29th December 2020

Uniform Buttons from New Zealand

New Zealand Shipping Co.

Backmark: Gardiner & Co. London

Businessmen in Christchurch started this shipping company in late 1872 to run passenger and cargo services between New Zealand and Great Britain. In 1882 their ships were fitted with refrigeration to allow the shipping of frozen meat from New Zealand.

From the Australian National maritime Museum: SS Remuera 1911-1940


NB: There were similarly named, but unconnected, companies named ‘Forth and New Zealand Shipping Company’ in 1863-4 and ‘Panama and New Zealand Steamship Company” in 1866-8.

See also http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/uncategorized/19th-november-2020/


NZ Artillery

Backmark: J.R. Gaunt & Son Ltd. 1902-1952

NZ Airforce

WW2 NZ Airforce. Backmark: MP

 No backmark. Bought in same batch of buttons as the other.









The backs show they were made by differing manufacturers.

In 1937 the Air Force became the New Zealand Air Force, an independent entity in its own right. Perhaps the button without the King’s crown dates prior to this?

NZ Rifle Brigade

The ?horn material has squished up around the inserted loop shank.

The one on the right is marked Firmin & Sons Halesowen.

The New Zealand Rifle Brigade was raised in April 1915, becoming the 3rd New Zealand (Rifle) Brigade in January 1916. Auckland museum has a set of them, but without the letters RB on the front.

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