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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

The Special £1 Note - a gift from Queen Mary


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Whilst reading through the Matron in Chief's (QAIMNS) War Diary, I came across the following entry for 12th October 1914: " No 2 General Hospital Rouen: Miss Richards showed the many beautiful things sent from England privately by Lady Lennox for the troops. Also some special £1 notes sent by the Queen for especially bad cases enclosed in a case with her picture and a morning and evening hymn”.
Has anyone ever come across an example of the ‘Special £1 Notes’ and their case?
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I wonder by 'special' she means 'new'.


Small 10/- & £1 notes for circulation only came about on Friday 7th Aug 1914. They were hastily produced as replacements for the half and full sovereigns. The fear was that people would start to hoard the gold coins in time of war. Then sovereigns were gradually reigned in by the banks.


These bank notes were actually issued by the Treasury not the Bank of England. Because no paper existed for these banknotes, stamp paper was used and the early notes have the same watermarks that you get on stamps of the time.


The notes were designed by John Swanwick Bradbury one of two permanent secretaries to the Treasury, and Sir Frederick Atterbury, controller of HMSO, and popularly known as 'Bradburys' because of the large signature of the former on the notes.


The Bank of England took over the note issue from the Treasury in 1928.


The Bank of England  had produced their large white notes (e.g. the white fiver) since 1694 but these were not used by the masses before 1914.


The Royal Mint has NEVER issued paper money.


Edit: 10/- notes issued one week after £1 notes, on 14th August 1914.







Edited by Alan24
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That's very interesting Alan, thank you

I expect that is what she meant, but although I've seen many examples of the brass tins that included cigarettes etc, I've never seen or even heard of a case containing notes, a picture of the Queen and prayers.



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