Does anyone know what this badge for? It was made by K. G. Luke and was owned by a family from Port Melbourne, possibly in the 1930-40s.
18th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot
When the New south Wales Corps was replaced by the 73rd Regiment of Foot in 1808, the intention was for units to be rotated through the Colonies in 4-5 year stints:
In reality, the periods of service varied from less than one year to twelve years. One regiment that made only a fleeting visit was the 18th Regiment, returning from fighting in New Zealand in 1870.
Detachments were sent to Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania to replace the men of the 14th who had been posted there. In March, the remainder of the Regiment arrived from Auckland. The 18th and the Royal Artillery left in September to return to Britain, although a number of men had absconded in Sydney, not wishing to sail to England! In at least one case, this was because the soldier had married a local woman. Some deserters made sure the last of the troops had sailed before giving themselves up. The vacated barracks were to be used by Volunteer Corps.