10th June 2022

Uniform Buttons

P & O

This button often fools people (including myself). They assume the ‘rising sun’ above the anchor makes this an Australian Naval button.

The company’s crest was a ‘rising sun’ and replaced the Crown which appeared on Royal Navy buttons. The ‘face’ on the sun disappeared in the 1970s on cap badges; perhaps on buttons also?

Greek Key (aka meander pattern). Probably British make.









Peninsular and Orient Steam Navigation Company arms. Note the crest is “On a wreath of the Colours, issuant from water proper, a Sun rising Or.”

In 1840 two shipping lines merged to form the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company under Royal Charter, (the peninsular in question being the Iberian Peninsular). They extended into leisure cruising in 1844. They entered the opium trade 1847 after the start of the Opium War. The first packet (i.e. carrying “packets” of mail) ship sailed to Australia in 1852, and the first passenger (primarily for passengers but also with cargo capacity) ship in 1932.

South Australian Record and Australasian and South African Chronicle (London, England), 22nd August 1840 page 16.

The Triad (a journal), 10th June 1924 page 27.

P & O sea routes in 1924.

The Australasian (Melbourne), 1st October 1935 page 16.

Starting in 1969, there was a splitting of the P & O business into container and cruising operations. The leisure cruising subsidiary became P & O Cruises in 1977. The Australian operations were served by P & O Cruises Australia after the takeover of Sitmar Cruises for this purpose in 1988, which was divested in 2000 as P&O Princess Cruises and is now part of the Carnival Australia group. Due to divestments and takeovers, other parts of P & O became defunct as of 7th March 2006.


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