13th December 2020

In the 1960s Golden Fleece petrol stations issued swap cards and introduced family restaurants to entice drivers to stop and refresh. In 1964 there was a series of 36 cards displaying Australian uniforms. Many of these uniforms have already been featured in posts. The text is quoted from that on the cards back.

“Attached to this officer’s chest belt is a whistle on the end of a chain, while on his left sleeve he wears crossed muskets, a sportsmanship award. By the year 1860 this volunteer movement was well established and preparations were in hand for the fortification of Hobson’s Bay and Port Phillip Bay.”

In 1858 the Ballarat Volunteer Rifle Regiment was formed, of four infantry and two cavalry divisions. This soldier, a Ranger of the Ballarat Volunteers of 1874, has a busby made of sealskin and wears a marksmanship award on his left sleeve. Volunteers were issued with Lancaster percussion muzzle-loading rifles.”

“A member of Australia’s first overseas expeditionary force sent to Egypt to assist the British forces in an attempt to recapture Khartoum. The contingent of some 734 volunteers, including 522 infantry, left Sydney on March 3, 1885. for the Sudan. They saw little action and returned on June 18 of the same year.”

“The N.S.W. Artillery made its mark in history when, in 1885, 212 artillery men and six cannon embarked with the Sudan contingent. This officer’s uniform of suede cloth, with gold badge, button, and other apparel, designate him as being a permanent soldier, or regular. Volunteers wore silver badges and buttons.”

“Undoubtedly the Queensland Scottish Regiment was one of the most colourful of the Australian Pre-Federation Scottish regiments, the white Soudan spiked helmet and scarlet tunic giving it a very distinctive look. The officer illustrated is of the 1886 period, although the Soudan-type hemet was worm until 1905.”

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