The year on the coin you receive will be the specific year of the listing
1939 - Information from 1939Monarch – King George VI
Prime Minister – Neville Chamberlain, national coalition
Events25 February – First Anderson shelter built in London.
27 February – Borley Rectory, a reputed haunted house, destroyed by fire.
31 March – Britain pledges support to Poland in the event of an invasion.
11 April – Women's Royal Naval Service re-established.
27 April – Military Training Act (coming into force 3 June) introduces conscription; men aged 20 and 21 must undertake six months military training.
May–September – The Sutton Hoo treasure – an Anglo-Saxon ship burial – is excavated. The principal treasure is presented to the British Museum by the landowner, Edith Pretty, at this time its largest ever gift from a living donor.
6 May – Dorothy Garrod is elected to the Disney Professorship of Archaeology in the University of Cambridge, the first woman to hold an Oxbridge chair.
15 May – Film Goodbye, Mr. Chips released.
17 May – King George VI and Queen Elizabeth arrive in Quebec City to begin the first-ever visit to Canada by British sovereigns.
1 June – Submarine HMS Thetis sinks during trials in Liverpool Bay. 99 men are lost.
7 June – George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit New York City on the first visit to the United States by a reigning monarch.
28 June – Women's Auxiliary Air Force created, absorbing the forty-eight RAF companies of the Auxiliary Territorial Service which had been formed since 1938.
1 July – Women's Land Army re-formed to work in agriculture.
26 July – The Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham, designed by Robert Atkinson, is officially opened by Queen Mary.
5 August – Weekly transatlantic flights scheduled by Imperial Airways; suspended in September.
24 August – Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939 gives full authority to 'defence regulations'. Parliament recalled, Army reservists called up and Civil Defence workers placed on alert.
Evacuation of children from major UK cities begins.
Royal Navy proceeds to war stations.
late August – Most paintings evacuated from the National Gallery in London to Wales.
Blackout imposed across Britain.
The Army is officially mobilised.
The BBC Home Service begins broadcasting.
3 September – World War II
The UK declares war on Germany following the German invasion of Poland on 1 September. Shortly after 11.00, Chamberlain announces this news on BBC Radio, speaking from 10 Downing Street. Twenty minutes later, air raid sirens sound in London (a false alarm). Chamberlain creates a small War Cabinet which includes Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty.
General mobilisation of the armed services begins.
National Service (Armed Forces) Act passed by Parliament introduces National Service for all men aged 18 to 41.
British liner SS Athenia becomes the first civilian casualty of the war when she is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-30 between Rockall and Tory Island. Of the 1,418 aboard, 98 passengers and 19 crew are killed.
4 September – First raid by Royal Air Force on German shipping takes place.
5 September – National Registration Act.
9 September – British Expeditionary Force crosses to France.
16 September – The Duke of Windsor is appointed a major-general attached to the British Military Mission to France.
18 September – Fascist politician William Joyce begins broadcasting Nazi propaganda under the name Lord Haw-Haw.
19 September – Popular radio comedy show It's That Man Again with Tommy Handley first broadcast on the BBC Home service, following trial broadcasts from 12 July.Known as "ITMA", it runs for ten years.
24 September – Petrol rationing introduced.
27 September – First war tax is revealed by the Cabinet, including a significant rise in income taxes.
29 September – National Register of citizens compiled to support the introduction of identity cards and rationing.
30 September – Identity cards introduced.
1 October – Call-Up Proclamation: All men aged 20–21 must register with the military authorities.
14 October – HMS Royal Oak sunk by a German U-boat in Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands.
16 October – First enemy aircraft shot down by RAF Fighter Command, a Junkers Ju 88 brought down by Spitfires following an attack on Rosyth Naval Dockyard in Scotland.
17 October – First bomb lands in the UK, at Hoy in the Orkney Islands.
21 October – Registration of men aged 20 to 23 for National Service begins.
8 November – Venlo Incident: Two British agents of SIS are captured by the Germans.
24 November – British Overseas Airways Corporation formed by merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd.
13 December – The Battle of the River Plate takes place between HMS Exeter, HMS Ajax, HMNZS Achilles and the German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee, forcing the latter to scuttle herself on 17 December.
December – Pilgrim Trust establishes Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, predecessor of the Arts Council.
1939 - Videos from 1939