NSW Artillery Officer's crossbelt pouch, c. 1860

Historical note: 

Dating to the period immdiately following the Crimean War (1853-56), this crossbelt pouch is a particularly fine example of its type. Pouches like this one would have been worn by officers inspecting or commanding the guns in the colony of New South Wales at battery locations like Fort Denison and Dawes Point, or on parades of mobile guns in the Domain or Hyde Park.

The NSW Artillery was a relatively small group of units within the colonial defence forces;its officer corps is likely to have numbered only a few dozen.

This pouch consists of a black leather body mounted with 'white metal' strap slings. Its design features three cannons on field carriages, one above the other, all cast from white metal. The field guns are surrounded by a rich wreath of leaves embroidered in silver bullion. The pouch flap is trimmed with silver lace.

The rich decoration indicates that the officer's pattern crossbelt pouch was a ceremonial symbol of rank rather than having the practical application of its notional use, that is, to hold cartridges for an officer's pistol.

Worn at a time when gold was our most important export and Britain was at war with the indigenous peoples of New Zealand (1845-72), objects such as this remind us of the measures taken by the colony in a bid to defend itself as a far-off outpost of the Empire. 

Materials: 
leather, white metal, silver bullion, silver lace
Category: 
Uniforms
Conflict: 
Colonial defence
1788-1901
Location: 
New South Wales
Production Date: 
c. 1860

On this day

On this day
22 October

1916 — HMAS UNA (ex German sloop KOMET) arrived at Malekula Island, New Hebrides, to mount a punitive action against rebellious natives. 40% of UNA’s crew were struck down with malaria

1942 — Battle of GOODENOUGH ISLAND, New Guinea.  This island was occupied by the Sasebo 5th SNLF (Japanese) and securing it was part of the build-up for a major offensive at BUNA

1950 — Battle of YONGJU / The Apple Orchard. This was the first action that Australian troops saw in Korea when they were called to support American troops. Capt Denness won a Military Cross, Lt Butler won a Silver Star and 7 Australians were wounded in the action