In the past we have looked at a pair of armed forces tokens here. These were not the first tokens issued to troops and examples can be found dating right back to the nineteenth century. Tonight we have a World War Two ½ Franc token to consider. The token is made of a brown laminated type plastic in a distinctive octagonal shape. The front has the words ½ Fr printed in black in a repeating pattern:Whilst the opposite side says ‘NAAFI Canteen’:“Over to You”, the official news sheet of the 5th Battalion Coldstream Guards reported the introduction of these tokens in its edition of Monday 10th July 1944:
PLASTIC TOKENS FOR SMALL CHANGE.
Owing to shortage of small change in French currency, it has been decided as a temporary measure, to use tokens of the denomination of 1/2 franc in NAAFI in FRANCE.
Tokens will take the form of octagonal plastic discs, with the value (1/2 franc) inscribed on the face.
They are issued with authority and may be freely accepted as legal tender as between NAAFI and Navy, Army and Air Force personnel within such limits as may be decided by NAAFI authorities concerned.
It is emphasised that tokens are being issued as a temporary measure only and solely for the benefit of troops in making cash purchases at NAAFI when small change is not available.
They cannot be used elsewhere than in NAAFI establishments, but will be exchanged by Cashiers at home in the case of returning troops with tokens in their possession.
All tokens will be withdrawn by NAAFI as soon as possible and will be redeemed in full by NAAFI.