3rd December 2022

Lyn’s Realistics

All these are probably stamped from sheets of casein in the late 1930s- 1940s. They are bound to be familiar to many button collectors.

?flowers or 3 leaf clovers.



Goulburn Valley Stock and Property Journal (Vic), 13th October 1937 page 15.

The Sun (Sydney), 23rd September 1937 page 30.

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW), 8th September 1938 page 12.

Gippsland Times (Vic), 12th September 1938 page 3.

The Sun (Sydney), 9th March 1941 page 7.

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2nd December 2022

Leda Buttons, Thanks to Lyn


A Gaggle of Darian (Grant Feathertson)  Buttons

There’s a couple here that may not be Darian, but are probably the same era.

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29th November 2022

Advertising from New Idea magazine,  23rd April 1958

Short on details!

Now-a-days we are well aware that pictures can be “photoshopped” to present an idealised image of beauty. Looking through the 1958 magazine, I felt that something similar, if more primitive, was being done with representations of the female form. Frankly, I was both bemused and annoyed.









What annoys me most is the fact that the waists are only twice as wide as the arms. This exaggerated hour-glass figure was as unachievable and  unhealthy then as it is now.

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28th November 2022

Other British Regiments/Corps Stationed in Colonial Australia.

Most of the British regiments stationed during colonial times have been featured in this blog previously. Thanks to Ronald Montague’s book, I now am aware of some others.

Royal Engineers

Backmark “Smith & Wright Birmingham” which dates 1861-1888.

Officers were stationed in the colonies from 1835, and other ranks from 1857, until the withdrawal of British regiments in 1870.



Royal Corps of Sappers and Miners

For sale on Ebay: 1854 Royal Sappers & Miners Button, found at site of Crimean British war camp.

Serving in Australia from 1835, Sappers and Miners performed duties including building and demolition for military purposes. The Corps served under officers of the Royal Engineers. In 1856 they were amalgamated with the Royal Engineers.

Southern Australian (Adelaide), 25th September 1839 page 3.

From the ebook reprinting of an historical volume: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/55776/55776-h/55776-h.htm#plateXIV  ” (In 1832) A material alteration was made in the clothing this year by changing the colour of the coatee from scarlet to the infantry red, and the style and decoration of the dress were also modified, to correspond with the form of lacing adopted generally in the line. The coatee of the bugle-major remained in all respects the same as before. The buglers also retained the scarlet, but the style of wearing the lace accorded with that of the privates. For the working dress, a round jacket with bell buttons bearing the corps device, was established, instead of the jacket with short skirts. Of both uniform and working trousers, the colour was changed from light blue to dark Oxford mixture; but the uniform trousers as formerly, were much finer than the working ones. The red stripe down the outer seam was two inches broad on the former, and half an inch wide on the latter. Laced boots were also introduced this year in place of the short Wellingtons, issued for the first time in 1825. The leather stock hitherto supplied by the public, was now made an article of necessaries and provided at the cost of the soldier.” … (In 1837) This year the colour of the coatee was changed from red to scarlet—Plate XV., and the huge Kilmarnock woven cap was superseded by a neat superfine blue cloth cap, stiffened, with peak and chin-strap. The sergeants were distinguished by black oak-leaf bands and gilt ornaments, comprising a grenade, encircled by a laurel wreath, and surmounted by a crown and three chevrons. The other non-commissioned officers wore chevrons according to their ranks. The oil-skin chaco of the staff-sergeants was put aside for a forage-cap, with a gold oak-leaf band and gilt ornaments of a crown within a laurel-leaf.”



Royal Staff Corps

A reproduction Royal Staff Corps button from 1816-1830. With permission from Historical Twist.

These served in Van Diemen’s Land and New South Wales between 1823 until 1829. According to the 1829 Tasmanian Almanack, one officer and 20 privates serving in the colony. They were responsible for military engineering. When disbanded in 1837, many personnel transferred to the Sappers or the Engineers.

Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser, 29th July 1825 page 3. An artificer would have been an expert in mechanical devices. They became the Royal sappers and Miners in 1812.





27th November 2022

The Royal Regiment of Artillery

Artillery Forces trace back into the 16th century, with the designation of Royal Artillery starting in 1720. Various Battalions served in Australia from 1843 until the British regiments left in 1870. They also served in New Zealand during the Maori/Land Wars from 1846.

Early buttons were gilt for officers and pewter for Other Ranks. From 1831 the button design changed to that of 3 stacked field guns (cannons) surmounted by a crown, staying the same until after the Royal Artillery left out shores.

Illustrated Sydney News, 6th September 1870 page 3.For any comment or question, please use the Contact page.



26th November 2022

NSW Veterans/Royal Veterans.

Veteran, from http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-conflicts-periods/other/before-waterloo.htm

Men who were considered unfit for active service, but fit for garrison duties had been formed into Invalids companies since the 17th century.  From 1802 they were named Royal Veteran Battalions. The first formed in Australia, in 1811, consisted men of the 102nd (formerly NSW Corps) who had served in New South Wales for up to 30 years. Some had married locally and had received land grants. This company was dispersed in 1823.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 26th October 1811 page 2.

Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser, 1st November 1823 page 2.

Detachments were sent during 1826- 1833 to serve in roles such as mounted police and  convict overseers in NSW and Tasmania. After 2 years service, they were allowed to settle and take up a land grant.

Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart), 29th September 1826 page 3.

Ron Montague describes the uniform button as a garter inscribed ‘Royal Veterans Bttn’. Officers’ were gilt; O.R. pewter.  Other Veteran Crops have a number corresponding to the specific Veteran corps.

I have borrowed this from the book as I have found no other image.

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25th November 2022

South Australian Artillery.

The South Australian Volunteer and Permanent Artillery used this generic artillery button. In a 1925 “Army Historical research” article, it was described as used by Artillery, Machine Gun Corps, and Artillery permanently employed, 1895-1903″.

Adelaide Times, 8th November 1854 page 3. The establishment of the colony’s first artillery. It was referred to as the Adelaide Volunteer Artillery and consisted of two companies.

South Australia’s artillery had its origins in the two each 6 pounders,  12 pounders and Cohorn mortars sent from Britain and arriving in 1846. During the time of the Crimean War, a small force of artillery was raised. There was almost no training, and the artillery  was required to do little except fire a shot at Port Adelaide to mark noon. Further guns arrived from Britain in 1857.

South Australian register, 11th July 1859 page 3.

Increased concerns about the French prompted the formation of  the Port Adelaide Volunteer Artillery during 1859, although an international shortage of of artillery prevented a build up of equipment. The Adelaide and Port Adelaide corps were merged in 1868 to form the South Australian Regiment of Volunteer Artillery, only to be un-merged in 1877 as the A and B Batteries with an increase in armaments. That’s politics for you.

State Library SA # B 292. Adelaide Battery in 1877.

  A Permanent (paid) artillery was raised around 1883, and a  Machine Gun Corps in 1894. A fort at Glenelg was planned, but came to nothing, with two guns left dumped in the sand. These two batteries were (again) merged as the South Australian Artillery Brigade in 1897.

State Library SA #PRG 1364/1/17. Dress uniform Australian Field Artillery c. 1890.

State Library SA # PRG 742/5/91. Port Glanville c.1882.

Australian War Memorial #AO 3852. !901 portrait of an un-named Colonel of the SA Artillery.

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24th November 2022

New Find: reference book

“Dress & Insignia of the British Army in Australia& New Zealand 1770-1870.” by Ronald H. Montague, author and geneologist. Published 1981.

This is a very useful aid to the collector of pre-federation Australian militaria. I have been able to add to and correct the “Pre-Federation Defence Forces” page. Some of the examples of regimental buttons shown in Cossum were not actually concurrent with tours of duty in the colonies. If you have not read this page for awhile, you may wish to revisit it.


Below are some interesting photos of soldiers in reproduction uniform from the Army newspaper. I’ve broken the first shot into two, to enlarge the details.

Army (newspaper), 9th October 1980 page 10.

9th September 1982, page 1. Soldiers in reproduction 11th North Devonshire Regiment.

28th November 1985 page 13. Dressed as the 1885 Australian Contingent to the Sudan.

7th June 1990, page 5.

For more about the Camel Corps, see http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/7th-february-2022-camel/

9th February 1995 page 7. Wearing the 1893 uniform of the Queensland artillery.

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