Early Post federation
There was a period of reorganisation that took several years. The new ACMF was not formally recognised until 2 years after Federation. Even then there was a period of years before full amalgamation occurred. Even after 1903 some Queensland units continued to wear State insignia until 1910.
Australian Commonwealth Military Forces: 1903-1916
The Department of Defence took over control of the Commonwealth’s military forces on 1st March 1901, soon after Federation. Under Major General Sir E.T.H. Hutton, the new Commonwealth Military Forces were brought into existence and formally recognised from 1903. Under the Defence Act of 1903, permanent soldiers could not be ordered to fight abroad. This meant that during WW1 and WW2 it necessitated the raising of an all volunteer AIF (Australian Imperial Force).
Australian Flying Corps:
See below in the entry for the R.A.A.F.
Australian Military Forces: 1916- 1980
The Australian Military Forces (AMF) was the official name of the Army of Australia from 1916 to 1980. This encompassed both the full-time and part-time (Citizen Military Forces). The new button design was shown in newspapers in 1912.
The map in the initial design seems was without state borders. There are also versions with state borders excepting the Northern territory, and versions with all borders. There were multiple makers involved, such was the demand for uniforms and buttons at the start of hostilities. The map of Australia shows varying degrees of accuracy, with Tasmania tiny in some, and the whole mainland distorted in others.
Later versions like Luke’s below, even have a dot to locate the A.C.T.
The initial version is described as “smooth on the field, rough on the relief”, but some versions have the opposite, and some are all smooth.
Australian Staff Corps
In 1920 this corps took over the administrative duties, and the Australian Instructional Corps (AIC) took over training of the interwar Militia from the previous Administrative and Instructional Staff (A & I Staff). Post WW2 the increasing role of a regular army, and centralisation of the part-time forces training lead to the ending of this corps in 1983.
The Launceston Regiment, 12th Infantry Battalion
This regiment operated from 1914-1919. It had its roots in the Tasmanian Volunteer Rifle Regiment formed in 1878. The battalion was reraised in 1921 and given the title ‘Launceston regiment’ in 1927. In 1960 after several mergers, splits and reformation, the Derwent Regiment and the Launceston Regiment were merged to form the Royal Tasmanian Regiment as part of the Army Reserve.
Royal Australian Artillery
The Royal Australian Artillery took over post Federation from the colonial artillery units. It 1962 became the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery.
The separate colonial navies were combined at Federation into the Commonwealth Naval Forces, becoming the Royal Australian Navy in 1911. However, it was not until 1904 that new uniforms were regulated.
From 1911-1928 the “Lazy Anchor”, i.e. tilted, was replaced by the Upright anchor.
Australian Flying Corps:
In 1912 the Australian Army ordered its first aircraft and appointed its first pilots. The first flying school was set up at Point Cook, Victoria, the following year. At first known as the Australian Aviation Corps, the Australian Flying Corps was the forerunner of the Australian Air Corps formed in 1919, then the RAAF, established in 1921. The AFC saw action in Mesopotania, Palestine and France during WW1.
The example of the uniform tunics in the AWM collection have the general AMF buttons with the map of Australia. ( see http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/defence-forces-uniform-buttons/1901-ww2/ )
Australian Army Medical Corps:
Royal Navy Reserve
According to Cossum, Stokes & Sons made uniforms for the British Royal Naval Reserve when they visited Australia. He dated them to pre 1910, but cannot confirm that. This design was used 1901-1921.