My numismatic adventure №10 - England 1940

in life •  last year

WW II coins:


The coin itself

Great Britain 1940 (KM# 852) 6 PENCE - 0.500 Silver (2.83gr) ; mintage - 20,875,000 ; My valuation – 12.5EUR
Obverse: IMG_7842.jpg Reverse: IMG_7844.jpg
(you may click on the coins to enlarge the image)

A bit of history

This year is dominated by Britain's involvement in World War II, as well as the numerous enemy air raids on Britain and thousands of subsequent casualties.

Britain calls up 2 million soldiers for service; introduces food rationing (including meat); Britain is attacked by sea and air.
The army of Britain is involved in most campaigns over the world – Europe, Africa and so on.

A radical transformation of British society resulted in the inter war period. A deluge that swept away many old attitudes and brought in a more equalitarian society, a decline of deference toward the aristocracy and established authority in general.

Popular culture heavily evolved prior to the beginning of the war. Thought great depression of the late 1930’s and unemployment did effect England as all other European countries.

Britain, declared war on Germany in 1939, after the invasion of Poland. After a quiet period of "phoney war", the French and British armies collapsed under German onslaught in spring 1940. Winston Churchill came to power, promising to fight the Germans to the very end. The Germans tried to achieve air supremacy but were defeated in the Battle of Britain in late summer 1940.

My thoughts

A mixture of heavily evolved culture and economic depression is what’s to be looked upon in focus here. Although unlike many other countries, England did not fall a victim to social unrests and political theatre in the late 30’s. One could make an assumption that this is partially due to the great evolvement of things like sports, mass media, cinema, theater and so on.
There was a food problem of course, but rationing and evacuation was introduced quite rapidly, which helped to secure the country from a worse off scenario.

We can judge from the coinage that the government didn’t have as many troubles as other countries, still printing silver coins during the war. The mintage is high for almost all coins. And those are widely used by all of the citizens.
Much of this comes due to the fact that Britain is an island and was saved from the main devastation most of Europe faced at the time.

Rowntree's Cocoa costs 2½p per ¼lb. ; Chappie Dog Food, 3p per tin. ; Black Cat cigarettes, 10 for 2½p ; Wrigley's PK Chewing Gum ½p per packet ; Halls Wine 19p and 32½p per bottle.

Seats in London's 'His Majesty's Theatre' to see Stanley Lupino, Florence Desmond & Sally Gray in 'Funny Side Up' cost from 7½p to 52½p.

To what I could find wages are roughly 240 pounds per year.

War preparations – England, 1940

War_Preparations_London_England_1940.jpg


All photos of coins are from my own collection

Historical source 1 ; 2

Image source

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This was a really nice and interesting post I must say. So interesting to start with a coin and through this object call up a time and feeling ! When you think of all the hands that this coin must have passed through its really an object which is heaped in energy and memory of these somewhat brutal times. Sad indeed to see now such a great Nation so famous for defending its shores for so long now totally taken over by the seeping of Islamic nations and beliefs ! Quite hard to believe really for me an Englishman ! upvoted.

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Thanks man - this is excatly what I like about collecting coins- the history behind each one, spot on there!

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yes i totally get it as you see ) I have a coin which i keep around my neck, its a 10 centimes pre war coin minted in 1933 from France. I really love it and it just reaks of "cafe " and those terrible French cigarettes being smoked in the back of those wonderful black Citroen cars !! Coins are magic and yes totally timeless, they go from one hand to another , one time to another !! following you now )