Other ranks belt buckle : Victorian Military Forces
|Title||Other ranks belt buckle : Victorian Military Forces|
|Date made||c 1875|
|Physical description||White metal|
Victorian Military Forces other ranks 'union clasp' belt buckle. The 'tongue' section of the buckle has a raised Queen's crown, while the 'keeper' section has the raised state motto 'AUT PACE AUT BELLO VICTORIA' [In Peace or War Victoria] around its circumference.
The colony of Victoria was established in 1835 with the first home-raised Victorian unit, the Melbourne Rifle Regiment raised in 1854. Further expansion, primarily through private enterprise, resulted in the addition of cavalry, artillery, engineer, torpedo and signal units. This period also saw the Victorian Government pass the Volunteer Act (1863), authorising the raising of voluntary military forces. 1870 saw the creation of Victoria's first permanent artillery corps, which was essentially created to garrison the fortifications throughout the colony following the final departure of British Units garrisoned in Victoria. The Corps never exceeded 300 men in strength. From the 1870s onwards, the Victorian military expanded and further developed at a steady rate. Increased training led to better efficiency and high standards of the men. Increased numbers of professional soldiers were developed alongside a well maintained militia of citizens. In 1884 a new system of paid militia, who served for a fixed term replaced the old system of volunteers. Although the service remained part time, allowing troops to continue civilian employment, a minimum number of days was set. Upon the outbreak of the Boer War in South Africa in 1899, Victoria's contributed 193 officers and 3372 men of other ranks. On 31 December 1900, the day before federation, a survey of the strength of colonial forces found that the Victorian military forces consisted of 394 regular and 301 part-paid or volunteer officers, and 6050 regular, and 6034 part-paid or volunteer men of other ranks. Upon Federation, the units of the Victorian forces all became units of the Australian Army.