6th March 2018

I found an interesting article dated 10th November 1899 from a journalist in Perth. He was commenting on the forces being formed to travel to the Transvaal (Boer Wars). They were half  civilians, and half from local infantry and artillery. With only a few days to go before they sailed the men were wearing a variety of uniforms and civilian clothes, the troops still being without their uniforms! “The uniform selected for the contingent, consisting of blue coats, with bedford cord trousers, are being made in the colony, the buttons have been brought from Victoria, whence the hats also came.” (Buttons were not able to be made locally until after Sheridan Badges was started in Perth in 1913.)

The writer noted that the primitive state of the military in the Colony rendered it practically useless, and needed to be merged with the proposed federal military system to prevent the money being spent on it being wasted. (Note that West Australia had not at this stage agreed to join the Federation.) If you are further interested see https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/113693895?searchTerm=%22colonial%20buttons%22&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

New tailor’s buttons:

T. H. French, Melbourne:

Thomas Henry French was born in Cambridge, England in 1854. I don’t know when he came to Victoria, but he was married here in 1883. In 1916 he was listed as working from 291 Swanston Street. he died in 1917 at the age of 63 years.

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