Category Archives: Uncategorized

13th August 2020

Victorian Mounted Rifles

The Victoria Mounted Rifles was a regiment of forces from regiments, including the 2nd  and 5th Mounted Rifles and the 20th Light Horse, that served in the Second Boer War in 1901.

The Arena (Melbourne) 26th December 1901 page 1. “Colonel Tom Price. Commander of the Victorian Mounted Rifles. A memento of the Troops returned from South Africa, Dec 1900 from the drawing by J.MCDONALD”

The 8th/13th Victorian Mounted Rifles (1948-1992) was linked to this unit through the 20th Light Horse, which along with the 8th and 13th,were remembered in  this regiment.

Stokes & Sons Melb

Australian Army Aviation Corps

Stokes Melb

This corps was formed in 1968 to take over from the No.16 Army Light Aircraft Squadron form in 1960. it uses helicopters for troop lifting, fire support and reconnaissance.


12th August 2020

I was wrong …

Stokes Melb








Because of the similarity to South Australian Volunteers (SAV) and South Australian Militia (SAM) buttons, I thought this must be a South Australian Rifles button rather than a SA Railways button. Checking in the South Australian Library collection, I found a photo of a railways porter in 1950 that is clear enough to see the buttons.


Enlarged detail.

11th August 2020

Uniform Buttons

4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse

Stokes & Sons Melb








In 1948 three former regiments, including the famous 4th Light Horse, were merged to form this unit of the Citizens Military Force. It continues today as a cavalry regiment of the Army Reserve.

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) 2nd March 1934 page 14. Member s of the 17th Prince of Wales Light Horse in training.


Royal Australian Corps of Signals

Stokes & Sons Melb








RA signals provides electronic warfare as well as information and communication technology to support the Army. It was formed in 1906. In 1911 it was merged with the Australian Engineers, only to be separated again in 1925. It was conferred the Royal designation in 1948.

The West Australian, 22nd April 1949 page 7.


1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers

Stokes & Sons Melb



The Sydney Light Horse Volunteers in 1885. In 1956 it merged with the 15th Northern Rivers Lancers to form the current regiment. Is is a Australian Army reserve light Cavalry (Reconnaissance) Regiment.

The Biz (NSW), 18th November 1964 page 1.

9th August 2020

University regiments

These serve/have served as training regiments.

West Australian University Regiment

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The WUR as formed in 1949 to be a training unit for the Australian Army Reserve 13th Brigade.

Queensland University Regiment

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A training unit of the Australian Army Reserve, 8th Brigade. It began as the University Rifles in 1932 and renamed in 1948.


Queensland Agricultural  College

From Digger History.

Started in 1928, this unit was originally the Cavalry Mobile Veterinary Section. This unit was later renamed as the Regional University Regiment of Queensland (RURQ) and amalgamated with Queensand University Regiment (QUR) in 1997.


Gatton Past Students Association: 1936 Regiment. See


Melbourne University Regiment

The MUR began as the D Company, 4th Battalion of the Victorian Rifles in 1884. Sir John Monash was a Colour Sergeant of this unit. It became the Melbourne University Rifles in 1910. It was disbanded in 1942, to be reformed as the MUR in 1948.


Monash University Regiment

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MONUR was named in honour of General Sir John Monash. It was a training unit of the Australian Army is association with Monash University. Sincve 1970 it became a training  regiment in its own right, then in 2013 was amalgamated with MUR.


Deakin University Regiment/ Company






This unit is defunct, but existed perhaps in the 1980s-90s.


University of New South Wales Regiment

This unit became a Australian army Reserve training unit of the 8th brigade in 2018.

The university was originally called the NSW University of Technology. The university and regiment were renamed in 1958.


Sydney University Regiment







The University Volunteer Rifles was formed in 1900, part of the NSW Defence Force. It was renamed to the SUR in 1927. it is an officer training unit for the Australian Army reserve.


Adelaide University Regiment

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The AUR is an Army Reserve unit. based at the Hamstead Barracks in Adelaide, but with elements in the Northern Territory and Tasmania. It was first formed in 1948 and since 1991 has soley focused on training of Reserve officer cadets.


Other Military Colleges and Schools


Army Apprentices school

The Balcombe Army Camp at Mount Martha, Victoria was opened  on 2nd June 1948 for boys from 15-17.5 years as a live-in school to undertake a 3 year Army trade qualification. In 1982 it was relocated to Latchford Barracks in Bongellia, near Wodonga. It closed in 1995.


Officer Cadet School, Portsea


The Officer Cadet School was set up at Point Nepean on the site of an old quarantine station. The school started in January 1952 and continued until 1985 when officer training was transferred to the Royal Military College, Duntroon. The land has been incorporated into a national park.

Nepean Historical Society: No.3 officer cadet barrack in 1964.


Duntroon Military College







All officer trainees of Duntroon are admitted to the Corps of Staff Cadets upon completion of initial training. Upon graduation, the cadet is promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

8th August 2020

New tailors’ button, thanks Andrew:

W.J. Jackson, Bendigo:

Button dates ?1892-1895 or 1899-1911.










William Jabez Jackson was born in Chester, England, and  came to Castlemaine with his family in 1857. He worked as a tailor in Castlemaine and Bendigo, before retiring from business and moving to Melbourne for a few years. Perhaps life in Melbourne didn’t suit him, as he returned to Bendigo in 1892 and opened a new tailoring store in Hargreaves Street.From 1895-1899 he was in partnership with one of his sons, as W. J. Jackson & Son, then continuing on his own.

Bendigo Advertiser, 28th August 1905 page 7.

He died in 1911, aged only 60 years of heart failure, with Mr Robert C George buying his business.


Wilkins & Jones, Bendigo:

Wilkins and Jones operated the ‘Busy Bee’ tailoring and mercery from 1899 through to 1915 when James Berryman Wilkins bought out his partner’s share. Wilkins died in 1937, aged 74 years. John James Jones died 2 years later, aged 79 years.


7th August 2020

A 1995 or later Beutron Catalogue:

The Catalogue has a 8 digit phone number on it, dating from 1995. The eagle eyed will see designs dating back into the 1950s. Can you spot the elephant?


Page 1:

catalogue 95


Page 2:



Page 3:


Page 4:


6th August 2020

Being a late baby boomer, it amazes me the effort people went to to recycling what we would regard as inconsequential, throw away items during the austere war years. Like buttons:

Australian National Defence League

In 1938  a new  “National Defence League of Australia” (there had been earlier incarnations) was established with 3 main objectives:

The Sun (Sydney), 23rd October 1938.

Several months after the new league’s formation a women’s auxiliary was formed. Women signed up for courses in first aid, elementary nursing, physical culture and transport (ambulance and truck driving and maintenance). Later on subjects such as map reading, signalling and drill were added. From 1940 until 1945 they hand-made camouflage netting for the military, each net taking 8-22 hours to make. They also reconditioned clothes and water bottles for the troops, repaired anti-gas eye shields, made comfort packages, and sorted salvaged material. They raised funds for hospital equipment. In 1942 the auxiliary opened a canteen and rest rooms for service women.

From Australian War Memorial: Members of the National Defence League Women’s Auxiliary removing buttons and clips  in 1944 from old Clothes before despatching them to the waste manufacturers.

Nepean Times, 5th April 1942;  C.W.A. report.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 16th December 1943, page 3.

Lord Mayor’s Patriotic and War Fund

In Sydney, the women’s committee of the Lord Mayor’s Patriotic and War Fund depot were knitting socks and “sewing buttons for soldiers whose tunics are in a state of disrepair” as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald. (Men couldn’t possibly sew on their own buttons, could they?)

RAAF Salvage Depot:

The Argus, 6th November 1942 page 6.

South Australia Girl Guide Thrift campaign

Chronicle (Adelaide) 30th July 1942 page 26.

Pix magazine, 24th June 1944 page 21.


5th August 2020

 This button is sometimes described as a Queen Victoria era military/government. Well, it is and it isn’t …

C R Martin Melbourne

According to the Victorian Button Collectors’ Club guru

“I believe several government departments were able to wear a button with the reigning monarch’s cypher and appropriate crown. In Queen Victoria’s time Victorian Railways were lucky enough to have a button which seemed purposely designed for them. After her death the same lettering design was adopted and used with a KC for all of EVIIR, GVR and GVIR. It then continued with a QC under EIIR until the organisation changed its’ name. There can be small differences in design, seen when comparing buttons from different makers, and maybe sometimes even different time periods from the one maker.”

Here is an example with a King’s crown (i.e. post 1901) which cannot be a Victoria Regina button, no argument, despite the similarity.

Lincoln Stuart & Co, Melbourne

So to summarise; VR buttons with a QV crown (i.e. up to Victoria’s death in 1901) could be for Victoria Railways or perhaps another government department. However, with a King’s crown or  Queen Elizabeth crown, only Victorian Railways.