Description: The Royal Australian Regiment – Brass Hat Badge 1948 – 53
Maker’s Name: Swann & Hudson, Frankston
Condition: Very Good
Comments: The Royal Australian Regiment – Brass Hat Badge 1948 – 53.
The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) is the parent regiment for regular infantry battalions of the Australian Army and is the senior infantry regiment of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. It was originally formed in 1948 as a three battalion regiment, however, since then its size has fluctuated as battalions have been raised, amalgamated or disbanded in accordance with the Australian government’s strategic requirements. Currently the regiment consists of seven battalions which fulfill various roles including those of light, parachute, motorised and mechanised infantry. During the course of its existence, the regiment has deployed on operations to a number of countries including Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, Somalia, Rwanda, Cambodia, East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The origins of the Royal Australian Regiment (or RAR) lies in the decision made by the Australian Government to raise a force for occupation duties in Japan at the end of the Second World War. The 34th Australian Infantry Brigade was raised in October 1945 from Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) personnel then serving in the South West Pacific area, with the three battalions of the brigade designated as the 65th, 66th and 67th Australian Infantry Battalions of the AIF. The 65th Battalion was formed from volunteers from the 7th Australian Division and the 2/40th Battalion. The 66th Battalion received volunteers from the 9th Australian Division and 1st Australian Corps troops. The 67th Battalion was formed from the 3rd, 6th, and 11th Australian Divisions. After concentrating on the island of Morotai, the 34th Brigade moved to Japan and joined the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in February 1946.
This brigade became the basis of the post-war regular army in 1947, and when the decision was taken in 1948 to withdraw two of the battalions to Australia attention turned to the status and designation of these regular infantry battalions. Brigadier Hopkins, commander of the brigade, was concerned that despite the unit prestige and regimental spirit developed since October 1945, it would be undesirable to have the regular units the highest numbered, without battle honours or colours, and with precedence after militia units. Consideration was given as to whether the battalions might be designated as separate regiments. For example, the 65th Battalion might have become 1st Battalion, City of Sydney’s Own Regiment under one proposal or 1st Battalion, King George VI’s Australian Rifle Regiment under another proposal. Instead the decision was taken to number the units sequentially as part of one large regiment and so on 23 November 1948 the 65th, 66th and 67th Battalions became the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Australian Regiment. An application was made for a royal title, which was granted on 10 March 1949. The Royal Australian Regiment thus came into being as Australia’s first regiment of regular infantry.