5th June 2023

South Australian Volunteers

Both these uniform buttons are for the South Australian Volunteers, which Cossum dates as 1860-1880 (my dating is 1861-1877). The puzzle is that the family tailoring firm, for many years the sole government uniform supplier, did not change their name from G. & W. Shierlaw to Shierlaw & Co until after 1890, as explained in the article below:

Chronicle (Adelaide), 28th August 1920 page 34.

However, this article was slightly inaccurate. William Shierlaw placed this notice in 1891, and also placed a new advert:

Evening Journal (Adelaide) 16th July 1891 page 4.

This doesn’t explain the dating of the white-metal button. Digging into the records further, I discovered an alternate name to the firm at the same address:

Kapunda Herald and Northern Intelligencer (SA), 6th January 1871 page 1.

There were references to Messrs Shierlaw & Co in various articles during the 1870s, so perhaps they were known colloquially by that name, even if it did not change legally until 1891.

For all comments and questions, please use the Contact page.