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For people who love, use and manage archives

Archives Outside - For people who love, use and manage archives

Staff Pick : Soldiering in the late 19th Century

Larger version on Flickr

Jim Sinclair is the Executive Officer for State Records NSW. He is also a foundation member of “The Razor Gang”,  our newly formed fundraising team   for the World’s Greatest Shave 2013. This is a charitable event run on behalf of the Leukaemia Foundation. Watch this space for more information! (Editorial note: Go Jim, you’re a legend, we’re all behind you!!)

I have a long-term interest in part-time soldiering in Australia, as I have myself served as a part-time soldier since 1973. I like this image because it represents a forgotten period of part-time soldiering, the late 19th century. After the withdrawal of British troops from the Australian colonies in 1870, the States and Colonies were responsible for providing their own military forces. The image shows Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) of what appears to be the 2nd Battalion, NSW Infantry, in the latter years of the 19th century, probably attending an Easter camp. The image is interesting as it shows a group of older men, all sporting beards and the pill box hats which were typical of this period. Even today part-time soldiers are usually older than their Regular Army counterparts. The NCOs are standing in front of a marquee tent, a style which, with minor modifications, remained in use by Australian Army Reserve units until the 1970s

 Other military records in our collection

  • Additional military photographs from State Records collection can be viewed on Flickr
  • Information about the military, war and related collections at State Records can be found on our specialist research page War and Australia (includes the Sudan, Boer War, World War I and World War II).
  • The blog  A Land Fit For Heroes which is about the  Soldier Settlement Program (1916-1939) may also be of interest.

World War I Service Personnel Records

If you are interested in records about World War I Service Personnel then I can also highly recommend Tim Sheratt’s aggregated search engine which covers:


  • Jenny says:

    Thanks to the comments of Bob Meade on flickr this image has been identified as Sergeants of the 2nd Regiment of the Voluntary Infantry, Easter Encampment at Windsor in April 1884. It is one of 40 images that State Records have grouped together on our flickr account because we believe they are of the NSW Volunteer Infantry at an Easter Encampment at Windsor, in either March 1883 or April 1884. See our Easter 2014 blog
    You can find a link to all forty of the images throught this article. Jenny

    April 29, 2014 at 11:06 am