26th March 2021

Uniform buttons

Victorian Military Forces

Backmark: Bowley & Co Melbourne 1902-3

Federation occurred in the year of Queen Victoria’s death, 1901. Therefore there was a short period from 1902 when Edward VII adopted the Tudor crown, to 1903 when the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces was formed from the merged colonial forces. The motto ‘Pro Deo et Patria’ (For God and the Fatherland) had been adopted in 1891.


12/16th Hunter River Lancers

Stokes & Sons Melb. The elephant’s head is taken from the Crest of the Governor of NSW from 1885-1890, Lord Carrington. He was Honorary Colonel of the NSW Lancers from 1885-1928.

This is an Australian Army reserve regiment formed in 1948 with links back to cavalry volunteers in 1885. These cavalry became part of the NSW Lancers, then later the Australian Horse.  After Federation the Light Horse were reorganised; the 4th Hunter River Lancers became the 6th Light Horse (Hunter River Lancers).

Australian War Memorial image #P01796.001. Officer 4th Light Horse (Hunter River Lancers). c. 1903.

The Queenslander (Brisbane), 12th March 1931 page 36. Cap Badge 4th ALH (Hunter River Lancers).

Many of these men served in the AIF during WW1. In 1927 the 6th became the 16th Light Horse (Hunter River Lancers).   The men were drawn from Maitland, Singleton, Dingog and other northern towns. They evolved to be armoured division in 1936. Post WW2 in 1948 the 12/16th Armoured Regiments (Hunter River Lancers)  was raised as part of the Citizen Military Force (CMF), and renamed in 1949 as the 12/16th Hunter River Lancers.

The Murrumbidgee Irrigator (Leeton, NSW), 6th April 1951 page 4.