31st May 2022

N.S.W. Volunteer Rifles 1880-1901

In 1878 the NSW government reorganised the Volunteer Forces. As a result of this, some corps disbanded, being unable or unwilling to meet the new regulations. New uniforms were issued from 1880. Although I cannot find a contemporaneous newspaper article describing the uniforms or their buttons, the New South Wales badge, as found on the NSW Military Forces buttons and described by Cossum and others as dating 1880-1901, was only adopted as from 15th February 1876. It makes sense that it appeared on the first new uniforms dating after that.

New South Wales Government Gazette 18th February 1876 page 708.

The Australian dress register has this example of a 1895-1903 era uniform showing the buttons: therefore the button design was not changed until the Tudor Crown replaced the St Edward’s Crown after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. The Tudor crown versions were only used until 1903, when the Colonial forces were combined into the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces.

 left: 1880-1901  right: 1902-1903.



New Finds:

NSW Military Forces, backmark D. Jones, Sydney








NSW Military Forces, backmark  C. Anderson, Oxford St Sydney

The  back came off, providing an opportunity to see how they were constructed from 3 pieces of metal; the shell, the back plate and the shank.











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