Title: Army Unit Souvenir Collection.

Number: Souvenirs 6

Date range of collection: 1914-present.

Scope and content note: Contains souvenir histories, colour patches, nominal rolls, anniversary mementoes, and souvenirs of graduation ceremonies for particular army units.

Provenance: Items in this collection have been collected since 1914 and come from a variety of different sources and donors.

Extent: 1 box (.2 metres), approximately 81 items in 6 folders.

Location: Published & Digitised Collections, Research Centre, Australian War Memorial.

Related collectionsAnzac Day Souvenirs, Books, Greeting Cards, Leaflets, Menus, Photographs, Postcards, Private Records, Official Records, Serials, Troopship Serials.


Administrative information

Processing history: Collection re-housed and re-numbered in 2004. References to the previous numbering system appear in each entry of this guide.

Access: Open.

Copyright: Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections.

Preferred citation: Army Unit Souvenir Collection, Australian War Memorial, Souvenirs 6.


  • Colour patches
  • Souvenirs
  • Unit flags and colours
  • Unit histories
  • Unit rolls


Historical background

Army Unit Souvenirs

Souvenirs held in this collection include souvenir histories, booklets, colour patches, nominal rolls, anniversary mementoes, and souvenirs of graduation ceremonies for particular army units. They provide the history of an individual unit (battalion, regiment, squadron, ship) during a specific war, or sometimes throughout its existence. Frequently they contain information related to the unit, such as nominal rolls, rolls of honour, or lists of honours and awards.

Color patches

This collection contains a number of printed reproductions of various unit colour patches, which were used between 1915 and 1921 by Australian forces raised specifically for overseas war service. A colour patch is a piece of cloth material which, through its colour and shape, was a simple but secure means of identifying the wearer's unit or arm of service and the formation to which it belonged. Combinations of colours and their arrangements indicated the function of a unit (e.g. headquarters, artillery, signals, infantry, engineers, medical). The shape of the colour patch indicated the level of a formation to which a unit belonged (e.g. division, corps, army). Commencing with the reorganised Citizen Forces in 1929, colour patches were used by all Australian Military Forces at home and abroad until 1949, when they were replaced with a system of embroidered regimental and corps titles, and formation signs.


Chinn, David , Colour patches of the Australian Army : valued more than any other decoration (Wartime : official magazine of the Australian War Memorial.: 2000,11, Spring).

Glyde, Keith , Distinguishing colour patches of the Australian Military Forces 1915-1951 : a reference guide (Claremont, Tas. : K. Glyde, 1999).


Series List:

Series number Title of Series and Date
1 Army units, 1800-1913
2 Army units, 1914-1918
3 Army units, 1919-1938
4 Army units, 1939-1945
5 Army units, 1946 - present

SERIES 1: Army units, 1800-1913

There are currently no items in this series.

SERIES 2: Army units, 1914-1918

Description: The series includes short souvenir histories, colour patches, nominal rolls, and anniversary mementoes.

Subseries 1 : Army Units -- Australian

File Contents
2/1/1 Colour patches of the Australian forces, 1914-1918 [4 copies].
Australian Imperial Colour patches with honours won during the war 1914-1919.
South Australian Battle Colours, 1916.
Autographs of A Sub-Section 6 (Army) Brigade Artillery Corps, 10 January 1919, Belgium.
Brief history of 1 Divisional Signal Company, 1 Australian Imperial Force, 1914-1918.
Hand written diagram showing lines of command in 1 Division.
Names and positions of transport ships of the first convoy, with "Karroo" (A10) highlighted (transport of 1 Divisional Signals to Europe).
1 packet each of Battalion colours [gummed circlets for affixing to letters] for 1 Division Engineers and 17 Battalion.
13 Battalion 3rd anniversary of sailing from Port Melbourne souvenir, 23 December 1917.
Photograph of a letter on a piece of aluminium written by an Australian in the 5 Brigade and its story.
Short history of 28 Battalion and its predecessors.
Illustration of flag presented to 29 Battalion in 1918.
Memento of C Company, 31 Battalion. Contains nominal rolls.
Illustrated souvenir of 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford.
4 Field ambulance souvenir contains lists of casualties, rewards and honours [2 copies].
14 Field Ambulance illustrated and autographed souvenir.
6 Australian Field Ambulance Anniversary memento of departure.
Record of service of 6 Australian Field Ambulance [2 copies].
Photograph of 4 Command Depot, Wareham.
Souvenir of German New Guinea, Bismark Archipelago, Admiralty Is., Solomon Is., Nauru, 1914-15 [2 copies].
Souvenir colour patch, No. 1 Hospital Ship.
Souvenir and nominal roll, G Company, First Australian Naval and Military Expedition to German New Guinea.
4th Australian Divisional Artillery memento card, 1919 [11 copies, 3 mounted on card].
Drawing of a Machine Gun Battlion in Mass.
Card to "Admit Bearer to 'Finalizing' Depot" [3 copies].
(Old number: 1/3/1)
Souvenir menu, First Battalion AIF Association Reunion SMoko, 20/10/1928 (40 items)

Subseries 2 : Army Units -- Other Countries

File Contents
2/2/1 Souvenir Regimental colour plates: Welsh Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Grenadier Guards, Middlesex Regiment, Irish Guards, Northumberland Fusiliers, Royal Berkshire Regiment, Prince Albert's Somerset Light Infantry, Suffolk Regiment, Lincolnshire Regiment, King's Hussars, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Worcestershire Regiment, Essex Regiment, Seaforth Highlanders [16 magazine clippings].
(Old number: 1/3/1) (16 items)

SERIES 3: Army units, 1919-1938

Description: The series includes unit magazines, and mess rules.

Subseries 1 : Army Units -- Australian

File Contents
3/1/1 O.A.S. - the Third Battalion Magazine, July 1, 1921. [vol. 1, no. 1].
Mess Rules of the 6th Battalion (The Royal Melbourne Regiment) Sergeants Mess, 1938.
(Old number: 1/3/2) (2 items)

SERIES 4: Army units, 1939-1945

Description: The series includes souvenir programmes, short unit histories, unit information booklets, honour rolls, and Christmas souvenirs.

Subseries 1 : Army Units -- Australian

File Contents
4/1/1 "Our days', booklet compiled by Signals LHQ, 1944.
A tribute to the 5 Australian General Hospital.
Programme for "Cavalcade of Women's Service and Camp-Fire Capers", Women's Auxiliary National Service (W.A.N.S.), February 1944.
14/32nd Australian Infantry Battalion AIF honour roll, 1940-1945.
2/1 Australia Corps Field Service Company AIF Christmas souvenir, 1941 [4 copies].
(Old number: 1/3/3) (8 items)

Subseries 2 : Army Units -- Other Countries

File Contents
4/2/1 43 Reggimento Artiglieria Divisione Fanteria "SIRTE" (Italian 43 Regiment Artillery Division Infantry) information booklet, 1940.
(Old number: 1/3/3) (1 item)

SERIES 5: Army units, 1946 - present

Description: The series includes invitations to annual reunions, brief unit histories, performance souvenirs, song sheets, and graduation ceremony programmes.

Subseries 1 : Army Units -- Australian

File Contents
5/1/1 34 Battalion AIF Association invitation to a reunion, 1957.
34 Battalion AIF Association song sheet "Songs We Remember", 1957.
Souvenir of inaugural performance of March of the 2 Division, 26 July 1984.
Unofficial decal of 105 Battery First Field Regiment (RAR).
The story of the 2/3 Anti-Tank Regiment RAA AIF, July 1975.
RMC Duntroon Graduation ceremony souvenir programme, 12 December 1962.
RMC Duntroon Graduation ceremony souvenir programme, 12 December 1978.
RMC Duntroon Graduation ceremony souvenir programme, 11 December 1979.
RMC Duntroon Graduation ceremony souvenir programme, 14 December 1982.
ADFA Inaugural Graduation Church Parade souvenir programme, 10 December 1986.
University College, ADFA, Conferring Degrees souvenir programme, 11 December 1986.
ADFA Inaugural Graduation and Opening Ceremony souvenir programme, 11 December 1986.
(Old number: 1/3/4) (12 items)

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