Description: 59th Battalion (The Hume Regiment) – Oxidised Hat Badge – 1940 to 1942

Maker’s Name: N/A

Condition: Very Good

Comments: 59th Battalion (The Hume Regiment) – Oxidised Hat Badge – 1940 to 1942. Complete with 2 lugs.

Guaranteed to be 100% genuine. Now scarce and highly desirable. Oxidised badges were only worn between 1940 and 1942.

The 59th Battalion was originally raised as a unit of the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in Egypt on 21 February 1916 for service in World War I as part of an expansion of the AIF that took place following the end of the Gallipoli campaign. The battalion was formed through the joining of half of the members of the 7th Battalion with fresh recruits raised in Australia from rural Victoria. Together with the 57th, 58th and 60th Battalions, the 59th formed part of the 15th Brigade, attached to the 5th Australian Division.

Arriving in France on 23 June, the battalion experienced its first taste of fighting on the Western Front in July when it was involved in the Battle of Fromelles, suffering heavy casualties to machine gun fire. The battalion was allocated defensive duties for the next 10 months before participating in the Polygon Wood on 26 September 1917. In reserve during the Villers-Bretonneux on 25 April 1918, the battalion next participated in the fighting at Amiens on 8 August, the Battle of Mont St Quentin and Péronne on 31 August and lastly during the Battle of St. Quentin Canal on 29 September. Placed into reserve again for rest and reinforcement, the war ended before the battalion saw further action, and it was disbanded on 24 March 1919.

The battalion was raised again as the “59th Battalion (The Coburg-Brunswick Regiment)” as part of the Citizens Force in 1921. At this time it was assigned to the 15th Brigade again, which was then under the command of the 3rd Division. Due to the lack of numbers and funding following the Great Depression and the suspension of the compulsory training scheme, the battalion’s authorised strength was greatly reduced during the interwar years and it suffered from a lack of recruits and training opportunities during this time.

In 1939, the battalion underwent a name change, adopting the territorial title of the “Hume Regiment”, when its recruitment territory was re-adjusted with the 59th Battalion. From 1938 to 1940 the 59th Battalion (Hume Regiment) came under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Purnell Hill, MM, ED. In 1940, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Whalley, VD, took over the role of commander, filling the post until 1942. On 27 August 1942, as a result of a governmental decision to reduce the size of the Militia and return some of its personnel to civilian industry, the 59th Battalion amlgamated with the 58th Battalion becoming the 58th/59th Battalion. The 58/59th Battalion would go on to see action in World War II in the South-west Pacific in 1943–45. It was disbanded on 23 February 1946.