How much does 14 shillings sixpence buy?

Filippo Ferrante had £-/14/6 (fourteen shillings and sixpence) in his possession when he completed his Property Statement in December 1941.

Filippo had arrived on the Queen Elizabeth in October 1941. He was sent directly to Cowra Camp New South Wales.

Where did he get the Australian money from?

A barber from Pofi (Frosinone) possibly Filippo offered his services to Australia soldiers on the ship returning to Australia.   

Australian currency – Maths Lesson

The currency of Australia was pounds £, shillings s and pence d

£1/10/6 = one pound, ten shillings and six pence.

£1 = 20 shillings

1 shilling = 12 pence

A look at 1943 newspapers

Petal Toilet Soap bar 4d

Singlet 1/11

Sal-Vital tin 2/-

Shaving mirror 1/4½

Sunshine Milk tin 1/4

Coffee Essence 1/10

Macaroni packet 7½d

Tomato sauce large 1/7

Toothpaste 1/1

Biscuits 1/10½

Seed packets 6d

Pastel Drawing Book 3d

Coloured pastels 9d

Exercise book 6d

Memo book 3d

Drawing lead pencils 2d

Plain flour 5 lbs 11d

Ricette (rice substitute) 3 lbs 1/-

Navy Beans 3 lbs 1/-

Plum Jam 24 oz 1/-

Soup mix 1/-

Biscuits doz. 1/3

Cordial 1/6

Newcastle Sun Wednesday 22 December 1948

NB The document for tobacco and cigarettes is from 1948. It is included for a general idea of prices.

Going Shopping £-/14/6

I have chosen items I know the men purchased from the canteen truck. Sal-Vital are effervescent salts to aid in digestion. Add to water, stir and drink. Brillcream is a hair cream. Tally Ho are cigarette papers for rolling your own cigarettes. The prisoners of war could use money in their accounts to purchase items from the camp canteen or the canteen truck which visited the farms. The items on sale were provisioned from army supplies. Some of these items like chocolate, canned peaches, condensed milk were impossible to purchase in shops (at times). Italian prisoners of war buying hard to find items, was a cause for criticism by many Australians. Some Italians purchased these items for the farmer’s wife in exchange for currency. It was prohibited to have currency. Some of the coins were used to make rings as gifts for the girls and women of the farming family.

Sal-vital 2/

Cordial 1/6

Brillcream 1/11

Tally Ho papers doz 3/6

Tobacco Ranch 3/11

Macaroni -/7½

Exercise Book -/6

Pencil -/1

Solvol Soap -/4½

Total: £-/14/5

Warwick Daily News Saturday 13 February 1943

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