Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Malaya 1940 $1 & $5 saga continues.............


As the curtain rises and the fog dissipates into the dawn.........screech!! Hey, am I writing a novel or what?

In the process of verifying that the vessel SS Eumanes which was purportedly to be carrying the 500,000 one dollar notes and 100,000 five dollar notes, I noticed that the sinking date was also never published unlike the SS Automedon (scuttled on 11th November 1940). Another renown numismatist Owen Linzmayer published this phrase (TK is this name correct?, referring to the name SS Eumanes) in his The Banknote Book: Malaya 2012 edition.

On further researching with leads from Gilbert, the closest name from the naval archives of the WWII era was the vessel SS Eumaeus which was torpedoed on 14th January 1941 off the coast of Sierra Leone in the Atlantic Ocean but this troop transport ship was destined for Egypt.


Her master, Captain J. E. Watson ordered maximum revolutions and turned the ship's stern towards the submarine to narrow the target but four shells aimed at the stern and bridge found their mark. Despite being continually machine gunned from a range of 700 yards the Army gunners continued firing until their ammunition was exhausted, scoring at least one hit on the submarine. By this time the SS Eumaeus was well ablaze and as the submarine positioned herself to fire the torpedo which finally sank her she was abandoned.


                                                                                           (Map & Text extracted from Sixtant.net)

                     The following article is from World War Two - The War At Sea website:
                                                                         SS Eumaeus                                         
The British passenger/cargo ship Eumaeus was torpedoed and shelled by Italian submarine Comandante Cappellini and sank 118 miles W of Cape Sierra Leone. The records of Lloyds list 23 British fallen and 63 survivors, but the war log of the Cappellini clearly describes a "swarming" of troops getting away from the ship. In fact, this was a troop transport ship directed to Egypt. That is, at least, the version of the Italians. Maybe the Captain wanted to 'look good' ?  If it had indeed been carrying troops, they would have been armed and could easily have opened fire on the submarine, even if only to keep the decks clear? 

email: Feb 2014:
 Regarding the sinking of SS Eumaeus, it was indeed a troop carrier as my father, Stanley Marcel Guttridge, was one of the survivors spending 12 hours in shark infested waters watching his friends being taken.  He only survived because he returned to his bunk to retrieve a picture of my mum (very romantic) and put his jumper on which protected him from the sun as others ended up suffering terrible heatstroke.  There is a letter in the Daily Mirror in the 1960’s (I’m not sure my Dad still has the clipping) from a radio operator who first picked up the distress call.  Apparently he had been reading a ‘penny dreadful’ and had not shut his radio off at the correct time and although saving numerous lives was reprimanded. I will try and find the clipping and give you more information.  Dad is 92 and still going strong.
Kind regards Stella Hunt (nee Guttridge)
So there is no way the vessel would be carrying the 1940 Malaya banknotes unless the British Home Office was going to pay her army stationed in Egypt, Malayan dollars whereupon after defeating the Germans would then be transferred to the Malay peninsula to defend against the Japanese. Wouldn't this be a more credible story line....................
Therefore, it seems that someone sure did a darn good job in coming up with such a cockamamie story line and the whole numismatic world almost swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
Hopefully, errors with regards to this episode of "SS Eumanes" that have been made be corrected.
And now with the curtain coming down............................... I will close with the final chapter of second illustrious vessel of the Malaya 1940 banknote saga,
the infamous SS Automedon in my next blog. 

This is even more juicier than "SS Eumanes"!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Malaya $1 & $5 Banknotes of the 1940 series, Fact, Fiction or Fabrication?

What I am about to write may sound like a mystery novel surrounding the saga of the elusive and very rare Malayan $1 and $5 banknotes of the 1940 series.

It all began when I received an email from a renowned Malaysian numismatist and a good friend indeed, Gilbert Chang. A simple email from him mentioning the names of two vessels purportedly carrying the Malayan 1940 banknotes, was the catalyst that started my quest and his assistance to search for the truth.

According to published materials from some so called numismatic gurus, 'cut/paste followers' like moi, just swallowed wholesale and followed blindly by reproducing their facts without researching thoroughly to determine the truth and fact, as these 'experts' had already made 'cute' blunders on the names of the Straits Settlements colonial commissioners and financial officers.
(refer to my earlier article:- http://clement-oddsends.blogspot.sg/2013/05/is-name-is-more-than-just-name.html )

Base on published materials from these gurus, the following vessels by the name: SS Eumanes and SS Automedon were given the 'honor' of shipping substantial amounts of the Malaya 1940 banknotes from London to Malaya during the Second World War but they never reached their destination because they were sunk by the enemy. On the contrary, a local dealer said that some notes floated to Malaya and were picked up by the local fishermen.

Fact, Fiction or Fabrication?
1) The vessel SS Eumanes NEVER existed in any naval records of that era.

2) Base on the reports from the German raider boarding party leader First Lieutenant Ulrich Mohr, the only valuable thing that the SS Automedon carried was an envelope containing TOP SECRET documents about the defence status of the Far East and Singapore plus maybe Mrs Ferguson's tea-set which is another story altogether.

                                                            SS Automedon (Alan Matthews)

                                                   SS Automedon's moment of destruction (Vincente Monfort)



The saga continues....................................................................................



Saturday, December 31, 2016

Another Unfounded Fact About The 1940 Malaya $1 & $5 Banknotes.................

I am back!.....................had on purpose wanted to take a short sabbatical (but it became almost 4 years 😢 )from my last article ( Is a name more than just a name.....) to take root, digest and hopefully rectify the MAJOR mistakes made by our friendly up north publishers and also hopefully some assistance and verifications from our senile....oh I mean SENIOR numismatists.

Sadly nothing happened, even though I wrote to the publishers and others, the mistakes were still repeated in their latest catalogues although they did acknowledge my emails. A world premier British auction house gave me a short reply when I wrote to them, mentioning that they do not do research on that particular banknote because I am not the consignee of the note! (just asking that you get the facts right!!!) Later on their director sent an acknowledgement of thanks and in their subsequent auction catalogues the currency commissioner's name were not published.

It seems that no one gives two hoots about the true facts, everybody wants to make money from the newbies and unaware collectors........even the old established numismatic associations have gone with the wind or taken over by dealers to make money more than to educate the public on historical heritage, etc.

Enough said................ but it seems that there are very few of us who believes in educating the newbies, and thanks to a certified Malaysian numismatist and banknote grader, he contacted me a few months ago about my article ( The Problematic Malayan Banknotes of 1940..) to clarify certain facts. Imagine the horror when I discovered that I was no better than the publishers of the catalogues and articles, who just copy and paste so to speak.

Since today is new year's eve and I will continue in the next year.............😀







Monday, May 13, 2013

Is a NAME more than just a name................


Ever had anyone called you by a different name or wrote an article about you and used the wrong name!!

Well, here are Straits banknotes depicting three different signatories whose names were either published or known differently from their actual names, two of them are almost correct whereas the third one is completely different......................





I supposed someone took a look at the signature and deduced that the person's name should be L.M. Lean by the way he signs his name,............... what do you think?









           What about this one? It was deduced and published as Luis Shelley.






Well, both were close but incorrect and "a miss is as good as a mile"!!

In fact, the person/expert(s) responsible for coining these incorrect names should have done some research from the newspaper archives or relevant Straits Settlements documents in the first place, rather than be looked upon as experts, and unwittingly misinformed a lot of people, publishers, auction houses, etc for some forty or more years.

Well, I hope they see this article and refer to Owen Linzmayer and Mike Prizov contributions in The Banknote Book and realized the errors and so correct their catalogs, publications, etc to hopefully re-informed the Straits banknotes collectors and restore rightful ownership of a correct name and acknowledged achievement of a Straits Settlements Officer.

 These are some newspaper clippings from the 1930s that confirms the correct names of these honourable gentlemen whose names were all these many years spelt wrongly.


                                             Singapore Free Press & Mercantile Advertiser article dated 30/09/1937
 .....published as L.M. Lean, should be Lachlan Mclean

                                                                    Singapore Free Press & Mercantile Advertiser article dated 23/4/1931

  published as Luis Shelley, should be Malcolm Bond Shelley



           Now for the 'MOTHER of ALL ERRORS'




           The name published as REX CURALL
Well got to give the 'fella' credit! Signature really looks like Rex Curall..............Right?..... WRONG!!!!!



Guess what................................................................may I present the Hon. Mr "Rex Curall":

                                                               Singapore Free Press & Mercantile Advertiser article dated 20/3/1936

                                     SHOCKING !!
                                        "Alamak"   ;-)

The names: L.M. McLean, Luis Shelley and Rex Curall  can never be found in any official Straits Settlement documents!

This is not all................ the early 1900s banknotes (3 CC signatories type) too have names with numerous spelling errors......oh! what disappointment.......

If you need to know the correct names, etc ...............my friend Owen Linzmayer has just published the whole series of the Straits Settlements banknotes which is for sale from his website: www.BanknoteBook.com

I hope that our esteemed learned banknote experts can concur and correct these glaring mistakes and restore the rightful acknowledgement of Mr Lachlan Lean, Mr Malcolm Bond Shelley and Mr Alexander Sym Small's appointments and invaluable selfless contributions to the government and people of the Straits Settlements era.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1942 $50 & $100.... Best,Worst & Very Good?


Why......Why......the BEST.....because this is the best condition that my budget can buy!! and it cost me thousands of dollars to acquire these two banknotes and over a period of many years of hard savings..............hope me wife does not get to know about it ;-)




























 Why......Why......the WORST.....because this set of Malaya $50 and $100 is graded far better than VERY GOOD.......what? say again?

                          A Case of Numismatic World of Mrs Malapropism! Ha! Ha!



Sunday, December 30, 2012

WOW! What a GOOD year 2012 has been for me!!

Good first and foremost, I wish everyone who is reading and faithfully following my blog,
                          " A Happy Blessed and Prosperous 2013"
and that all your hopes and aspirations come true for 2013!

What a Blessed and Prosperous 2012 has been for me.......................................it is really GOOD  ................despite all the "crabby Euro screw-ups, US fiscal cliff rubbish, end of the world Mayan nonsense, etc................" I've made Good enough in the equity market to buy notes that I wanted, go on GOOD holidays to neighbouring Malaysia thrice, Hong Kong once and had just returned from the United States after fifteen GOOD and enjoyable days, made some contributions into the GOOD and world renowned Owen Linzmayer's documented chapters of The Banknote Book.

Ahhhh.............wonder if you have been sharp enough to notice the number of "GOOD" that I have deliberately inserted. Why..........your GOODself may enquire?

Well, the word GOOD in Dictionary.com defines:
Adjective: of high quality
Noun: excellence or merit


The following 17th March 1911 Straits Settlement $1.00 is defined as a GOOD note!



                       Oh, what a misnomer to categorize this note as GOOD!

International Bank Note Society defination of a GOOD banknote:
A well worn and heavily used note. Normal damage from prolonged circulation will include strong multiple folds and creases, stains, pinholes, and/or staple holes, dirt, discoloration, edge tears, center hole, rounded corners and an overall unattractive appearance. No large pieces of the note may be missing. Graffiti is commonly seen on notes in Good condition.

Has any renowned numismatic society or establishment ever thought of correcting the grading term of "GOOD" to reflect a more accurate term, or has the numismatic world adopted a "first blind leading the rest of the blind" ;-)

Why am I so harsh to say something like "blind leading the blind".....................................
well, did you notice the currency commissioners' signatories of my 1911 $1.00 banknote.

Apparently, the currency commissioners' names mentioned by two respected Malaysian numismatic experts in their publication of their Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei articles during the mid 1970's and lately another 2010 publication by a premier authority in Petaling Jaya mentioned the same commissioners' names; Arthur Young, J.O. Anthonioz, D.Bratty.(the spelling of these names are according to the publishers' articles and are not necessary their correct names)

Now take a much more closer look............... does any of the signatures bear any resemblance to their names, be it alphabetically or otherwise?

Either my banknote which carries the undocumented signatures of E.L. Brockman, W.C. Mitchell, P.A.F.David a rarity  :-) or some so called premier experts made a BIG BOO BOO!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Singapore's 1916 Christmas Buys

Wow.............the spirit of Christmas is in the air already! How time really flies since my last article in June..............


Ever wondered what can you buy in 1916 for $10.00.....................................

 
The correct Currency Commissioners' names are Frederick Seton James, Arthur Meek Pountney and Charles James Saunders and not what some so called experts perceived.
 
 
Managed to acquire this piece a couple of months back for a "song".........I really had to sing to pacify me missus that paying a few thousand Singapore dollars was not an act of insanity!!


Well, these are a few things that having $10.00 during Christmas time in 1916 can buy:



 

 



These advertisements were extracted from various December 1916 newspapers
 
 
Happy Memories and Wishing A Very Merry Christmas and Prosperous 2013 New Year to you folks out there...................till 2013 then.
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