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The Pacific War 太平洋戰爭

1941 開埠百周年紀念郵票 Stamps Commemorating the Centenary of Hong Kong



Since it was during World War II, the celebrations for the Centenary of HK were in a more subdued manner compared to 50 years earlier, with no large-scale events and special public holidays. The government issued a set of six commemorative stamps designed by the Chief Draughtsman of the Public Works Department, William E. Jones. The stamps featured a Chinese bat, symbolising good fortune , and its design was a fusion of East and West.

The top row of stamps, from left to right, featured the Central District's Cochrane Street, a Chinese junk and an ocean liner sailing in Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong University, - The bottom row of stamps, from left to right, featured a view of Victoria Harbour from the Mid-Levels, the third-generation headquarters of the HSBC completed a few years earlier, a Chinese sailboat and a seaplane.


1941 港府發行的一仙紙幣 1 Cent Note Issued by the Government of Hong Kong 


A year or two before the Japanese occupation of HK, a significant amount of counterfeit nickel coins were in circulation. Coins were also often in short supply. The government had to print paper notes to cope. There were rumours that Japan illegally exported large amounts of coins and then manufactured counterfeit currency to replace them, disrupting Hong Kong's financial stability.

This one-cent banknote was issued shortly after the enactment of the "One-Cent Currency Notes Ordinance of 1941" on May 30 . 

1942-1945 正版軍用手票5, 10, 100圓 Japanese Military Notes 5, 10, 100-yen

香港日佔時期歷時「三年零八個月」,日本軍政府發行正版軍用手票(俗稱軍票), 在淪陷後兌換率初期是一圓軍票兌港幣兩元,後來改為一圓兌港幣四元,1943年6月1日起更是本地唯一法定貨幣。日軍任意發行軍票,不斷大幅貶值,在重光後軍票頓變廢紙。

The Japanese military government issued Japanese military notes during their occupation of HK, known as“military notes”. The exchange rate was initially one yen to two HKD, which later changed to one yen to four HKD. The Military notes had even become the sole legal tender in HK since June 1, 1943. However, the Military Notes were issued at will and the value continued to depreciate sharply. After HK was liberated, they became worthless.

1946 重光一周年紀念郵票 First Anniversary of the Liberation of Hong Kong Stamps

1995 重光五十周年紀念首日封 50th Anniversary of the Liberation of Hong Kong Souvenir Cover

英國首相邱吉爾在戰時堅拒中方要求交出香港,更指除非“over my dead body”!1945年8月15日日本投降,英國皇家海軍在8月30日抵達香港,恢復英國管治。香港得以避開接下來席捲全中國的內戰及連串社會運動,最終浴火重生。郵政司榮鐘士在赤柱戰俘營時堅信盟軍終會勝利,就與好友鍾惠霖開始設計勝利郵票。郵票最終在1946年8月28日發售,正中放置英皇頭像,兩側有一對小蝙蝠,以華人寓意福氣、吉祥為意。英皇下方是一隻鳳凰展開雙翅,雙翅左右各有一隻扶著「香」、「港」盾牌的獅子。在郵票最下方是一着火的卷軸,上面寫有拉丁文「Resurgo」解作重生。

During the war, Prime Minister Winston Churchill refused the Chinese governmenternement's demand to hand over HK, stating that it would be "over my dead body". On August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered. On August 30 , the Royal Navy Fleet arrived and restored British rule. HK avoided the subsequent civil war and series of social upheavals that swept across China.

Postmasters General Edward Irvine Wynne-Jones was interned at Stanley Internment Camp during the war, but always believed that the Allies would triumph. He began designing a victory stamp with his friend, William E. Jones. The stamp was eventually issued on August 28,1946, it features the King, with a pair of small bats on either side, symbolising good fortune. Below the King is a phoenix with outspread wings, a lion on both sides holding a shield with the words "Hong" and "Kong". At the bottom of the stamp is a burning scroll with the Latin word "Resurgo" (rebirth).

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