Unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Services 

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Plaques of various military units.

The Australian Army Centenary memorial plaque, commemorating 100 years of service to the nation

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Towards the end of the 1800s, Australia’s six colonies realised it would be difficult to defend it's vast areas with such a small population. Following Federation, one of the new government’s first actions was to unite the existing colonial troops into a single force.

Since its formation in March 1901, the Australian Army has fought in every major world conflict of the 20th Century, most recently becoming involved in UN peacekeeping missions. 

The Australian Army has not just defended Australia but played an important role in protecting the rights of people in other countries. In 2001, we celebrated the Centenary of the Australian Army and the traditions forged by our troops over the years. As a fitting testimonial, the Centenary Plaque comprises a 170g pewter plate mounted on a finely finished Jarrah base. Measures 140mm in diameter.

  • Plaques are used for several purposes.
    • Service personnel collect them as a record of the Units with which they have served.
    • They are used as presentations by Units to other Service Units, personnel and civilians as a token of thanks.
    • RSL and other organisations with a military interest often display them in club rooms.

HMAS Tobruk, L-50 Commissioned 1981. RAA pewter plaque

Victor 4 Coy 6 RAR/NZ ANZAC 1 Transport Squadron Malaysia 1987

HMAS STALWART Commissioned 1968 Decommissioned 1989. HMAS SWAN DE-50 Commissioned 1970 Now decommissioned. "The Fluffy Duck"

HMAS Penguin

HMAS Otway "Oberon Class submarine. Commissioned 1968 Decommissioned 1994.

HMAS Sterling: Fleet Base West

The Gallipoli Legion of Anzacs of Western Australia

Pegasus" Troop 161 Battery RNZA. Set up (circa1980) as an air-borne artillery Unit. Now disbanded.

Korea & South East Asia Forces Association, Australia

145 Signals Squadron, Vietnam

Royal Australian Naval Reserve

1st Battalion Pacific Islands Regiment 1PIR 2nd Battalion Pacific Islands Regiment 2PIR

AAATM: Australian Army Advisory Team Malaysia Ninth Battalion Royal Australian Regiment 9RAR

RAR Assoc of Sth Australia Army plaque: "Keswick Barracks Sergeants Mess," presented to "Brig L J Lewis COMD 4 MD by the PMC and Members Dec 1983

Presented to "Brig L J Lewis on his departure as COMD 4 MD Jan 1984

RAAF Officers Training School

RAAF Recruit Training Unit RAAF Support Command

RAAF Crest

RAF Plaque to Aussie (Station Valley)

3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment 5 Military District WA
On 24 August 1963, 1 Squadron New Zealand Special Air Service, changed its' title to 1 Ranger Squadron New Zealand Special Air Service and it was under this designation that the unit deployed to Borneo and Vietnam.

The unit was redesignated 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Squadron in April 1978 and then again to 1st NZ SAS Group in 1984.

Unlike their Australian & British counterparts, the Kiwi SAS are very sensitive about the control of even these obsolete "memorabilia" type items. They cannot be bought by the general public, dealers or retail outlets which is why you almost never see NZSAS items such as this on eBay. 


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