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Shoulder Titles of Australian Units

The first recorded example of the now famous curved "AUSTRALIA" title is this unofficial hand cut version made in 1902 for Lieutenant C B B White of 1st Commonwealth Horse (later General Sir Cyril Brudenell Bingham White KCB KCMG KCVO DSO MiD).
This is a combination of a collar dog and a shoulder title. I have doubts that this is a genuine shoulder title. It appears to be privately commissioned ANZAC title. 

I can find no proof that an ANZAC shoulder title was ever officially issued to troops. The combination was not officially used but has been made for a sweetheart brooch. The ANZAC title is probably NZ in origin.

ANZAC title. To the best of my knowledge it was unofficial but accepted. Probably worn by Anzac section of Imperial Camel Corps.
The original WW1 "AUSTRALIA" shoulder titles were issued in oxidised copper or brass finish to eliminate shine that may attract enemy attention and to reduce the need to polish them. 

The AIF was a fighting Army, not a spit polish parade ground Army

The huge majority of Australia titles manufactured over the years have been void (background cut out) However some have been made solid (background left in).
During WW1 the curved AUSTRALIA was issued in two sizes. The standard size (lower left) was 55 mm across.

A smaller one (upper left) was for officers (early war) who were required to wear their pips, the metal Battalion Number and the metal Corps badge, all on the shoulder strap (epaulette).

The smaller version was 42mm across. The need for a smaller one disappeared with the introduction of colour patches which replaced the Unit and Corps badges worn on the epaulette.

During the 1960s the AUSTRALIA titles were issued on a jungle green slip on, easy remove, cloth envelope or slide that slid down over the shoulder strap.
Upper left: the straight, silver AUSTRALIA title as issued to nurses in WW1. Being of smaller statue they had difficulty fitting the curved AUSTRALIA on their shoulder strap or epaulette along with their badges of rank and the AANS badge. Size  36mm X 8mm.

Lower left: Normal curved AUSTRALIA, size 55mm across.


The owner claims these as WW2 era Australia titles. I cannot prove or disprove that claim at this stage. 

If true they must have been Officer issue or special issue of some sort. They were not General Service issue.

australias.jpg (17797 bytes) rangers.jpg (26811 bytes) ach-shoulder.jpg (15792 bytes) Click to enlarge
ALL Australian units that serve overseas wear this shoulder title Victorian Rangers circa 1890 Australian Commonwealth Horse circa1900 Australian Flying Corps WW1

Early WW1 Infantry title 2nd Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR)
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1 Bn Victorian Rangers C Coy 1Bn Vic Rangers D Coy 1Bn Vic Rangers

H Coy 1Bn Vic Rangers

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Kennedy Regiment (Q) Oxley Regiment (Q) Victorian Rifles 1906-12

Victorian Rangers

7th Bn Aust Inf Regt

Australian Staff Corps

Light Horse

26 Lighthorse (militia)

St John Ambulance Brigade

5th Australian Field Artillery

Aust Women's Army Service

Queensland Imperial Bushmen

Australian Army Service Corps

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The Victorian Railways Infantry was the last unit to be raised in the Colony of Victoria before Federation in 1900. It continued into the 1903-1912 period. Motor Transport (WW1)

A silvered "AUSTRALIA" shoulder title as worn by nurses in WW1

414 Volunteer Aid Detachment

Royal Australian Army Pay Corps

Queensland Volunteer Rifles

1918 version Aust Provost Corps Provost Staff operated 1911/1928 as part of PMF
Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC) and 1st Armoured Regiment (1AR) shoulder titles around a RAAC badge

Victorian Mounted Rifles

Melbourne University Regt Provost Companies RAEME

Royal New South Wales Regiment Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles

Aust. Staff Corps (early version)

Staff Corps (later version)

Australian Service Corps

Engineers in oxidised finish (WW1)

Sth Australian Light Horse

Roberts Horse (Boer War)

5th Australian Infantry Regiment

Sydney University Scouts

1st ALH NSW Lancers
Pair of numerals for 8 ALHR Mounted Rifles  14 Aust. Lt Horse QMI

Australian Field Artillery

Machine Gun Squadron Australian Light Horse AIF

  • Origin unknown, possibly Signal Troop of AIF Light Horse Units WW1
  • Australian Naval Bridging Train WW1

Australian Army Medical Women's Service "VIC" probably for a colonial unit from Victoria
  • War Correspondent title. Nationality, conflict and date/s of issue and use not known.

This could only date from the second half of the Second World War, as some of the Australian official war historians were appointed to begin their work before the end of the war. 

Badges were worn by Australian War Photographers and Accredited War Correspondents in the Second World War but they were produced in very small numbers. 

They were not always officially sanctioned i.e. the men themselves organised the design and manufacture. Most were embroidered gold/yellow on a dark green cloth ground and appear in a variety of forms - 'C' (correspondent), 'Accredited War Correspondent', 'Official War Correspondent', 'Australian War Photographer', 'Official War Photographer'.  There were also unofficial badges for Camoufleurs and Official War Artists. The only voided metal badges the AWM have are for photographers. They are curved and are much finer than this example. They fit into the width of a shoulder strap and may have been attached to a green shoulder slide before being placed on the shoulder strap.
Probably unofficial, possibly Vietnam era shoulder titles for Second Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR).

Pioneer Corps. Era not known

Royal Australian Infantry Corps


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