Sporting and Volunteer Clubs/Organisations.

Adelaide Junior Musicians Club

No makers mark.

The Adelaide Drum and Fife Band made its first public appearance in December 1932, and first performed interstate in 1936. Newspaper articles seem to indicate that the “Adelaide Drum and Fife Band” and “Junior Musicians Club” were parts of a combined entity. See

Boy Scouts


Scouting in Queensland started in October 1908, only 9 months after the publishing of Baden Powell’s famous book. Four separate patrols were started by church leaders of boys groups. In 1909 they joined into a State organisation.

A. J. Parkes Brisbane


A. J. Parkes. Scouting buttons in both hollow and solid back types.

State Library Qld (Image Number  Lord Baden Powell meeting Patrol leaders in Queensland, 1911.

South Australia

Various scouting  troops started in 1908 in this state.

New South Wales

No backmark

Scouting in NSW also started in 1908. As the troops formed independently, there resulted in several separate associations. It is now predominantly a branch of Scouts Australia.


Unspecified Scouts

We have not seen a Scouts Victoria button; perhaps they only used unspecified buttons. Let us know (and send a picture) if we are wrong!


Stokes & Sons

A. J. Parkes Brisbane

A. J. Parkes

Modern plastic Scout Australia button with no backmark.

No backmark.

Girl Guides

Plastic Girl Guides and Brownies buttons, no backmarks.

Guiding groups formed  around Australia from 1909-1920, and formed a national organisation in 1926. Prior to 1996 girls aged 5-7 years were known as Brownies.

State Library SA Guides and Brownies, 1930.

Pipe Bands

See also the N.S.W. Pipe band on the Government uniforms page.

C. Hemsley Sydney


Small: Parkes. Large: Stokes Melb.  Are gilt buttons for band leaders?

Unearthed at old Sheridan factory site.

Sporting Clubs

Brighton Yacht Club

Stokes & Martin Makers Melbourne. The button dates from 1876-1893.


This club was established in 1875 as the Brighton Sailing Club, becoming the Brighton Yacht Club by 1876. The first Club House was built in 1877. In 1924 the Royal Warrant was granted.


Holdfast Bay Yacht Club

Critic (Adelaide), 4th December 1907 page 6.
Guests at the Holdfast Bay Yacht Club’s opening.

Critic (Adelaide) 4th December 1907 page 6.

The Holdfast Yacht Club was established in 1883. In 1998 it merged with the Glenelg sailing Club to form the Adelaide Sailing Club.

Huntingdale Golf Club

Stokes & Sons Melb. The horn on the button is a nod to the club’s  site origins as a hunt club.

Formed from a club started in 1896, the club opened in 1941 on the site of the old Melbourne Hunt Club in East Oakleigh.  Huntingdale has hosted the Australian Masters since 1979.

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 10th October 1948 page 22. Jim Ferrier playing at Huntingdale.

Royal Motor Yacht Corp

Stokes & Sons Melbourne

Kitchener Sydney








The RMYC has operated from Pittwater since 1926. For their history see

From the club website.

Sydney Sportsman, 26th April 1927 page 16. Hugh ward and his wife in the Royal Motor Yacht Club races.

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

Stokes & Sons King’s Crown

Tony Earle’s button from the VBCC magazine, May 2015. A. Hordern & Sons Sydney. QV crown.










In 1856 the first yachting club was formed in Sydney; the Mosquito Club. In October 1867, with the Prince about to visit, the club reformed to become the Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 16th October 1867 page 4.

The Royal Sydney and Prince Alfred clubs’ yachts formed a guard of honour when the HMS Galatea sailed through Sydney Harbour. In 1911 the club was given permission to use the prefix ‘Royal’.

Crowds waving the HMS Galatea goodbye. Illustrated Sydney News, 22nd February 1868 page 1.

In 1919 the club moved to the less crowded waters of Pittwater, and stayed there until selling the land for a pretty penny in 1970. A second club house had previously built in the 1960s and was now the club’s sole location.

Royal Queensland Yacht Club

No backmark. 1902-1961

The club started as the Brisbane sailing Club in 1885. it was renamed the Queensland yacht Club in 1894 and gained the Royal title in 1902. Queen Elizabeth approved the name change to Squadron in 1961.

From the Queenslander Pictorial supplement, 25th October 1919 page 27.

Royal Sydney Golf Club,  Sydney

Amor Sydney

Club Logo








According to the club’s website ( the first club house consisted of a couple of rented rooms in a cottage. The second clubhouse was built in 1897. It was at the official opening of this facility that it was announced that the club had been allowed the prefix “Royal” by Queen Victoria. The third club house was built on the site of the current facility in 1903 but burnt down in 1920.

The Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser, 12th April 1905 page 922. #4 Showes the original clubhouse, #5 the second club house, and # 3 the third clubhouse.

By 1919 the membership numbered almost 1,500. After the fire a larger building was built and opened in July 1922. Further renovations have been necessary due to another fire, however this allowed for increased membership.


Royal Yacht Club of Victoria

No backmark.

Established as early as May 1853 as the Victorian Yacht club, it is one of the oldest in Australia. it received the royal title in 1885.

The Australasian (Melbourne) 3rd June 1905 page 29.The new premises in St Kilda.

Weekly Times (Melbourne), 24th November 1906 page 9. “The run home.”


Volunteer Organisations

Australian Red Cross Society


K. G. Luke Pty. Ltd. Melbourne

Stokes & Sons Melb

K. G. Luke Melb

Originally the British Red Cross Australian Branch, it was established in 1914, just 9 days into WW1. It provided services including knitting socks, rolling bandages, gathering information on the dead and missing and burial places. It sent civilian nurses to France. In WW2 it cared for the sick, injured, maimed and their dependents, ran hostels and provided contact with POWs. Most of the volunteers at that time were unmarried women.

It continues to provide humanitarian aid, both local and international, and community services including blood supply services. See also Red Cross Rest Home below.

Campaigners for Christ Volunteers


In 1936 a group of businessmen and Christian laymen in Melbourne and Sydney formed Campaigners for Christ. During WW2 they were given permission to serve the forces by setting up “Everyman’s Huts” (and later Everywoman’s) for refreshment and  entertainment. The staff wore military style uniforms and hold honorary Officer status. These services were funded by donations. They still support the military today.

Red Cross Rest Home

Bridgland & King, Melbourne

 Rest homes were built with money raised by the community. According to the National Trust:

Rest homes were built because there was nowhere for the soldiers to convalesce in the military hospitals other than on the verandahs or dining rooms and the men apparently soon became bored with these options. Rest rooms provided billiard tables, pianos and gramophones; they were centres for men to read and write and the Caulfield rest home had an excellent library. They offered the chance to see friends, play games and have morning and afternoon tea. The men were able to learn important skills such as wood carving, leather tooling, spinning, painting, raffia work and stitchery. It was thought these skills would enable them to supplement their pensions. The articles they made were often sold to raise more funds for the Red Cross. These pastimes were vitally important for the men’s physical and mental health. In 1919 the Rest Home was being enlarged to include a pavilion for sick nurses (The Age 24 March 1919, p8).

‘No.1 Red Cross Rest Home, at Prince’s bridge. Published in The Australasian, 1st April 1916 page 60.

But who made the buttons?

The original Bridgland and King were Charles Everest Bridgland and Percy John King, the same P. J. King of the famous firm. The partnership started in 1893 as engravers of brass plates and general work, in Little Collins Street. The partnership dissolved in 1899 with King continuing alone.

Published in The Age, 6th August 1903 page 18.

The usurpers may have been the firm advertising as located at 378 Post Office Place (Lt Bourke Street) and offering the same services. They advertised heavily over the coming years, and were responsible for at some uniform buttons.

St John Ambulance Brigade

The Brigade has it’s origins in 1877 when the Order of St John (a  British chivalric order dating back to the Knights Hospitaller in the 12th century) founded an association to provide first aid training, and later,  volunteers capable of providing medical assistance at public gathering and during emergencies.

Stokes Vic








St John Ambulance teaches first aid, and provides emergency medical services, primary staffed by volunteers. The first local branch was established in Melbourne in 1883. The first ambulance brigade was at Glebe, New South Wales, in 1903. The title St John Ambulance Australia was adopted in 1987.

The St. John Ambulance Association, horse and covered cart outside the Eastern Hill Fire Station c.1901. State Library Victoria

Young Australia League

Stokes & Sons Melbourne







The YAL was founded by John Joseph  (Jack) Simons (1882-1948), a West Australian businessman, newspaper publisher  and politician.

The advance Australia (Magazine), 11th October 18910 page 228.

The ‘Young Australia League’ was renamed in 1905 from the ‘Young Australia Football League’ which had been started in Perth and Fremantle that same year to promote the Australia code over other codes as part of a broader nationalist agenda, with a broadened interest covering literature, literature, debating, band music, sport and theatrical performances, and well as outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. They believed in “Education through Travel” and organised tours for West Australian school aged boys. After WW1 branches were started in other States. In now operates only in West Australia.


Women’s National Emergency Legion

Cam Smith








The Telegraph (Brisbane) 25th January 1939 page 1.

It provided first aid and other training to allow women to help with the war effort, and was an  auxiliary of the Department of Defence. Despite being a civilian organisation, it adopted military style uniforms and ranks.  Around 1940 they became affiliated with Britain’s First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (F.A.N.Y.)

State Library Queensland item item: 99284843402061: Members in 1943.

Following the outbreak of the Pacific War members were attached to U.S. units as drivers and clerks. Some watched for mines for the Naval Corps and some with the Volunteer Air Observers.