Australasian Squadron Officer's Headdress Badge - Genuine


‘A kangaroo on a rising-sun with a fern-leaf in the foreground and a scroll at the base inscribed Australasian.  In brass’ (KK 1376).

The ‘C’ Squadron (Australasian) Other Ranks’ headdress badge is shown being worn in Figure 226 which is a close-up image from a King’s Colonials group photograph (Figure 116). The Australasian headdress badge was not worn with matching collar badges and as can be seen in Figure 226 it was generally worn without collar badges. The exception to this is shown in Figure 228 where the Australasian headdress badge is being worn with the later Australian 'kangaroo' collar badges.

Figure 226: Close-up image of the ‘C’ Squadron (Australasian) headdress badge (KK 1376) being worn circa 1905 from the group photograph in Figure 116.

The Australasian Squadron headdress badge was worn from 1901 and appears in several photographs of the King’s Colonials at that date. There are notes in several publications as to this King’s Colonials badge being the first depiction of the Rising Sun motif on a badge associated with the Australian Military Forces. This is, however, not correct, as it has been established by Lieutenant Colonel Vernon that Lieutenant H.J. Cox Taylor was the first Staff Officer of the Australian Rifles in 1897 and he designed their badge and it used the Rising Sun as a backdrop to the crown to symbolise that ‘The Sun Rising Over the Crown of The Empire on Which It Never Sets’ (Sabretache: Journal of the Australian Military Historical Society, 7:21-23, October, 1959). Lieutenant Cox Taylor subsequently submitted the rising sun and crown as a design of the badge for the newly formed Australian Commonwealth Horse in January 1902 following Australia’s Federation in 1901. The design was accepted and once re-drawn it became the badge of the Australian Imperial Forces and the Rising Sun remains the device used by the Australian Army today.

A genuine ‘C’ Squadron (Australasian) Officer's headdress badge is shown in Figure 227. This badge has very clear fine details to the front and rear of the badge from a quality strike in rich gilt and non-footed loops with brazing solder of the same tone as the rear of the badge.

Figure 227: A genuine ‘C’ Squadron (Australasian) Officer's headdress badge (KK 1376) in die cast gilt with east-west, non-footed loops. 

As noted above, the King's Colonial photographed in Figure 228 is wearing the Australasian headdress badge with a pair of kangaroo collar badges. These kangaroo collar badges can be attributed to ‘C’ Squadron after it had become an entirely Australian Squadron in 1904 after the New Zealanders has left to temporarily form a separate ‘E’ Squadron (New Zealand). The Australian kangaroo collar badges were then worn with the introduction of the ‘C’ (Australian) Squadron headdress badge in 1905 and are detailed in a later section.

Figure 228: Close-up image of the ‘C’ Squadron (Australasian) Officer’s headdress badge (KK 1376) being worn with a pair of Australian Squadron collar badges circa 1905 from the group photograph in Figure 209  (Iain Davidson collection).