Stokes & Sons: 1899-1910
This was a period of transition; for the country, for the company, and for the Monarchy. It was also a period of war. This was reflected in the uniform buttons that were produced.
The Second Boer War broke out on 11th October 1899 and would continue until 31st May 1902, spanning the pre and post federation periods. The initial contingents were raised from the colonies, and after 1901, by the States on behalf of the new Commonwealth.
On the 22nd January 1901, Queen Victoria died, in her 82nd year. Her son, Bertie, then became King Edward VII. . On 10th July 1901 he declared that the ‘Tudor Crown’ was to be henceforth used on buttons, etc, but not until those currently used were worn out. Presumably it was after this date that any new buttons, etc were made in with the new design, although some sources claim this started in 1902. His coronation occurred on 9th August 1902. (The above button, but with the Tudor crown, is shown on Cossum page 20. The backmark is Shierlaw & Co. Adelaide. It may have been supplied by Stokes, or else from Britain.)
Sometime after August 1901 Stokes and Sons (officially still Stoke & Son until 1903) would have made new dies for all the governmental and military uniform buttons.
Transition from colonial to Federal Defence Forces
There was a period of reorganisation that took several years. The new Australian Commonwealth Military Forces (ACMF) was not formally recognised until 2 years after Federation. Even then it took a period of years before full amalgamation occurred. Some Queensland units continued to wear State insignia until 1910. This period also saw the establishment of Commonwealth Naval Forces, with new uniforms from 1904. The uniforms, and probably the buttons, were basically the same design as that of the Royal Navy.
In combination with the changeover from the QV to Tudor crown, this created a situation where some uniform buttons were produced that were to be used for only a short time period. An example would be the NSW Military Forces button with the Tudor crown, relevant for 1901 until 1903, when this force became part of the Commonwealth Forces. It is shown on Cossum page 7. A similar situation occurred for the Victorian Rifles button, again only used for 1901-3 (see Cossum page 13).
Australian Commonwealth Military Force 1903-1910
The Australian Commonwealth Military Forces came into being with the passing of the Defence Act of 1903.
Commonwealth Cadet Corps
I do not have a button for the Australian Corps of Engineers, 1903-10, but one is shown on Cossum page 30 made by Stokes & Sons.
Examples of Governmental buttons by Stokes & Sons, post 1901.
For all comments or questions, please use the Contact page.