Foreign uniform buttons with Australian backmarks

Most of these were made by Stokes & Sons of Melbourne.


A button for my wish list! I have not been able to find a photo of the uniform or the buttons described in the story:

The Argus (Melbourne) on the 6th April 1872 page 4.

Cakobau, King of Fiji, (sometimes spelt phonetically as Thakombau).

From Wikipedia: Epeli Nailatikau I (Ratu Abel, first son of Cakobau.)





N.E.I. Government-In-Exile

From Wikipedia

In December 1941 Japan invaded Thailand, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong as well as U.S. military and naval bases in the Pacific. Soon the Japanese conquered the Dutch East Indies for their valuable oil reserves. Dutch civilians, military and government representatives from the Netherlands East Indies (N.E.I.) were transported to Australia, where a N.E.I. Government-in-exile was established first in Melbourne, then later moved to Queensland. Members of their army, navy and airforce worked with the Allies from January 1942. Three joint Australian-NEI squadron were formed. Several Dutch ships were based in Australia and 17 submarines operated in the Pacific. Dutch army units were attached to Australian Army units fighting in Borneo. Presumably the buttons above were produced by Stokes and Sons of Melbourne during this time.


New Zealand

NZAF Stokes & Sons.

Auckland Transport Board by Stokes & Sons.

NZ Forces, Stokes & Sons Melbourne

NZ Forces Artillery. Stokes & Sons Melb.




Papua New Guinea

These are police uniform buttons.

Amor Sydney

Stokes & Sons Melbourne (blackened finish)

L: Stokes  R: Stokes & Sons


Air Niugini cuff-links

Air Niugini Limited is New Gunea’s national airline, based at Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby. It was established in 1973 to service domestic needs, but had since expanded internationally.


United Kingdom

Royal Marines

Stokes Melb

The Royal Marine date back to 1664, becoming a permanent  part of the British Navy in 1775. Marines came out on the First Fleet and served from 1788-1792. Other detachments served in the colonies in the early years.

Today they maintain an all commando trained force that are highly trained and can be deployed rapidly world-wide. They engage in military exercises in Australia at times along with Australian and American forces.

c.1946 Royal Marines march in Melbourne.


Royal Navy

Backmark Lincoln Stuart Prop. Ltd. Melbourne: Royal Navy Officer’s button

There are a couple of possibilities for this button.

1. This button may date to the period of 1901-1911 when elements of the new Australian Nay wore Royal Navy or colonial navy buttons.

2. In November 1944 a British Pacific Fleet was formed, and set out soon after for Sydney,  its main base until the end of the war. After the war the fleet remained in the Pacific region to carry out urgent political and humanitarian tasks. Perhaps during this period, Lincoln Stuart & Co supplied uniforms to the Royal Navy. The Navy did visit Melbourne  from 23-30th January 1946.

The Herald (Melbourne), 25th January 1946 page 1.

The Argus (Melbourne), 25th January 1946 page 13.

The Argus (Melbourne). 3rd February 1940 page 1.

Although Snow’s took over the business of Lincoln Stuart, the name continued to be used. As the advert states, they were making uniforms during WW2.