Occupied Germany, Notes of the BAF: 1 Pound (British Armed Forces, 1948)-Founder's Article

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

This British Armed Forces Special Voucher (BAFSV) represents the 6th denomination of the 2nd Series (1948). In the aftermath of World War II (1939-1945), Germany was divided into 4 occupational zone, in accordance to the terms of Potsdam Conference (1945). The British zone of occupation was controlled by the 21st Army Group, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).


During the initial occupation it quickly became apparent a separate monetary system would required.

As a means of preventing BAOR personal from participating in black market activities, in occupied Germany. On August 1, 1946, the 1st Series of the British Armed Forces voucher was introduced. It was followed up by 2nd Series BAFSV, on January 6, 1948. While simultaneously devaluing the previous 1st Series. In an effort to eliminate the market for illicitly gained vouchers. Both series were produced by world renowned printer Thomas De La Rue of London.

The overall note feature elaborate intaglio engraving, expertly done by Thomas De La Rue of London. Beyond this the note focus is primarily utilitarian, with large and easily understood primary text. Moving the upper center down, the header reads “BRITISH ARMED FORCES”. Followed by “SPECIAL VOUCHER”, “FOR USE ONLY AS DETAILED ON THE REVERSE”.


The center clearly states the voucher's “ONE POUND” value, with “2nd SERIES” in small print. The footer reads, “ISSUED BY COMMAND OF THE ARMY COUNCIL”. Below in fine print is, “THOMAS DE LA RUE & COMPANY. LIMITED. LONDON”.


The note's value is restated 4 additional times. Once in text, “ONE POUND” on the upper left corner. And 3 times as “£1”, on the left, upper right corner, and lower right corner. The instance on the left would be particularly recognizable, to an English subject. Even those with relatively poor literary skills. Thus it serves as a backup to the center text.

The reverse restates the voucher's value, 5 more times. A large “£1” on floral engraving covers the center. Additional smaller “£1” symbols are located on the lower left and right corners. Followed by the value repeated in text (ONE POUND), on the upper left and right corners. Making it undeniably clear to anyone to it's value. Overall the voucher's value is stated 10 times, 4 times in text, and 6 times in symbol (£1).


The lower reverse provides general instructions, in the form of a warning. To paraphrase the voucher's can only be spent on 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 personal to such individuals.


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 139 × 70 mm (5.47 in x 2.76)

  • These dimensions are copied by the BAFSV 4th Series (1962)

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