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:- )

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....................................................................................

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