27th December 2023

Metropolitan Fire Brigades: Brisbane

The buttons are very similar to Melbourne’s MFB button, however, the button on the left  is one piece concave, rather than two piece concave, as for Stokes & Sons Melbourne version on the right.

The one-piece body of the button is backmarked A.J. Parkes in cursive script. The whitemetal example is missing its shank, is unmarked, with a two-piece body. I have only seen the cursive script on 2 modern Queensland Ambulance uniform buttons.


The MFB dates from 1st July 1921 when fire brigades across Brisbane and its suburbs were amalgamated, lasting until 1st July 1990 when replaced by the Queensland Fire Services. (NB: the central Brisbane Brigade, started in 1865 was also called the MFB, however, these buttons are backmarked A.J.Parkes, so do not date that early.) In 1927 eight out of thirty-eight total stations were operated by the MFB.

In 1956 they firemen gained the right to a 40 hour week, and better pay.

The Telegraph (Brisbane), 28th July 1928 page 27. A Turbine pump fitted to a Ford truck chassis was being trilled to pump water, or, with the use of “smoke helmets”, air to firemen.

Note the men wearing the helmets in the background.

The Telegraph (Brisbane), 7th November 1924 page 4. “The full and up-to-date fire-fighting equipment of the MFB headquarters, Ann street, Brisbane.”

Ajax Ladder: “First section extended for action.”

The Telegraph (Brisbane), 31st January 1925 page 6. This was reputedly the most modern fire engine in Australia.

National Archives #5091846. Brisbane fire truck, 1942.

Brisbane City Council Library phot0, 1959. “This truck was 1 of 4 the Metropoliton Fire Brigade had. It was known as a Flyer and because it did not have a pump was used as a stand by car at the station when bigger pump trucks were called out. These trucks were in service between 1952 and 1953.”

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