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Category: Army Today/State Regts

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This is a sub category index

For other badges of the Regiment

Primus in Terra Australis

First In Australia

The Royal New South Wales Regiment

<< The badge worn by the Regiment is basically that worn by the New South Wales Military Forces from about 1885 to 1903. 

This was in it's turn adopted from the badge of the Colony of NSW of 1876.

The principal elements are the Crown indicating a Royal Regiment, the Cross of St George bearing the Lion of England and the stars of the Southern Cross, the whole being enclosed within a wreath of Waratahs, the floral emblem of NSW.

Sub category index

Possibly Sydney c. 1890-1895. E Company, 2nd NSW Infantry Regiment wearing the khaki uniform introduced in NSW in 1890. Units are distinguished by coloured shoulder straps and metal regimental badges. (one Sergeant wears a different puggaree which suggests he is from another Regiment). The figure on far left is evidently an officer (possibly three officers in photograph), several Sergeants and other NCOs are present. On left arm (below elbow) some men wear good conduct chevrons and shooting awards. This style of uniform changed after 1894 and the type of hat badge evident was changed in 1897. The figure 3rd from left standing is Cecil Byron Vidler who later saw service in the Boer War as a Trooper in the 2nd NSW Mounted Rifles.

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Private, New South Wales Volunteer Rifles, 1855


1st NSW Rifle Volunteers Two old photographs dated somewhere in the 1860's or 1870's.The family name of the men could be Appeldore or Stone. They lived at Penrith at the time. photo: Kathy Luck

Officer, New South Wales Infantry, 1885


Sydney, NSW. 24 May 1861. A group of volunteer soldiers of the 1st Regiment New South Wales Rifle Volunteers, also known as the Sydney Battalion, formed up in a hollow square on the Victoria Barracks parade ground. The soldiers are all wearing uniforms of Melton Stone Grey Cloth and Infantry Shako's (hats). The colour of the facings on the sleeves of the jackets identified individual companies. The soldiers are holding the Enfield Pattern 1853 rifle, Third Model, with the Pattern 1853 socket bayonet fitted to the rifle. Inside the hollow square the officer on the left is holding his sword, an 1827 Pattern Rifle Officers Sword which has been drawn from the scabbard. The mounted officer, who is obscured as his horse has moved, is probably the Commanding Officer Major Thomas W. Wingate, and the officer on the right is holding the Regiment's new Colours. The colours were presented to the Regiment by Lady Young, the wife of the newly appointed Governor of NSW, on 18 May 1961, five days before this photograph was taken. The soldier on the end of the right hand arm of the hollow square is a Sergeant Major in the British regular Army, he is wearing a red jacket over blue trousers and a British Infantry Shako. He is probably attached to the Regiment as an instructor. Behind and to the right can be seen a small section of British regular soldiers, possibly the 12th Regiment of Foot.. This albumen print is signed and dated by the photographer, "T. Wingate fecit, May 24/61". The photographer is probably also the Commanding Officer of the Regiment, and an acknowledged amateur photographer.

Colour Patches of parent units

Colour patches were developed and used by the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) in World War 1, as a means of rapid unit identification. In the absence of regimental badges, they became a focal point of fierce unit loyalty and pride.

This colour patch system was continued throughout the Australian Army between 1921 and 1945, but ceased during the early years of the post-World War II army.

During World War II, Australian Imperial Force unit colour patches were distinguished from those of the non-A.I.F. component of the Australian Military Forces by the addition of a grey border or backing. This border, or backing, was of a shape representing the division to which the battalion was allotted, and not necessarily symmetrical with the battalion shape, for example 2/19th Australian Infantry Battalion's colour patch was a half-sized battalion patch diamond-shaped brown over mid-green, within the grey horizontal oval of the 8th Australian Division. 

Likewise, the 2/13th and 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion colour patches were, in 1943, with others varied in shape to the 9th Australian Division "T"-shaped patch, their colours respectively black superimposed on mid-green, and white superimposed on mid-green, both on a grey backing, all colours in "T"-shape. The "T" shape was to indicate involvement in the Siege of Tobruk.

Colour patches were re-introduced in 1987 on a restricted scale, permitting active units which could prove descent from a former unit which had an approved colour patch and served either during World War 1 or World War 11, to apply to wear the earliest version of that unit's colour patch. Policy in the case of linked units is to wear the colour patch of the unit taking precedence in the linked unit's designation.

Light Horse colour patches are of a horizontal rectangle shape, divided diagonally, with the colour of the brigade nearer the front of the wearer, the colour of the regiment towards the rear.

Infantry colour patches, with the exception of the 9th Australian Division, are divided equally in the horizontal or vertical plane. In the former case, the battalion colour is placed above the brigade colour. In the latter, that portion of the colour patch nearer the front of the wearer is the battalion colour, that to the rear the brigade colour. The shape of the colour patch, with the exception of the battalions of 4th Brigade, indicates the division to which the unit belonged in the Great War. The 4th Brigade, though wearing the 1st Division shape patch, was allotted initially to the New Zealand and Australian Division for service at Gallipoli. It was, after Gallipoli, allotted to 4th Division on its being raised in Egypt in February 1916.

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The 6th Light Horse Regiment Badge The 51st Battalion  Badge

For other badges of the Regiment

  • 6th Australian Light Horse, later 6 NSW Mounted Rifles was converted to an Infantry Battalion by AHQ Directive, 1 July 1956.
  • 51st Battalion AIF was formed in Egypt in 1916 by splitting off some of 11th Battalion AIF. This Battalion Number served in NSW for a while from 1924, firstly in it's own right as Field of Mars Regiment and later linked with 30th Battalion as 30th/51st and later it was linked with 18th Battalion as the 18th/51st. It was relocated to Queensland in 1936 and still serves as 51st Bn Far North Queensland Regiment. It is not considered as a lineage unit of RNSWR.

Mottoes of the NSW Infantry Units

Unit Territorial Title Date Motto Meaning
1 Bn  East Sydney Regt 1927 Nominis Memento Remember the name
later City of Sydney's Own Regt 1939 Primus Agat Primas Let the First lead first
2 Bn  City of Newcastle Regt 1927 Nulli Secundus Second to None
3 Bn Werriwa Regt 1927 Veteri Frondescit Honore It Blossoms with ancient Honour
4 Bn The Australian Rifles 1927

For Home & Country

13 Bn Maitland Regt 1927 Vigor in Arduis Energy amid hardship
later Macquarie Regt 1952 Vigor in Arduis Energy amid hardship
17 Bn North Sydney Regt 1927 Facta Probant Deeds are the proof
17/18  North Shore Regt 1948 Facta Probant Deeds are the proof
18 Bn Kuring-Gai Regt 1927 Legionis Lampada Tradamus Let us hand on the Legion's Lamp
17/18 North Shore Regt 1948
19 Bn South Sydney Regt 1927 Fortiter et Fidetiter Bravely & Loyally
20 Bn P'matta-B/Mountains Regt 1927 Pro Patria For our Country
30 Bn City of Sydney Regt 1927 In Omni Modo Fidelis Loyal in every way
later NSW Scottish Regt 1935 In Omni Modo Fidelis Loyal in every way
33 Bn New England Regt 1927 Strenue Percute Strike Vigorously
34 Bn Illawarra Regt 1927 Malo Mori Foedari I prefer to die than be disgraced
35 Bn Newcastle's Own Regt 1927 Fifelis et Paratus Loyal & Ready
36 Bn St George's English Rifle R 1927

St George for Merrie England

41 Bn Byron Regt 1927 Mors Ante Prantum Death before Dishonour
later Byron Scottish Regt 1949 Mors Ante Prantum Death before Dishonour
45 Bn St George Regt 1927 Quo Fata Vocant Wither Destinies Summon
53 Bn West Sydney Regt 1927

Be Prepared

changed in 

1933 Usque Ad Finem Until the End
54 Bn Lachlan-Macquarie Regt 1927 Deo Patria Tibi For God, Country & Thee
55 Bn NSW Irish Rifles 1927 Faugh a Ballagh Clear the way
later NSW Rifle Regt 1933 Faugh a Ballagh Clear the way

changed in 

1937 Animo et Fide Courageously & Faithfully
56 Bn Riverina Regt 1927 Trutina Probatus Proved in the balance
6 LHR NSW Mounted Rifles 1927 Toujours Pret Always Ready
  • Some details from A Supplement to the Handbook for all ranks of the Royal NSW Regiment, 1994. My thanks to
    •  Lt Col Bell, CO, 4/3 Battalion RNSWR and to
    • Capt N Earnshaw, Adjutant, 4/3 Battalion RNSWR and to
    • Mr Alan Kitchen

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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces