A small paper currency note, printed on both sides red on white on obverse and blue on white on reverse, the obverse is inscribed with the value '5 CENTIMES', the serial number and the name of the issuer 'VILLE DE LILLE - BON COMMUNAL', the reverse is printed with the terms of reimbursement.
One of a small number of war time French tokens and notes collected by James Henry Carey who served with the 8th (City of London) Regiment as a private and then the 24th (County of London) Regiment as a lance corporal. Carey previously worked for the Post Office and in the reserves before serving in France and Flanders from the 18th March 1915.
L/Cpl Carey was a french speaker so would go out in a cart to buy provisions from local farms with the locally issued tokens and notes which also served as soldiers pay. On one occasion he went out to get provisions and apparently found himself on the wrong side of the front line and hid in a shed until the Germans had passed.
Carey was wounded a couple of times whilst in France and Flanders. The first time was a few months after leaving for France and he was sent to Number 1 Southern General Hospital in Birmingham. He wrote on a postcard to his family that (he had a) "very slightly wounded left arm and face". He returned to the front only to be wounded again through being gassed.
VILLE DE LILLE - BON COMMUNAL
DELEMAR & DUSAR LILLE
VILLE DE LILLE
GARANTI PAR LE VILLE
REMBOURSABLE A LA CAISSE MUNICIPALE
A PARTIR DU SIXIEME MOIS APRES LA CONCLUSION DE LA PAIX
Deliberation du Conseil Municipal du 31 Octobre 1917
approuvee par Autorite Prefectorale
LE RECEVEUR MUNICIPAL LE MARIE
Le present bon n'est valuable que sil est revetu du timbre du Service du Controle de la Ville