Garrison Artillery Uniform?

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Garrison Artillery Uniform?

Post  A._Roads on Sun 22 Feb 2009, 7:47 pm

Hi, I am new to this forum & have a uniform jacket that I am hoping you can identify. It was purchased in Victoria, Australia & I believe it to be a late 1800s Garrison Artillery jacket - if so I will eventually restore it. I have taken images which I hope will help to determine what it is & include some observations, please forgive my terminology etc as I know virtually nothing about uniforms:
1). There is evidence that an "Austrian Knot" has been removed from each sleeve - evidence is some shreds of thread which once held it in place & two holes in the cuff of each sleeve for the ends of the knot cord.
2). The buttons have been changed several times (four sets of thread are evident) & I wonder if the jacket survived through an official change of buttons from one type to another? - there does seem to be an awful lot of different buttons to this era such as aut pace aut bello, pro et de patria & Victorian military forces or something along those lines, most confusing!
3). The bits on the back of the jacket "tail", I don't know their correct term, each is holed for three buttons.
4). There is a breast pocket constructed in the lining.
5). There are holes for a badge of some sort on the collar?

Any assistance would be very much appreciated, with thanks, Adrian.




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Problem

Post  wfrad on Mon 23 Feb 2009, 10:21 am

hi and welcome.
I'm far from an expert on uniforms but I believe you are on an up-hill struggle without buttons, badges or some type of label.
The problem is [remember I'm no expert] that jackets were a standard pattern and the add ons such as lace, buttons badges and facings gave the identity of the wearer.
Coming from Australia it could have been a contender for the New South Wales Field Artillery, only I believe the shoulder straps were plain.
It does fit the bill for artillery though, no facing colour on the sleeves.
If what you have is a plain standard jacket, which it does looks like, I canít see any problem with adding the artillery bits and pieces.
It could also be a volunteerís jacket.
Someone with a lot more knowledge will Iím sure give you a detailed breakdown of such jackets.
Good luck.
Regards
WF

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Re: Garrison Artillery Uniform?

Post  buistR on Mon 23 Feb 2009, 9:10 pm

Hi Adrian - WF explains the problem very well. What you have is a standard artillery tunic which could come from one of several Australian State units prior to Federation. It could even be a (British) Royal Field or Garrison Artillery garment which strayed out to the antipodes - these were worn until 1914 by both corps for full and walking out dress. The missing Austrian knots would have been in red or yellow cord finishing at the back seams and the collar badge probably a horizontal flaming grenade (aka "bursting bombs") in brass. The flaps at the back of each skirt (official dress regulations jargon) would, as you note, have had three buttons on each. Ihe Queensland Permanent Artillery of 1890 wore red Austrian knots, thereby deviating from the Royal Artillery model where the cording was yellow.

However Sean is our resident expert on Australian uniforms - if there is any detail that will link it to a specific artillery unit then he will probably spot it.

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Re: Garrison Artillery Uniform?

Post  T1 on Mon 23 Feb 2009, 10:05 pm

With the possible Queensland exception already noted, the yellow cord should mean that it is either Regular/Permanent, or Militia. In the UK, red cord was used in place of yellow for volunteer artillery, and white cord was used for militia pre-1881. Australian colonies generally followed this, but seem to have used red or white for volunteers interchangeably. NSW used white cord for militia artillery until about 1897 (I have the precise date somewhere). Victoria used yellow cord for all its artillery once they went over to a militia system in 1883-4.
The only other clue is the pointed shoulder straps, as I believe the standard form was rounded. Victorian examples in the Australian War Museum's online database seem to show pointed straps on most if not all their Victorian examples, so this might suggest the tunic is Victorian.
The shoulder straps should have some arrangement of holes from the attachment of brass letters/numerals - if so, could we get a picture of these?

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Re: Garrison Artillery Uniform?

Post  Admin on Thu 26 Feb 2009, 3:14 pm

Adrian,
Thanks for posting the pictures, they have led to some interesting points.
The rear skirt of the jacket has three buttons on each side as you surmised in your text. There was also a button at the top of each split in the skirt between the two sets of ornamentation, at waistbelt level.
It is more than likely that this jacket went from a colonial piece through to the federal army, thus explaining the change in buttons. Perhaps Victorian followed by Royal Australian Artillery, which changed again in 1911 and then again in 1914. It is possible the jacket lasted that long as it would be a full dress item and rarely worn, with khaki being issued for field and training duties in the Australian Army. So with a life of perhaps 15 years four button changes is more than feasible.
Nice jacket by the way, hard to find colonial items after such a long time.

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Re: Garrison Artillery Uniform?

Post  A._Roads on Thu 26 Feb 2009, 5:16 pm

Gentlemen thank you all for your considered replies, you have been most helpful indeed.
It would seem then that this jacket could be said to be of the correct pattern as used by the Victorian Garrison Artillery, in which case I ask if the "Aut Pace Aut Bello" buttons would then be correct for it? in brass? (I possibly have access to a full set of these).

Also I include a picture of the shoulder strap as requested. A close inspection shows no evidence of holes, however you can faintly see that there are small stitches where something has been held in place, but not stitched completely around - perhaps a metallic rather than cloth "badge" of some kind?
Does this provide any further clues? Adrian.

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