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  #1  
Old 03-08-20, 11:02 PM
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Default 19th C Colonial Militia Reference?

Hi Gents,

An odd question but does anyone have or know of a reference for 19th Century British Colonial Militia Units?

As British Colonies and Protectorates proliferated throughout the world during the Victorian period, Militia units also were created in far flung regions. I have a few buttons to various units but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to do any research and information on individual units seems very scant, for example dates of the creation/disbandment of individual units. So I though I would through out this question just in case anyone knows of a reference (or list) which details Colonial Militia Units and their dates of activation?

Long shot I know but hey, no harm in asking.

Cheers,

Roy
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  #2  
Old 04-08-20, 02:38 AM
kingsley kingsley is offline
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It would be a long list, even for Australia alone. Australian regiments were all part-time Militia from 1854 onwards, mostly known as Rifle Volunteers. From 1860 there was more enthusiasm, possibly as a result of the Austrian-French war for the unification of Italy. In the 1860s (in NSW alone) there were eight Sydney militia regiments and twelve in country areas all with territorial titles (e.g.'Maitland and Morpeth Rifle Vols").
The most interesting of these was the 1868 Duke of Edinburgh's Highland Volunteer Rifle Corps, the ancestor of the NSW Scottish Rifles, formed in honour of his visit. They wore full highland dress with spectacular badges, one of which was given to my grandfather about 1900 by a relative of the wearer. Happily I still have it.
When the Brits went home in 1870, the six colonies organised better funded forces until 1903 when the State armies became the Australian army (still militia of course).
It is impossible to determine just which pattern? badge a particular militia regiment wore before 1880. They are dozens of universal type slung bugles, which we have discussed at times on the Forum and no one knows the answer. I well believe that in Britain and all around the Empire, militia regiments probably ordered the same bugle badge.
After 1880 there seemed to be a preference for coiled bugles. NSW 1,2,3,and 4 Infantry wore WM coiled bugles with a number inside. Some pouch badges had a separate QVC crown above the bugle and there are large shako bugles as well.
See attached scan.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bugleboard.jpg (36.7 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg dukes.jpg (47.2 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg dukes2.jpg (51.4 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg bugle1.jpg (31.2 KB, 11 views)
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  #3  
Old 04-08-20, 03:08 AM
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Thanks for that Kinglsey,

Some really interesting information there. As you say, likely a very long list, not just when one included Australia but also Canada too.

However and aside from those to countries mentions, there are so many little islands Colonies/Dominions around the globe there must be a list somewhere - or maybe not..

It's a fascinating topic that seems to be relatively un-researched, which seems a pity.

Cheers,

Roy
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  #4  
Old 04-08-20, 03:27 AM
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Hi Roy,

Try the Monthly Army List. I'm not certain how often they were published but certainly the colonial Corps were listed in certain issues.

Keith
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  #5  
Old 04-08-20, 05:44 AM
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Hi Roy

How are you doing mate, keeping your head down and being safe I hope.

Mate you have opened a can of worms on this one. There is a book on Australian Pre Federation (ie pre 1901) Aussie badges but I don't have a copy, I never saw one for sale and Cossum never did get his Pre Fed book done. However Cossums Button book shows buttons for all Australian Pre Fed states and theres lots of them, each colony has a few pages from infantry, artillery and navy etc.

There is a book on "Victorian Land Forces 1853 - 1883" by a mate of mine, George Ward who only lives a few Km away, however I cant get to him at the moment as we are in "Full lock down". It covers all the Victorian Colonial units with lots of photos of men in uniform but only a few of badges. There are several other books that show either photos or drawings of badges and buttons etc.

Roy if you or any of the other Aussie collectors are interested in George Wards book I will give him a call and see if he has any left, I think that they would be about $25 or $30 plus postage. The book is A4 in size and has 150 pages and is a gold mine of information. Also Roy I can scan the Pre Fed buttons and email them to you if you want.

All for now

regards

Phil.
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  #6  
Old 04-08-20, 07:38 AM
kingsley kingsley is offline
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Phil, put me down for a copy of Ward's book. Never heard of it. I don't mind waiting until the lockdown is over.
Thanks.
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  #7  
Old 04-08-20, 02:43 PM
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Thanks for that chaps,

'A can of worms', I suspected that may be the case.

Thanks Phil, yes, doing okay over there. Really hot and just keeping my head down with all that's going one. The book by Ward certainly sounds interesting, when if you get a chance (totally no rush), it would be interesting to hear if it mentioned colonial militia.

Well it certainly seems there is no easy answer to my question, so will just have to continue compiling notes myself. Just goes to show though that studying military history still has many challenges.

Cheerio,

Roy
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  #8  
Old 04-08-20, 03:43 PM
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Dear Roy,
In the early days of the web, there liveth a chap who built himself the most wonderful website with British Regimental records. Everyone was using it and everyone was grateful it was there.
You can guess it: one day it was gone. No notice. Nothing.

Collectors were very unhappy. They searched for the owner and I think something had happened to him.
For a while I used older versions on the Wayback Machine.

I am sure it had British Militia data, but it had Commonwealth data as well.
May I suggest you search for it?

best regards,
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  #9  
Old 04-08-20, 04:50 PM
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Thanks for that.

I will continue to research and see if I can find it. I've already been searching for some time but as yet have not come across such a resource but now a little more hopeful that something is out there.

Cheers,

Roy
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  #10  
Old 05-08-20, 06:24 AM
Lancer 17 Lancer 17 is offline
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Hi Roy

In Victoria we had Volunteers from the 1850's up to 1883/4 when the same forces became partly paid Militia. Georges book covers the Volunteer period up to 1883. It was a change of name and the uniforms changed and became "uniform", the infantry all became Victorian Rangers and the mounted units became Victorian Mounted Rifles. The troops who went to the Boer War were raised separately as volunteer units, as in the 1st and 2nd WW's. Each of the 5 Vic Pre Fed units had a different title and much the same applies to the other colonies/states.

I hope that this helps, Regards

Phil.
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  #11  
Old 05-08-20, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy View Post
Thanks for that.

I will continue to research and see if I can find it. I've already been searching for some time but as yet have not come across such a resource but now a little more hopeful that something is out there.

Cheers,

Roy
Roy,
This was the original link:
http://www.regiments.org/regiments/index.htm

but it has been preserved as:
https://web.archive.org/web/20071011...ents/index.htm

I have not used it for years, but I think the archive does not hold pictures.
Let us know if it has information useful to you.

best regards,
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  #12  
Old 05-08-20, 06:57 PM
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Thanks Guys,

At first glance this looks great, so I will get cracking. Lots to look through but at least this is going to give me a jolly good start.

Cheers,

Roy
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Collecting:

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My website: www.fsknife.com

Last edited by Roy; 05-08-20 at 07:19 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-08-20, 04:26 PM
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Kingsley,

Would it be possible to get a close up of these two bugles please.

Thanks,

Luke
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  #14  
Old 07-08-20, 04:41 AM
Lancer 17 Lancer 17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsley View Post
Phil, put me down for a copy of Ward's book. Never heard of it. I don't mind waiting until the lockdown is over.
Thanks.
Hi Kingsley

Thanks for that, Im going to the Po shortly in our lock down. I will get a post cost and get back to you, you are in NSW as I remember it.

Regards

Phil.
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  #15  
Old 07-08-20, 05:21 AM
kingsley kingsley is offline
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Thanks Phil,
Don't worry too much, the lockdown will slow you up a lot and I don't mind waiting. Concentrate on staying healthy!

Luke, I will attach closeups of the coiled bugle badges asap. There were two sizes , the larger worn in Victoria and the smaller in NSW (the one I posted of the 1st Inf). I will photograph them together and show the sizes clearly. Cossum's book says that Victoria wore the larger one in black oxy with a red backing. I might have a spare.
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