Military on parade

The day Wednesday 12 March 1913 was a day of firsts. It was the first time the official name “Canberra” was heard in public, by the crowds that had gathered at Kurrajong (Capital) Hill. And it was the first time cadets, 60 in all, of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, had paraded outside their grounds.

The occasion was the Laying of the Foundation Stones of the Commencement Column in Australia’s new capital city. It was also the first time the nation’s military forces were at the forefront of celebrations at such a momentous event. Duntroon cadets provided the guard of honour while massed infantry and artillery units from around the country were on hand in full regalia to provide the Royal Salute and take part in the military parade.

A04179 Inspection of the Royal Military College guard of honour by Governor-General Lord Denman. A04179

REL38444.001 Bearskin headdress REL38444.001

Sir Walter Barttelot and Major Quilter, aides-de-camp to Governor-General Lord Denman, both wore bearskin headdresses of this type during Canberra’s Commencement Column ceremony.

REL25972 Slouch hat REL25972

Colonel James Mackay wore this slouch hat while he commanded the military parade during Canberra’s Commencement Column ceremony.