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Decimalization, Unissued Notes Of The BAF: 50 New Pence (British Armed Forces, 1972)-Article

Updated: Apr 16

This British Armed Forces Special Voucher (BAFSV) represents the 3rd denomination of the 6th Series BAFSV (2nd Issue, 1972). These unissued vouchers were introduced in response to the 1971 decimalization, of the British Pound. Britain was amongst the last major nations to adopt decimalization. Although due to a lack of major conflict the vouches were unissued.

The vouchers were printed by Bradbury Wilkinson & Co and Thomas De La Rue (TDLR). Both types featured the same overall designs. With three denominations in 5, 10, and 50 New Pence. The TDLR vouchers are known as the 1st Issue, these notes feature a lighter shade.


The note's header reads "British Armed Forces". The note's "Fifty New Pence" value is listed at the center. The term "New Pence" is used to differentiated it from the pre-decimal Pence. Below reads "Issued By Command Of The Defence Council". This Ministry of Defence (MOD) department, is now known as the Defence Council of the United Kingdom.

To the left is a large "50p", reinforcing the beforementioned face value. Overprinted on the number , is the text "6th Series". BAFSVs from the 2nd Series onward list their series, making identification easier. There are additional "50p"s at the note's inner corners. At their sides is vertical text, identifying the note as a "Special Voucher", it also references the reverse.

Unlike the previous 10 Pence, this note uses dual-serial numbers (B/I 674646). The numbers can be seen at the upper-right and lower-left. The footer lists the note's printer as "Bradbury Wilkinson & Co".


The reverse features a large "50p" at its center. Similar to the 5 Pence, the reverse lacks a header. Instead the note's text value is listed at its sides, as opposed to the previous 10 Pence. Which featured this value only on the left side. Similar to previous notes, the note's "50p" value is repeated on each corners.

Below the center, is a detailed notification. Stating the voucher's can only be spent at base canteens and organizations approved by the General Register Office (GRO). Procession of vouchers by individuals not entitled to use British military facilitates, is a punishable offense. As is intentional distribution of vouchers by British military personal.

The underprint combines elements of the previous 5 and 10 Pence. Just as the 10 Pence the observe and reverse use a shared underprint. Although similar to the 5 Pence, vertical lines are used. These lines can be seen as red and strips, beneath the "Fifty New Pence" text. Although less noticeable are and overprint of thin, tightly packed green lines.

6th Series BAFSV Gallery

(Gallery includes the complete 6th Series BAFSV, 2nd Issue)


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 139 x 70 mm or 5.47 x 2.76 in, larger than a US Dollar.

  • The BAFSV were issued after WWII (1939-1945, during the occupation of Germany.

  • BAFSVs were issued during major military deployments, such as the Suez Crisis.

  • Prior to Decimal Day ( 15 February 1971) the Pound was subdivided in to 240 Pence.


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