The oldest photograph in the collection
Exhibitions, Focus: photography and war 1945–2006
Thomas Wingate's (1807-69) photograph of the 1st Regiment of the NSW Rifle Volunteers standing in order is among the earliest Australian photographs to document the military activities of colonial citizens. It records an important moment for one of the colony's first volunteer regiments. On 18 May 1861, the wife of the NSW Governor presented the corps with its regimental and camp colours in the Domain. One week later, the day this photograph was taken, the regiment held a review in the Domain to celebrate the Queen's birthday; this photograph was taken at the Victoria Barracks, before the regiment's journey to the Domain. The day marked the public debut of the regiment's new colours and flag, and was probably the occasion that prompted Wingate, who had recently relinquished his command of the corps, to take a photograph.