General Service Corps Uniform Button, Boer War era.
This is the first version I have from an Australian source; Stokes & Sons, Melbourne. Unfortunately, the design has been polished away to a degree. It was produced for the Victorian colony contingents traveling to South Africa during 1899-1902.
In the late J. K. Cossum’s out-of-print book, “Buttons of the Defence Forces in Australia”, similar buttons are shown on
- page 12 made by Stokes for Victorian contingents.
- page 20 backmarked Shierlaw & Co, Adelaide (Ed: outfitters not button manufacturers) for South Australian contingents.
- page 23 made by Firmin & Sons, Birmingham for Queensland contingents.
Difficulties early on in the Boer wars showed the need for greater support from the military, militia and yeomanry. Units without a unique badge/buttons wore the same as the General Service Corps. This included the above mentioned units sent to South Africa.
According to the West Australian Museum, troops from WA wore the buttons of the 1st Infantry Volunteer Regiment (wrongly named the Perth Rifle Volunteers on page 27 of Cossum). Troops from NSW included the NSW Lancers, NSW Mounted Rifles and the 1st Australian Horse (all page 6 Cossum) and the Royal Australian Artillery.
A full list of contingents can be found at https://www.bwm.org.au/contingents.php
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