1st November 2020

Victorian Volunteers part 4:  Artillery

See J. K. Cossum “Buttons of the Defence Forces in Australia pages 14-17


Victorian Volunteer Artillery Regiment

The Melbourne Volunteer Rifle Regiment, formed in late 1854 (see http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/?p=8171&preview=true ) was renamed the Victorian Volunteer Rifle Regiment, then on 1st January 1856 the Victorian Volunteer Artillery Regiment, then in 1859 the Royal designation was added (are you keeping up?).

The Age (Melbourne), 14th November 1855 page 5.

Australian War Memorial image A05364. Corporal William Raymond c.1870. His buttons may be that of the RVVAR as seen on Cossum page 15.

State Library Victoria image #1726543. Royal Victorian Artillery, Collingwood Company 1860s.

Stamped postcard issued 2000.

In 1870 the Franco-Prussian war stimulated the formation of a small permanent artillery force. In fact men wishing to gain work in the police, penal and gaol departments had to service in the artillery first! (This practice continued until around 1883.) The end of that war in 1871 removed the political will for the permanent artillery to be expanded, or to form the nucleus of a larger standing army. The artillery were to man batteries, keep the guns in good working order, and provide guards for the Government House, Treasury, Mint and the Powder magazine. In 1882, when the defence force was reorganised, they were disbanded and replaced with the Victorian Artillery. In 1891 the name “Victorian Permanent Artillery” was adopted.

Australian War Memorial image P00418.020
Queenscliffe,1882. Victorian Permanent Artillery.

Museum Victoria  https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/383875
Officer’s jacket of Victorian Permanent Artillery, 1893. The artillery buttons can be discerned.

This example is by W. Moncton, Melbourne. This tailor moved to Melbourne in 1899, so this button dates 1899-1903.

In anticipation of Federation in 1899 it became the Victorian Regiment of the Royal Australian Artillery.

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