Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Highland Volunteer Rifle Company of New South Wales: 1868-1878
Thanks to Colin Hornshaw, who contributed to J.K. Cossum’s book on defence uniform buttons, I now have my own example of this button. The construction is stamped white-metal hollow back with a soldered omega shank. The dimensions along the axes are 26 x 28mm.
The Scottish Regiment was given permission to adopt the Duke’s title, after their service to him on his tour of the colonies in 1867-8. They were the first regiment in Australia to wear the kilt (Black Watch tartan). The Duke was the second son of Queen Victoria, and served as a naval captain.
The Australian War Memorial has an example of a sporran from the full Highland uniform adopted in 1870. Dwindling numbers led to its disbanding in 1878. A new Scottish Regiment formed in NSW in 1885 in response to the Sudan War. This regiment existed until 1912 when existing units were absorbed into the new Citizen’s Army.)
Note: There was also a Duke’s Own in South Australia, the honour being bestowed on the Scottish regiment in 1867.
Colin has sent photos from his collection to share. Here is a similar button without the VR cypher. It presumably comes from a Scottish Rifle regiment, or band thereof.