Up until the First World War, gold sovereigns and half sovereigns had circulated as everyday currency for nearly a century. Following the 1833 Bank Charter Act, Bank of England notes were legal tender in England and Wales only for amounts of 5 and above.

On 5th August 1914 (the day after war was declared), the Currency and Bank Notes Act was passed which allowed the treasury (not the Bank of England!) to issue currency notes of 1 and 10/-. these notes had full legal tender status and were convertible for gold through the Bank of England.

The first notes were produced to a hurried design and, because of the lack of availability of banknote paper, were printed on paper produced for postage stamps. The 1 note was issued on Friday August 7th and the 10/- a week later. These are known as the first Bradbury issue after the Permanent Secretary to the treasury, Sir John Bradbury. John Bradbury was born in 1872 and entered the Civil Service in 1896, first in the Colonial Office and then the treasury. After serving under Asquith and then Lloyd George, Bradbury was appointed one of two permanent secretaries to the treasury in 1913. Bradbury remained the governments chief financial advisor during the war and left the treasury on 27 August 1919 to become principal British delegate to the Reparation Commission.

Within days a new design was being worked on. The design was produced by Mr. George Eve and the notes were printed on banknote paper. The notes were issued on 23rd October (1) and 21st January 1915 (10/-). These notes are referred to as the second issue. Some of these second issue notes were overprinted in Arabic, by the treasury, for use by British forces in the Mediterranean.

A third design, featuring the King's head on the obverse (front) was soon under way. These were the first national notes to be printed on both sides. The 1 note had a picture of the Houses of Parliament on the reverse whilst the 10/- note had a simple design featuring the denomination within a fancy pattern. The notes were issued on 22nd January 1917 (1) and 22nd October 1918 (10/-). The first and second issues ceased to be legal tender on 12th June 1920.

Bradbury-S1 10/- Bradbury-S2 10/- Bradbury-S2 10/- Dardanelles Overprint Bradbury-S3 10/-
Bradbury-S1 1 Bradbury-S2 1 Bradbury-S3 1

Fenwick Warren Fisher was born in 1879 and entered the Civil Service in 1903. After spells with the Inland Revenue, an National Health Insurance Commission he was appointed Deputy Chairman and then Chairman of the Board. In 1919 he was knighted and as Sir Warren Fisher went as Permanent Secretary to the treasury where he stayed until his retirement in 1939. The first issue of notes under Sir Warren Fisher were identical (other than his signature) to the third issue of Bradbury.

In 1923, a new watermark was introduced into the 1. Notes from this time are referred to as the second issue.

In 1927, following the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act, the heading on the notes was changed to "UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND". Notes from this time are referred to as the third issue.

In November 1928, the Bank of England took over the production of 10/- and 1 notes, with the treasury notes from the third Bradbury issue onwards remaining legal tender until the 31st July 1933.

Warren Fisher-S1 10/- Warren Fisher-S2 10/- Warren Fisher-S3 10/-
Warren Fisher-S1 1 Warren Fisher-S2 1 Warren Fisher-S3 1

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