At the end of the Second World War it was recognised that the whole nation had made sacrifices towards the eventual victory, including the nation’s school children. Therefore it was decided to give each school child in the country a certificate with a message from the King on it to be able to keep as a memento for years to come. These certificates were produced in the millions and are still a common find today. They are rectangular in shape and all appear to have two holes punched at the top, presumably to allow a piece of string to be tied through to make an improvised hanger. The royal crest is printed in full colour, followed by the King’s message and his signature, printed beneath:
The rear of the certificate has important dates in the history of the war together with a space for the child to record what his or her relatives had been involved with:
Bill Black recalls receiving his certificate:
I live in Northern Ireland and remember well the day the letter was handed out. The Principal of the School came to each classroom and personally told us the war was over he then handed out the letter signed by the King and we were given a paper bag with buns and a glass bottle of lemonade (no plastic). This was a real treat after 6 years of austerity. In my childish mind I remember thinking that a letter signed by the King must be an important piece of paper! and it was !!