1st October 2021

Melbourne’s Early Fire Brigades: Part 3

Volunteer Fire Brigade

No backmark. The motto is ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’.(‘Shamed be whoever thinks ill of it’).

Back of the three brigade buttons.









All three buttons are of very similar construction. They may have been made at the same time by the same manufacturer.

The very first brigade uniform consisted merely of a hat and badge, to save money. Some form of uniform had been adopted by 1857. In 1862 a uniform for Sandridge (now Port Melbourne) was described as including a coat, trousers, belt and helmet.  A 30th April 1874 report of the local uniform by the ‘The Record and Emerald Hill and Sandridge Advertiser’ follows:

The new uniform was red with blue facings. Other brigades were dressed in blue with white helmets, red with white helmets, red with blue caps, red with black trimmings etc.

Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne), 27th March 1873 page 33.

“The United Fire Brigades Torch-light Procession.” Leader (Melbourne), 3rd June 1882 page 5.

The Bendigo Independent, 6th March 1901 page 2.