2nd April 2021

British Regimental buttons from New Zealand

British regiments served in the Colonies all over the far flung Empire. Regiments guarded convicts on the way to Australia, then spent several years here before being relieved by another regiment. They then journeyed on, often to India. During the ‘New Zealand Wars’ (a.k.a. Land Wars or Maori Wars 1845-1872) they were often sent there to fight. I have therefore bought some British buttons from New Zealand for those regiments that had travelled directly from Australia, as these are of the correct era.

12th Regiment of Foot (East Suffolk): 1854-1861.

Backmark: Jennens & Co. London

See  http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/defence-forces-uniform-buttons/pre-federation/#12th_Suffolk_Regiment_of_Foot

40th Regiment of Foot (2nd Somerset): 1824-1829 and 1852-1860

Backmark: Firmin’s Ld London. This button dates from the second deployment.

See  http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/defence-forces-uniform-buttons/pre-federation/#40th_2nd_Somersetshire_Regiment_of_Foot

In NZ  https://sites.google.com/site/40thoffoot/home-1/new-zealand-maori-war


50th Regiment of Foot ( West Kent or Queen’s Own): 1833-1841 and 1866-1869

Backmark: Jennens & Co. London. This button probably dates from the 1860s

This regiment served in NSW, Tasmania, and Norfolk Island during this deployment. Two companies left Sydney for New Zealand on a short term mission to rescue some settlers.

The Australian (Sydney), 4th November 1833. They arrived in December with more following later.

The Tasmanian (Hobart Town), 31st January 1834 page 6.

They left for India in 1841. Some of the families of the 50th were shipwrecked on route to India, and rescued in a “wretched condition.”

State Library NSW: Lieutenant Grimes of the 50th Regiment, 1840.

The regiment returned in 1866, having served in Ceylon then New Zealand, and were stationed in New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland before leaving for England.

Australian War Memorial image #A04590. An officer of the 50th, 1866-69.

For their time in New Zealand:  http://ellott-postalhistorian.com/articles/50th-Regiment-In-NZ.pdf


65th Regiment of Foot (2nd Regiment, North Riding): 1846-49

No backmark.

The 65th arrived in New South Wales in 1846, but left immediately to serve in New Zealand as hostilities had broken out there. Despite the fact that they are listed as serving from 1846-9, I find no account of them in Australia after they left for New Zealand. However, in 1849 a small contingent of the 65th from England brought 300 convicts out to NSW, then left to join the rest of the regiment in New Zealand.

The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW ), 23rd May 1846 page 3.

See http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/defence-forces-uniform-buttons/pre-federation/#The_65th_2nd_Yorkshire_North_Riding_Regiment_of_Foot

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