Bugle presented to 15th Battalion, AIF, by J Josephson, Brisbane, 1914

Accession Number REL27799
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Brass, Copper, Silver
Maker Henry Potter Co, London
Place made Australia, United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made c 1914
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Polished copper and brass bugle manufactured by Henry Potter & Co., London. The decorative brass flange around the mouth of the bugle is engraved on the top 'PRESENTED TO / 15th BATTN 4th INF. BRIGADE A.I.F. / 26-10-14 / BY J. JOSEPHSON BRISBANE'. Engraved on the underside is 'J.S.M.'. The mouthpiece is still silver plated, but most of the plating on the body of the bugle has been polished off. There are remnants of silver plating in the joins and seals.

History / Summary

This bugle was presented to the 15th Battalion, AIF at Brisbane on 14 October 1914 by J Josephson, Tailor. It remained in the possession of the battalion through two world wars and was last played by the 2/15th Battalion Remembrance Club on Anzac Day 1999.

On 20 October 1914, the newly appointed commanding officer of 15th Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel James Harold 'Bull, Cannan, made a public appeal to those areas where the battalion had been recruited (Northern Queensland, Brisbane, Maryborough, the Darling Downs and the Northern Rivers district of NSW) for financial assistance in the formation of a marching band for the unit prior to its departure for overseas service.

His appeal stated that either cash donations or specific instruments would be equally appreciated. A report in the "Clarence and Richmond Examiner" for Tuesday 20 October noted that the Mayor of Brisbane was "opening a fund for this purpose" and that the average cost of equipping a suitable brass band was 350 pounds.

The response to his appeal was rapid and generous. Within three days, Cannan was publically acknowledging the 44 pounds that had already been donated, along with a cornet. Three days later "The Brisbane Courier" reported Mrs Lumley Hill’s donation of a B flat "monster bombardon" which "will be the largest instrument in the band, and also one of the most important, the value being 33 pounds." A Military Social and Dance was held on Saturday 24 October to further the cause. By 3 November, this bugle was one of the many instruments publically acknowledged ("J. Josephson (Brisbane), one silver bugle").

On 13 November an official handover ceremony of the band instruments was held at Enoggera Camp, attended by the battalion’s commander, NCOs, the Queensland Premier, Speaker and members of the Legislative Assemby.

The bugle in its current state shows signs that it was orginally silver plated. Most likely a combination of rough treatment (there are scratches all over the bugle) and years of polishing have removed most of the silver, but remnants remain in the joins and seams, and the mouthpiece still retains most of its plating.