St George battalion colours find a new home at the Australian War Memorial

Honouring the fallen: Nick Fletcher, Brian Borland, John Thomas, Colonel Vin Halloran, Bob Mowle, Don Nelson and Will Davies. Picture: John Veage

Honouring the fallen: Nick Fletcher, Brian Borland, John Thomas, Colonel Vin Halloran, Bob Mowle, Don Nelson and Will Davies. Picture: John Veage

For years the colours of the 45th battalion have hung proudly in St Paul’s Anglican Church in Kogarah.

But they will soon find a new home at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

The colours are made up of a King's banner and a regimental banner with the battle honours.

They are one of a few, if not the only, set of original, unaltered colours of an infantry battalion in Australia.

45th Battalion Association President John Thomas said there was mixed emotions in moving the colours.

‘’We were concerned that over time that they could be lost inappropriately,’’ he said.

‘’The general view of the members is that they are going to a better place.’’

The colours are expected to be moved within the next month and a plaque will be installed to mark its spot.

The battalion has a long history since being formed in March 1916. Within four months it was on the front line at Fleurbaix.

In WWI the 45th had thousands of casualties but were honured with more than a hundred military medals.

It was disbanded after the war and in 1921 was re-raised as a part-time unit of the citizens force that was renamed the St George Regiment in 1927.

On the outbreak of WWII the unit was called to guard vulnerable points at La Perouse and was responsible for the defence of the Cronulla area.

The unit was eventually disbanded in 1960 and its colours left for safe keeping in St Paul’s.

The association has around 70 members with many flying to Sydney on Wednesday to celebrate the forming of the battalion and the moving of the colours.

Mr Thomas joined the association after research of his family history revealed his great uncle had fought and did with the battalion.

‘’The battalion was an integral part of the community,’’ he said.

‘’They have had a long history that should be remembered.

For more information on the association email the45thassociation@hotmail.com.

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