Guide to the Papers of Bruce Harding [MSS 174]

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Manuscript Name Papers of Bruce Harding
Manuscript Number MSS 174
Last Updated August 2021
Extent 3 cm (1 folder, 1 box)
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract This collection includes a typescript copy of 'Traditions of Australian infantry', by Bruce Harding, which provides a brief history of the Australian army, 1801 to mid-1955.

Scope and Content

This collection includes a typescript copy of an unpublished work entitled 'Traditions of Australian infantry', by Bruce Harding, compiled in the mid-1950s. The work provides a brief history of all the infantry battalions, their origins, evolutions, traditions and service. Parts of the text reflect somewhat values and sentiments of both the mid-fifties era and earlier, and the author's attitude towards the subject as a former lieutenant in the 2nd A.I.F.

Book 1 is in four sections and includes:
Section one, p. 1-15, deals with volunteers, including compulsory traning; relationship of Citizen Military Forces to regular army; and conscription.

Section two, p. 16-29, deals with the origin and formation of the Australian Imperial Force, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.

Section three, p. 30-44, deals with the post war period in two parts: Part 1. The post-war reorganisation of the A.M.F.; introduction of the Australian regular army; reconstitution of the Citizens' Force; and introduction of National Service training.
Part 2. The Royal Australian Regiment, A.R.A. - origin; service of the battalions in Korea; movement of 2nd Battalion to Malaya; alliances and marching tunes.

Section four, p. 45-66, consists of four parts: Part 1. Battle honours and the colours: what they are; significance; evolution of the colour; heraldic description; courtesy to the colours.
Part 2. Colour patches to identify units; problems encountered with the colour patch system; superceding to flashes.
Part 3 The badge: deals with the origin and evolution of the badge of the Australian Military Forces; and its representation.
Part 4 The hat: deals with the Digger hat.

Book 2 is in one section and includes:
Section five, p. 67-257, deals with the histories of each battalion of the Citizens Military Forces, including the lineage to formation; inherited battle honours of 1914-1918; disbandment; war service during the period 1941-1946; motto; heraldic descriptions of badges in use up to 1941; heraldic description of colour patch; alliances with regiments of the British and other armies; marching tunes; and present status to 1955.

Appendices, include:
Appendix No. 1, p. 258-262: Summary of early military contingents, including the Sudan, 1885; South Africa, 1899-1902; and the contingent to China, 1900.
Appendix No. 2, p. 263-267: List of recipients of the Victoria Cross, by wars in chronological order.

Typescript list of amendments by page number.

Date Range of Content


Administrative Information


The collection is available for research.

Restrictions on Use

No copying is permitted without the permission of the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Papers of Bruce Harding, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, MSS 174, Series [Number], Folder [Number].


The collection was acquired from Bruce Harding's wife Valda Harding in 1988.

Access Terms

Topical Subjects

World War, 1939-1945 -- Regimental histories -- Australia.

World War, 1914-1918 -- Regimental histories -- Australia.

Military decorations -- Australia.

Corporate Names

Australia. Army -- Infantry -- History.

Geographical Names

Australia -- Armed forces -- History.

Container List

Box 1

Folder 1
Typescript copy of 'Traditions of Australian infantry', by Bruce Harding, 267 p. and typescript amendments 2 p., c. 1955