31st August 2022

Stokes & Sons: 1910 – 1936

This was again a period of transition for the defence forces and the monarchy, with another period of war.

Having taken over as monarch at age 58 years from his long-lived mother, Edward VII reigned for only a little over 9 years before his death on 6th May 1910. His son was crowned King George V on 22nd June 1911, and reigned for nearly 26 years. Both coronations resulted in new batches of buttons! Buttons for the  Australian Commonwealth Military Forces and the Royal Australian Artillery were made with the GVR cypher, but were soon superseded.  They were probably only valid from 1911-1912 (see Cossum pages  30 and 31).





The defence forces were in transition, with the initial structure abandoned in 1909, and a new scheme based on universal military service established from 1911. As a result, a new design button was issued.

The Age, 29th June 1912 page 13.

 With tensions rising in Europe, the Department of Defence contracted Stoke & Sons to produce  Commonwealth Pattern General Service (abbreviated as  as C.P. G.S.) and artillery (C.P. R.A.A.) buttons in February 1914, even before the declaration of war in August. Further orders to Stokes for G.S. buttons were issued in 1917, 1918 and 1919.


This period saw the Commonwealth Naval Forces become the Royal Australian Navy in 1911. Stokes & Sons supplied RAN buttons in 1925.

Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 15th October 1925 page 1585.

In 1928 a new RAN button design was accepted.

The Mercury (Hobart), 11th April 1928 page 3. Stokes was awarded a contract for the new buttons in 1937.


The first airforce in 1912 was a branch of the army; the Australian Aviation Corps. In 1919-1920 it became the Australian Air Corps, then in 1921 it separated from the Army as the Royal Australian Airforce.

Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), 8th July 1912 page 5.

Stokes & Sons provided the R.A.A.F. badges and buttons in 1929.

Commonwealth Gazette, 17th January 1929 page 88.

Up until 1948 the airforce buttons did not have the lettering ‘R.A.A.F.’

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