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Riflefire Aug 08

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					Volume 11 Issue 1 1st August 2008            PO Box 752 Ringwood 3134 Vic. Australia


   Newsletter of the Victorian Colonial Infantry Association Inc




                     Incorporating   Mt Alexander Rifles
                                         1
                                                                                          RIFLEFIRE




  President:           Geoff Gleadall
                      Ph. (03)9563-8869
                E-mail: geoffgleadall@msn.com.au                       Next Meeting

                                                                            TBA

  Secretary:
  Public Officer:    Tom Corfmat
  Editor:            Ph. (03)9879-9303
              E-mail: vcia@iimetro.com.au

  Treasurer: Ian Douglas                                            Website Address:
             Ph. (03) 9729-1508
        E-mail: idouglas@melbpc.org.au                              http://
                                                                    home.vicnet.net.au/
  All Membership enquires, and, All contributions to the
  Newsletter to be sent to:
  The Secretary
  Victorian Colonial Infantry Association Inc.
  P.O. Box 752 Ringwood 3134 Vic. Australia




AIMS & OBJECTIVES


1. To research the history of the Victorian Colonial Infantry Regiments
with particular reference to the Volunteer Rifles in the period 1865 -
1895, and particularly the Mt Alexander Rifles Regiment.

2. To establish & maintain a living history group to recreate the Mt
Alexander Rifles in the 1865 - 1895 period.

3. To research and preserve the skills and attributes of the 19th Century
Rifleman.

4. To provide a resource to other historical organisations and the Com-
munity at large.



  Cover Picture: Victorian Long Service & Good Conduct Medal,
  Awarded to John Bowes of the Maldon Det. 2nd Castlemaine Ri-
  fles—1883. Recently sold at auction for $2,186.00




                                               2
                                                                                RIFLEFIRE




             THE EDITORIAL
             The AGM was held on 20th July 2008. All committee members were re-
             turned unopposed, although it would be good to see a few new hands go
             up for the positions.

             Membership fees will remain the same and are now due.
                  We would also like to welcome Marcus White who will occupy
                  the Officer position, and John Dunstan who will take on Media
I got a gun for   Liaison.
my wife, best
 trade I ever       August is a busy month, Dates for your diary are:
    made.           16/17th August—Cape Otway
                    30th August—Bendigo 150th Celebrations
                    3/5th October—Tamminick 2008

             Other events that we are not taking part in but are noteworthy
             9th August—8/7 RVR Freedom of the City and opening of the museum
             at Ballarat
             9th August—Dedication of the Lone Pine tree at the Light Horse mu-
             seum at Nar Nar Goon
             9/10th August—Melbourne Gun Show at the Showgrounds

             We seem to have been noticed by the current crop of MPs, So far both
             the Federal and State members have sent information on Government
             grants. Unfortunately the amount of paperwork and the criteria for get-
             ting money from them is quite daunting, so if anyone has some experi-
             ence in this field or would like to help the Secretary wade through them,
             your assistance would be appreciated.

             We have received notification of Tamminick from NEML, see page 9.
             would all members wishing to attend the dinner let the Secretary know
             by Friday 29th August so we can send a payment.

             Tom Corfmat
             Secretary
             Victorian Colonial Infantry Association Inc.




                                   3
                                                                                                 RIFLEFIRE


.


.PRESENTATION OF THE COLOURS AND BUGLE TO THE EMER-
ALD HILL RIFLES
This interesting ceremony took place on Saturday afternoon, at the va-
cant ground opposite the Roman Catholic Orphanage, Emerald Hill, in
the .presence of a large number of the inhabitants of the locality and a
considerable number of visitors. The ladies of Emerald Hill, by
whom the colours had been worked, had displayed great taste; the
one was of course the Union Jack and the other the distinguishing The Gene pool could
banner of the company It was made of green silk with a white             use a little chlorine
centre, on the top being inscribed the words “Emerald Hill Ri-
fles”, and on the base, “Pro patria mori.” In the centre, worked in
green and silver threads, was the crown surmounted by a lion, the
emblems of loyalty and courage; and underneath were muskets,
swords, and flags. About half three o’clock, the time appointed
for the ceremony about fifty or sixty members of the Emerald Hill
Rifles were on the ground, under the command of Captain Krone. They
were soon afterwards joined by a similar number of the Emerald Hill Ar-
tillery, under the command of Captain Anderson, who had come to cele-
brate the occasion. Amongst those present en the ground were Colonel
Pitt, Captain Pitt, Captain Hall, Captain Champ of the Pentridge Rifles,
and Captain Mair of the Brighton Rifles, Captain Radcliffe of the Carl-
ton Rifles, and Major Stewart of the Yeomanry Cavalry. At the appointed
time a square was formed, and Mrs. Leitch, who had been deputed to
present the colours to the company assisted by Miss Willis and Miss
Withers, summoned Captain Krone and the officers of his company, and
addressed them as follows:— Captain Krone and Gentlemen of the Em-
erald Hill Rifle Corps,
—In the name of the ladies of this district, we meet you today for a pur-
pose which affords us the utmost gratification. Since your enrolment as
volunteers we have watched with feelings of pride and admiration the no-
ble self denial and nurturing zeal displayed by you in the patriotic move-
ment for the defence of our country’ and the honour of our Queen. Such
devotion in a cause so sacred is no more than we expected from you; and
we feel assured that, should danger ever threaten our homes. you will
promptly be found at the post of duty. As a token of our appreciation of
the manner in which you have responded to the call of your country, we
present you with this bugle and these colours. May your future career be
in accordance with the motto I inscribed upon them—’ Never unpre-
pared.” Captain Krone replied as follows;— Mrs. Leitch and Ladies of
Emerald Hill,— I return you the sincere thanks of the Emerald Hill Rifle
Corps for the magnificent colours and the very handsome bugle you have
just presented them with. The company has now been in existence two
years, and I am proud to say this; the members of it were some of the
first to come forward and enlist themselves for the defence of the colony
after the Government proclamation was issued. Should it ever be our for-
tune to be called into active service, I feel assured that the volunteers
would acquit themselves honourably, and, if need be, would shed their
last drop of blood in defence of their Queen and country.” The presenta-

                                                   4
tion being concluded, and three cheers being given for the Queen and the ladies of Emerald Hill,
the men were marched off the ground with the colours flying, accompanied be the local volunteer
bands, who played some lively airs. The greater proportion of the members of the company, and
several of the visitors, adjourned to a marquee where refreshments had been provided, and the
usual toasts met with due honour.


Source: Bells Sporting Life in Victoria; 31 August 1861
Editors Note: The Emerald Hill Rifles disappeared in 1863, it is assumed the members were ab-
sorbed into the Emerald Hill Artillery Corps. The fate of the Colours and Bugle remains unknown.




     The above article appeared in Bells Life on 27 Sep 1862. It was published in the section
     with all the news of what was happening with the Volunteers, One can only guess at the
     reason.




            The above was published on 14 June 1862, which shows that the Cadets
            were around 22 years before officially established in 1884.


                                                  5
RECENT HAPPENINGS

Over the past few months we have had a few events that have gone off well.

19th April—We attended an 90th Anniversary dinner at Melbourne Town Hall organised by the Hel-
lenic Sub Branch of the RSL. This was in commemoration of the Hellenes to the Australian war effort
in WW1. A bit out of our time frame but a good time was had by all.

Anniversary Dinner—June 30 at the Williamstown RSL. This was the 150th Anniversary of the
founding of the Mount Alexander Rifles. Originally it was going to be a more lavish event in conjunc-
tion with the Melbourne University Regiment, but operational pressures decreed that was not to be.
Major General Greg Garde, AO, RFD QC was the guest of Honour and gave a speech on the early his-
tory of Mount Alexander Battalion. A total of 28 people enjoyed a wonderful 2 course meal.

Victoria Day—Tuesday July 1st, 10am saw us at the Melbourne Town Hall along with members of
the 40th.
The usual crowd of dignitaries were there along with a contingent from the press. I believe that we did
get a brief appearance on a couple of the News bulletins, but they were mainly concerned with the
Victorian Of The Year, Bert Newton, his wife Patty and their new Granddaughter. Ken Morgan was
also there to receive an award and commented to us as he went in the we “scared the s..t out him when
we fired the volley”. Afterwards it was morning tea with the Governor and assorted guests.

Range Day—Sunday July 13th saw us at the Eagle Park Range at Little River. There has been consid-
erable improvement at the range since we held an encampment there a few years ago, a lot of trees
have been planted where we used to camp. Once our numbers improve we might try to again held a
mid year encampment. The day went off well, with very low scores being achieved by almost all. We
really do need more practice and better quality control on our ammunition. Apart from a few modern
rifles that we tested. The rifles used were .577 Snider, .577/450 Martini Henry and .303 Martini Henry
Carbine.

AGM 2008—Sunday 20th July. As mentioned earlier the Committee was returned unopposed and fees
remain the same, $30 single and $45 family.
We have a quote for the making of uniforms, $200 each, this covers Jacket, trousers & cap with but-
tons. We do need to put a minimum order in so let us know ASAP if you are interested. Along that
line we need to get sponsors who would be willing to fund the purchase of uniforms. If anyone has
any ideas or leads let the Secretary know.
The treasures report shows that we are in the black, but not enough to fund the purchase.

Geoff presented the group with some surplus equipment from the Cadet Unit at Brighton Grammar,
this consisted of a couple of period spades, a mattock and axe, along with 2 large boxes of gaiters
from various periods. The Gaiters can be modified for our use, it will take a bit of work to sort through
them and do the modifications. Anyone interested?

NEW BOOKs
  We have seen a few new books come into the market recently that could be of interest.
To Occupy A Fools Paradise—David Spethman
Mainly to do with Naval History of Australia, but has a lot of interesting stuff about the early defences
of the colonies.
The Garrison Guns Of Australia—David Spethman
For all of you that like your guns big, Detailed descriptions of the various artillery pieces that have
been used to defend Australia
.


                                                   6
A Most Unusual Regiment—MJ Ryan
I haven't had a look at this yet, unfortunately I didn't meet the author until after the book was pub-
lished, so he didn't benefit from our collection of references.
 A history of the Ballarat Regiment 8/7 RVR is due to be launched at the museum opening on 9th
August

                          Melbourne University Regiment approaches the centenary of its foundation as
                          part of an Army changed beyond recognition in the past hundred years.

                          Despite reorganisations, resource shortages and vagaries of policy, it has con-
                          tinued its production of leaders for all three services and the civil community
                          with success, professionalism and a unique flair.

                          The Regiment has never fought as a formed unit and its colours show no battle
                          honours, although MUR graduates and present members have served and fre-
                          quently distinguished themselves in every major commitment of Australia's
                          armed forces since Federation.

                          Past members include two Governors-General, two Prime Ministers and a
                          Leader of the Opposition, three State Premiers, five Governors and a Lieuten-
                          ant Governor of Victoria, two full generals and five Major- or Lieutenant Gener-
                          als (including three Chiefs of Reserves) and over ten thousand officers for the
                          services.

                          The Regiment has consistently played its part in the national defence and in
                          shaping the attitudes of its community to the frequently-vexed question of par-
                          ticipation in the process




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