Description: Colour Patch – 54th Battalion (Lachlan-Macquarie Regiment)
Condition: Very Good/Near Mint
Comments: Colour Patch – 54th Battalion (Lachlan-Macquarie Regiment).
The battalion was reformed in 1921 as a unit of the Citizens Forces, Australia’s part-time military force, following a re-organisation of the Army to perpetuate the numerical designations of the AIF. Based in New South Wales, it drew personnel from the 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry Regiment and the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment. In 1927, when territorial titles were adopted by the Army, the battalion became known as the “Lachlan-Macquarie Regiment”, after Lachlan Macquarie, a former governor of New South Wales. Upon formation, the Citizen Forces battalions were maintained through a mixture of voluntary and compulsory service; however, in 1929, the Universal Training Scheme was abolished by the Scullin Labor government. As a result in a decline in numbers, on 1 July 1929, the battalion was amalgamated with the 20th Battalion, forming the 20th/54th Battalion, as Australia’s part-time military force was re-organised as an all volunteer force called the “Militia”. Later, as the Australian military was hastily expanded on the eve of World War II, the 20th/54th Battalion was delinked and the 54th Battalion raised in its own right. This occurred on 1 September 1939.
During World War II, the battalion was mobilised for full-time service as part of the 5th Brigade of the 2nd Division. Initially, due to the provisions of the Defence Act, it was precluded from being sent overseas to fight, but in 1943 it was gazetted as an AIF unit. This meant that it could be sent outside the South West Pacific Area; regardless, the battalion remained in Australia and undertook garrison duties in New South Wales and Western Australia to defend against a possible invasion. The invasion never came and, on 9 January 1944, the battalion was disbanded, as part of a partial demobilisation of the Australian military that took place at that time as manpower was redirected back towards industry.