese are our enemy and all those who help them. We don't want to harm our friends in any manner. Our friends who hate Japanese, treat them as enemy and never help them.

This is same leaflet with same picture and content but in Urdu. Naturally, the content of leaflet indicates it must have been used on Burma or North East India front where Allied forces (Indian soldiers part of British regiments) were fighting against Japanese (Indian soldiers as INA). This leaflet is warning for citizens of those area not to help Japanese in any manner.

This shows the back side of leaflet which is again same in both of them. It shows Great Britain and USA flag. Even though, the leaflet is uncoded but showing flag of US and Britain indicates this was operation of SEAC.
Related Posts with Thumbnails