A NUMBER of readers of this column will possibly recognise these World War Two "stamps". They could not be used to put on letters, however, as they were Commonwealth of Australia National Savings Stamps.
The blue sixpenny War Savings Stamps could be purchased in all states and territories of Australia. The government wanted to encourage citizens to save money as well as raise extra finances to assist in paying for the war.
The stamps, which featured a war fighter, could be purchased from post offices including in Bathurst.
There were nine various major loans during the Second World War that were aimed at those people, businesses, organisations and others who could contribute larger amounts of money to help pay for the war effort.
For those Australian citizens who did not have a great deal of money, the government introduced National Savings Stamps and War Savings Certificates to make wartime lending more attractive.
The Commonwealth Government promoted the formation of War Savings Groups that could be established within workplaces, church groups, clubs and neighbourhoods.
These groupings were intended to enhance members' capacity to purchase war certificates by pooling their resources.
These stamps were produced by Australia's Banknote Printing branch in Melbourne, the task made even more difficult by a shortage of suitable paper and labour.
Various types of shades of blue ink were used on the various printings of the sixpenny issue.
In July 1940, the first of some 10 million 6d War Savings Stamps were distributed to post offices in all states throughout Australia.
The war stamps were printed under the authority of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia by the usual printers who printed our normal postage stamp issues.
The Government Stamp Printer did the designs and engravings for this war issue.
Basically, the printers were forced to use whatever stamp printing paper that was available and with or without watermarked paper. Perforations which allowed the stamps to be torn apart also varied with 11, 12, 14 and 14 1/2.
Several coloured booklets were issued for customers to stick their stamps. When you purchased your first 6d War Savings Stamp, you received your booklet.
The first booklet was introduced in November 1941 ready for post office customers to purchase them for Christmas presents to encourage others to support the war.
When you filled your booklet, you could redeem them from any Australian bank that sold the £1 or £5 War Bond Certificates. The latter then could not be claimed for seven years, a bit like a long-term loan to the government, though the citizens were paid "interest" or a "premium" for their efforts.
Quite large numbers were never claimed back and remained stored somewhere until the family found them after the original recipient had passed on.
These stamps were often referred to as a "Spitfire", but in fact the stamp erroneously depicts a Boulton Paul Defiant aircraft, which was the only British fighter equipped with a gun turret behind the cockpit (and which never saw service in Australia).
The second stamp design was more expensive and featured a tank and a 25-pounder artillery piece.
The brown five shilling issue had NATIONAL SAVINGS STAMP at the top and FIVE SHILLINGS under it. The denomination 5/- is centrally placed in the design with AUSTRALIA at the bottom.
The 6d denomination appears at each side at the top of the lowest denomination stamp.
Bathurst Post Office also received at least one coloured poster to inspire Australians to purchase Second World War Savings Stamps for five shillings each to assist in funding our nation's war effort.
Alan McRae is with the Bathurst District Historical Society.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: