Victorian Volunteer Service button : Sergeant Major J J Heath, Ballarat Volunteer Regiment

Place Oceania: Australia, Victoria, Ballarat
Accession Number REL31179
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Button
Physical description Brass, White metal
Maker G & W Almond
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made c 1875
Conflict Australian Colonial Forces, 1854-1900

Victorian Volunteer Service white metal button. The button features an imperial crown surrounded by two semi-circular scrolls, the top scroll bearing the word 'VICTORIA' and the bottom the motto 'AUT PACE AUT BELLO'. A laurel wreath forms a border around the edge of the button. The button has a brass backing, stamped with the manufacturer's details, containing a small loop for attachment to the uniform.

History / Summary

Worn by 2829 Sergeant James John Heath who served in the 55th Regiment of Foot during the Crimean war. Heath was born in Staffordshire in 1819 and worked as a labourer until his enlistment in the British Army on 22 April 1837. He participated in the Battle of Inkermann and the siege of Sevastopol during his service in the Crimean War of 1854-1856. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant during this time for good conduct and affection for duty. He was discharged from full time service after the war and was employed in the service of the Victoria London Docks Company for nearly three years, during which time he acted as a Drill Sergeant in 2 Battalion of 5th Essex Rifle Volunteers. He subsequently emigrated to Australia and became Sergeant Major of the Ballarat Volunteer Regiment, a position he had held for over twenty years at the time of his death in 1885. He wore this button during this period.