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Army ANNIVERSARY LIFTOUT March 3, 2011
My parents served with the Navy, and my brother joined the Army
in 1997. I always thought I would join at some point.
CPL JUSTIN HAMILTON, 1CSR
SOME of Army's priceless history is stored
in a little-known location not far from
Army Headquarters and the Australian War
Memorial in Canberra.
A vault at the headquarters of the Army
History Unit (AHU) at Campbell Park con-
tains the original artworks of all Army's corps
badges, guidons, banners and colours.
AHU senior historian Bill Houston said
they were the approved master copies from
which the official fabric versions were cre-
"Some of them date back to the 1950s and
most of them were personally approved and
signed off by Queen Elizabeth," Mr Houston
"The collection was originally held by
SO1 Ceremonial before Army Headquarters
moved to Russell Building 1.
"We took over their custodianship in
our vault in 1998 due to shortage of appro-
priate storage space in the new Army
The artworks are contained in albums,
stored in locked wooden boxes and filing
cabinets. Each drawing is accompanied by
a specification sheet outlining the correct
dimensions and colours for its official produc-
tion. This would assist with the future repro-
duction of a replacement regimental colour,
guidon or banner.
"Visitors are escorted because they are rare
artworks, but also because of the signature of
the approving authority, which in many cases
is Her Majesty," Mr Houston said.
"I know of cases in the UK at the British
Public Records Office where people had used
razor blades to cut out an original signature
for sale on the autograph black market."
Mr Houston said the preservation of the
collection was important to maintaining
Army's 110-year heritage.
"It's a solid part of Army's history as it
explains how a design should be and why
it exists, as it was approved by Queen
Elizabeth," he said.
The original artworks for all Army
colours are closely guarded treasures
SGT ANDREW HETHERINGTON
APPROVED: AHU's senior historian, Bill Houston, looks at the artwork for 3 Cav Regt's Guidon.
Queen Elizabeth's signature can be seen at the top right of the page.
PHOTO BY SGT ANDREW HETHERINGTON
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