Category: Colonial Military Forces

Categories: Australian Army | Australia, Military History | Colonial Australia 1788-1900

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Until federation in 1901, each of the six colonial governments that are now Australian States was responsible for the defence of their own colony. From 1788 until 1870 this was done with British regular forces. Each of the Australian colonies gained responsible government between 1855 and 1890, and while the colonial office in London retained control of some affairs, the governors of these British colonies were required to raise their own colonial militia and naval forces, exclusively from 1870 onwards. The eastern mainland colonies jointly sponsored and accepted the Jervois-Scratchley Reports and developed their defences about the reports. The separate colonies maintained control over their respective militia forces until 1st March 1901, after which the colonial forces were amalgamated into a single Commonwealth Military Force. Colonial forces, including home raised units, saw action in many of the conflicts of the British Empire during the 19th century, including the Maori Wars of New Zealand, the Sudan conflict, and the Boer War in South Africa.

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