Tuesday Finds

As one of the stall holders commented this morning, the market after a Bank Holiday is often quieter. Despite this I did pick up a few nice small finds for a few pounds so it wasn’t a wasted journey.

 AFS Lapel Badge

This tiny little AFS badge is made of enamelled brass, with the AFS letters and King’s Crown picked out in red enamel:image The reverse of the badge has a fitting to fix it through a button hole on a jacket lapel:imageThese badges were issued to AFS personnel to allow them to distinguish themselves when in civilian clothing. The Auxiliary Fire Service had been set up in July 1938 to assist the regular fire brigades, the part time fire fighters had to complete 60 hours of training and were then issued with a lapel badge. The badge helped them avoid being denounced as avoiding the call up and being branded a coward. Although this would prove to be less of a problem in the Second World War, the Great War had highlighted the difficulties men and women on vital war work, but not having a uniform, could face. The lapel badge was a simple and cheap way of alleviating this problem and most civil defence organisations had some kind of badge to be issued to their members. Although originally issued in silver, this example is made of brass, presumably to reduce costs.

Japanese Invasion Currency

Previously we have looked at a bank note produced by the Allies for issue in France following the liberation of the country here. This note by contrast was produced by the Japanese Government for use in countries they had conquered. This note, worth five cents was issued in Singapore, Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei:SKMBT_C36415052609280_0001The ‘M’ stamp indicates this note was for issue in Malaya; the 5 cent note was introduced in September 1942 to replace coins which were in short supply. The use of notes was a cheaper way to issue currency and didn’t use strategic supplies of metal therefore the paper is a very cheap woven type, with a simple red-brown printing:SKMBT_C36415052609290_0001The local population of occupied areas was forced to use these notes, which resulted in hyperinflation as the Japanese just printed more notes when they need it. The lack of serial numbers meant they were also widely counterfeited and after the fall of the Japanese Government they lost what little value they had up to that point.

WW1 Postcards

A couple of portrait postcards form the Great War came my way this morning. These sort of postcards are very common and consequently cheap- these cost me 50p each. The first is of a Royal Artilleryman and a woman who is presumable his sweetheart.SKMBT_C36415052609490_0001The rear of the postcard identifies them as Ethel Senior and Sydney Fardnell (40268). Sydney seems a little on the portly side, but had clearly seen action as there is a brass wound stripe on the sleeve:SKMBT_C36415052609490_0001 - CopyThe second postcard, unfortunately, has suffered from quite severe degradation over the last century and is now very faded:SKMBT_C36415052609490_0001 - Copy (2)Colour correcting it allows us to see it more clearly:SKMBT_C36415052609490_0001 - Copy (3)It is hard to tell, but I believe the cap badge is for the Army Service Corps. The rear of the postcard has a date of November 1915 allowing us to date the picture to the second year of the conflict.

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