6th January 2021

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.

State Library of Victoria collection, 1867.

Empire (Sydney), 16th October 1868 page 1.

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.)


Horse hair, Leather, Silver-plated and White metals.

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.

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