Description: New Guinea Volunteer Rifles – Brass hat badge 1953 – 73.
Maker’s Name: N/A
Condition: Very Good
Comments: New Guinea Volunteer Rifles – Brass hat badge 1953 – 73. Complete with 2 lugs. Also worn as a collar badge.
The New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (NGVR) was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army. It was initially raised as unit of the Militia in New Guinea upon the outbreak of World War II in 1939 and saw active service against the Japanese during the conflict before being disbanded in 1943. Following the war the unit was re-raised in 1951 as part of the part-time Citizens Military Force, and it served in this role until it was disbanded in 1973 shortly before Papua New Guinea’s independence.
After the war the re-raising of NGVR was approved in July 1949, reforming as the Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (PNGVR) on 17 March 1951 as a ‘whites-only’ reserve unit of the Citizens Military Forces (CMF) in the Australian Army.
The unit had evolved into a ‘mixed race’ battalion in the mid-1960s, and by 1969 only one-fifth of PNGVR members were Europeans.
Amid concerns about the ability of the fledgling nation of Papua New Guinea to finance a large military capability on its own, and with a questionable need to maintain a CMF type unit in the army of an independent PNG, the PNGVR was ultimately disbanded in 1973, shortly before independence, leaving the regular Pacific Islands Regiment as the only infantry unit in the new Papua New Guinea Defence Force.