10th Jan 2022

South Australian Volunteers

On pages 18-20 of Cossum’s book there are examples of South Australian Volunteer uniform buttons. One design has been dominant, that of the laurel ‘wreath of service’ around the sovereign’s crown with or without letters indicting specific usage i.e. SAR for Rifles or Railways, SAV for volunteers, SAM for militia, SAV for volunteers, or simply SA for South Australia. It is still used (with ‘SA’) by the police.






From Wikipedia/The History Trust of South Australian. Eastern Suburban Rifle Company, 1860. In 1865 20 such local companies of the Adelaide Rifles were numbered, rather than named by location. see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelaide_Regiment_of_Volunteer_Rifles and http://www.sahistorians.org.au/175/chronology/april/23-april-1960-the-adelaide-rifles.shtml

Buttons I desire:

3rd Battalion Adelaide Rifles c.1892.  Bears a circular band, looking like a target.

SA Volunteer Rifles c.1855.  Similar to NSW and Victorian volunteer rifles, but with the letters SAR instead of VR (Victoria Regina).

SA Scottish Companies (shown  thanks to Noble Numismatics).

No makers mark on the buttons of this full dress doublet c.1900

SA Contingent to S.Africa 1899-1902. The face is the same as for other colonies contingents, but this one is backmarked Shierlaw & Co, Adelaide.

SAV buttons marked Bertram & Cornish, Adelaide. This is a new backmark to me; it was reported on a button sold by Noble Numismatics.

Bertram & Cornish, Adelaide

State Library SA image #B 3335: detail of photo of King William street., 1884.

Evening Journal (Adelaide), 22nd September 1884 page 2.

 Joseph Bertram and John Cornish were partners from 1884. They were accepted to produced uniforms for the volunteer forces for 3 years in 1885. In December 1886 they dissolved their partnership. John Cornish continued as a military tailor, receiving another 3 year tender from 1887, however, he would lose the contract due to faulty workmanship to Marshall & Co around 1888.

Joseph Bertram was the first mayor of St Peters from 1884-5.

The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide), 29th April 1885 page 5.

The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide), 8th December 1886 page 4.

Evening Journal (Adelaide), 3rd March 1888 page 4.