Sunday, June 19, 2011

Help The Hospitals & Help Our Hospitals Label

Today's post is after a month. Last month kept me occupied with various personal commitments. Don't complain if you don't see a post for one more month. These are some of super busy time of my life ;-)

Anyway, coming directly to the topic of today's post, this post is going to break some of the myths about labels presented below. You will find such labels being offered on various auction sites as WW2 labels which in reality they are not. I also purchased them in same disguise only to realize later that the closest they were connected to was WW1. Let me explain to you.

First label in this series of "Help Our Hospitals (HOH)" or "Help The Hospitals" is shown below:

This label mentions "Sir Leslie Wilson's HOSPITAL FUND". This was issued with denomination of 1 Anna. At bottom, it has text "HELP THE HOSPITALS". This label neither has any date nor I could find it in "Patriotic & Propaganda of the British Commonwealth" catalogue by Clive Edwards.

A little search on internet reveals that:

Sir Leslie Orme Wilson, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, DSO, PC (1 August 1876 – 29 September 1955), was a British soldier, Conservative politician and Governor of Queensland. In 1923 he was appointed G.C.I.E. and governor of Bombay.

The uneasy system of diarchy by which India was governed, together with the serious depression of the cotton textile industry on which Bombay so largely depended, made the position of governor no sinecure. Sir Leslie dealt with the most serious and prolonged strike in the history of the Indian manufacturing industry with firmness and goodwill. He preferred persuasion to intervention. As chief scout of Bombay he improved facilities for education, while his Governor's Hospital Fund (keenly supported by Lady Wilson) increased the efficiency of voluntary institutions.

Immediately after the First World War, there was a great rush of students to the college (including medical colleges). To continue to provide effective instruction training and improve the facilities at hospital, Sir Leslie Wilson Hospital Fund was started which gradually increased the facilities of most of the hospitals in Bombay Presidency.

In 1928 he completed his office and in 1929 was appointed G.C.S.I. After which he returned to Australia as Governor of Queensland.

The biography of Sir Wilson shows that the label shown above was issued couple of years after the first world war.


Same is the case with next label which mentions " HELP OUR HOSPITALS" with denomination of 1Anna in blue color.

Such labels without any date or catalogue reference made it into internet world as this was WW2 label. If you see labels mentioned above and below then you can guess that they were probably designed by same artist even though both of them doesn't mention "Sir Leslie Wilson". They are different from first one in sense that Sir Leslie Wilson's label stated:


while these mentions:


This one particularly proves that it was issued before WW2. If you see the label carefully then you can see the date printed on this one 7th Feb 1934. The artist has placed date in such a manner that it becomes difficult to locate in first glance. Moreover, this one is more illustrative with Esplanade Maidan at center of label with nuns at both the sides. This was issued with 1/2 Anna denomination.

The earlier one was more on the lines of Sir Leslie Wilson Fund but this one has more text and different printing pattern.

It mentions "Relieve Sick & Sufferings" and HOH Fete (looks like organized on the date mentioned on label). It also has text "Garden Village Section".

Overall, it appears none of above labels are of WW2 era though they were issued all the way after first world war until second world war to improve facilities and conditions of hospitals and patients in Bombay Presidency. It was a legacy of Sir Wilson which continued even after he left Bombay for Queensland.
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