Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tonk State - War Purposes Fund Label

In last 1 week, my theory was put on test where I have always claimed the worst disease one can get is fever and cold :-) And I always make it to point that I don't take medications. For some reason, I am totally against medication until it becomes question of life and death! Everyone have their so called theories and this is mine. But, I didn't realise that the one I got last week was really a bad one and caused infection in eyes and throat. I followed my theory for 3 days only to be scolded by parents and finally acceded to medicines. Naturally, my theory spoiled whole of my week because of discomfort I was having in eyes, throat and body. I came to realization that fever and cold was indeed worst disease but more than that I should still continue with my theory in a bit refined fashion i.e. if you see things getting worse then immediately consult doctor and take medicines before get scolded :D

Moving on to today's topic, it is about a War Purposes Fund label issued by princely state of Tonk during WW2 period. Princely state of Tonk was formerly part of Southeast Rajputana States Agency which is now part of modern state of Rajasthan in India. This state, situated partly in Rajputana and partly in Central Indian, consisted of six non-contiguous districts.

The state was granted 17 gun salute. It accessed to India on 7th April 1949. Even though, I couldn't find much information on Tonk state contribution on WWI and WWII on internet but based on war fund label items issued by Tonk state one can easily guess that it contributed a lot to British Empire in WWII since not many states had issued such labels except for Princely state of Hyderabad and Dewas Jr & Sr.

Shown above is 2 of such labels issued by Tonk State. It was of denomination of 1 anna and had text written in English and Urdu in red color:


It show a tower on the left (I have yet to determine which historical building it is currently) and war planes on upper right side. In fact, similar design was issued for Hyderabad War Purposes Fund Label so I assume the designer and possibly printer may be same. The difference in Hyderabad label was that it used Charminar on left side and many language illustrations on right side. I really wonder why other princely states didn't follow suite or perhaps followed, but so far I haven't seen any such examples. It would have made a great theme to collect the various designs of such label issued by different princely states where each was showing its historical place/symbol.

Anyway, Tonk state is also supposed to have issued Cash Coupons on same design pattern during WWII. I am providing a sample of such Cash Coupons (I have yet to get my hands on it).

If anyone have any information on Tonk State contribution during WWII or any cash coupons issued then please contact me. I will be more than happy to buy Tonk State Cash Coupons.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Save For Victory - WW2 Pamphlet

Today's post will be very short. It is about two almost similar pamphlet issued in India during WW2 persuading people to invest in various savings and war bond schemes.

There is an interesting history behind these schemes. During the first world war (WWI 1914 to 1918) the British Government needed to both reduce borrowing and to raise funds for the war effort. Consequently, the National Savings Movement was established in 1916 to encourage the British people to 'save and prosper'. The same was extended to all the British Colonies also.

The National Savings Movement grew from volunteers who were organised into Local Savings Committees, which in turn, were supported by national committees and civil servants. Savings products were sold directly to the public and the funds were sent to the government. The range of products included, saving stamps, certificates, and bonds, which were provided not only by the Post Office Savings Bank, but by other banks and financial institutions, such as building societies. The Movement was a large scale scheme to promote saving in all its forms and the local volunteers were recognised for their dedication by the issuing of 'long service awards', which were simply named 'National Savings'.

To support world war II (1939-1945) the War Savings Campaign was set up by the War Office in November 1939 and Regional Savings Committees were reorganised. War savings were not only limited to the purchase of certificates and bonds, but also used local collections to raise money for aeroplanes, tanks and any items which were urgently needed for the war effort. From 1940 onwards, local savings weeks became regular events with poster campaigns used to support the cause.

Just like WW1, the same schemes were rolled out in all the British Colonies including India during WW2. With all the Indian Princes contributing hefty amount to these, it became a huge success. More and more such schemes were rolled out in India encouraging everyone (general public) to invest in these.

Shown below is first of such single sided Indian pamphlet. It is printed in red color with text.


British War Savings Movement
BUY ---
2-1/2% NATIONAL WAR BONDS 1946-48
3% SAVINGS BONDS 1955-56


Another one is almost similar to above one. It is printed in blue color with a bit different text.


British War Savings Movement
BUY ---


Surprisingly, there is no more "NATIONAL" keyword in later pamphlet for any of those BONDS/Schemes. And to encourage people, looks like scheme was offered in either Sterling or Rupee.

The success of the scheme enabled it to thrive in times of peace as well as war, and National Savings were still available until the 1960s. These were the foundation of Indian Saving Bonds issued by the Post Office even today.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cigraette Postcard - WW2 India

Today's post is an interesting philatelic item. It's called Cigarette Postcard. During WW2, people used to donate packets of Cigarette for British Soldiers serving in all the parts of world and in return generally some one from field unit used to send thanking letter back.

Below postcard is one of such example where a postcard was sent to Mrs. Armstrong thanking her for gift. It is an unusual small size postcard though it is natural given paper was an important commodity during war and in the field.

The above postcard has "On Active Service" printed with faces of all three arms of British forces: Army, Navy and Air Force shown on front. It is franked with the date of 13 August 1943 along with another triangular franking of Field Sensor 59 India. This indicates that the packet was received by a serving unit which was part of Indian contingent.

Back side shows the thanking message written by P. R. Eden Major RE where he says "We are all looking for ward to the time when we can eat some Cambridge Sausage in Cambridge".

The postcard also has printed message that the parcel was presented through the Overseas league Tobacco Fund. They encouraged citizen donations of cigars and cigarettes for the boys in the trenches and included one of these postcards in each bundle, so the recipient could send a thanks.
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