4th June 2021

Colonial Forces

The fact that volunteers often had to pay for their own kit, plus take time off for camps, meant that the volunteer forces were mainly made up of men with financial resources. Also, working class men were unlikely to be able to drill for hours after a long day’s manual labour. The volunteers were not, therefore, representative of the broader population in colonial times.

The Australian News for Home Readers (Vic), 24th December 1864 p7. Champion riflemen from Victoria.

Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne), 17th June 1871 page 119.

The below image of Riverton (SA) Volunteers raises questions. Why are they wearing different era uniforms? Why are some men in civilian clothing? Presumably they had the (unfortunately common) problem of limited access to up-to-date uniforms.

c.1895. State Library of SA #B16948