When the Japanese Army attacked Hong Kong on 8 December 1941 and overwhelmed the defenders on the mainland, the remaining British forces retreated to Hong Kong Island. While under siege on Hong Kong Island there emerged a shortage of coins and $1 banknotes. The shortage of the $1 banknotes arose when the Japanese distributed leaflets warning that all notes over $10 would be worthless after the Japanese took over the colony. To relieve the situation, a stock of The Bank of China 5 Yuan notes were discovered on the premises of The Commercial Press Limited located on King Road, North Point. These notes were overprinted “HONGKONG GOVERNMENT $1” and released for circulation on the 13th of December. These notes only circulated for a short time. The Japanese successfully invaded Hong Kong Island on the 18th of December and after extensive fighting, the Allied forces surrendered on Christmas Day, 25 December 1941.
Thank you Real Banknotes.com (http://www.realbanknotes.com/index.html) for the image and “World War II Remembered” by C. Frederick Schwan and Joseph E. Boling