Historical information

Field Marshal Viscount Kitchener of Great Britain was invited by Prime Minister Deakin in 1909 to visit Australia and advise on the best way to provide Australia with a land defence. Kitchener’s report echoed the bill, introduced to Parliament in 1909 and supported by the Opposition Labor Party at its 1908 conference, to introduce compulsory military training in peace time (referred to as universal training). On 1 January 1911, the Commonwealth Defence Act 1911 (Cth) was passed as law and all males aged 12 to 26 were required to receive military training. Men were divided according to age, with junior cadets comprising boys 12-14 years of age, senior cadets comprising boys 14-18, and young men aged 18-26 assigned to the home militia defence.

The support of schools was vital to the success of the scheme, since the system of cadet training began in the primary schools, with physical training prescribed by military authorities. Junior cadet training was entirely in the hands of school teachers, who had first been trained by military officers. This early training was less military in nature than focused on physical drill and sport. It also acted to inculcate boys with the notions of loyalty to country and empire. At this age, uniforms were not worn, although there were schools with pre-existing uniformed cadet units, who continued to do so.

Senior Cadets were organised by Training Areas, administered by Area Officers. If a school had at least 60 senior cadets, they could form their own units. Unlike their junior counterparts, Senior Cadets were issued uniforms, a rifle, and learned the foundations necessary for service in any arm of the defence forces.

Boys and men could be exempted from compulsory training if they lived more than five miles from the nearest training site, or were passed medically unfit. Those who failed to register for training were punished with fines or jail sentences, and the severity of this punishment generated some of the strongest opposition to the scheme. While institutions such as the political parties and most churches generally supported universal training, some in the broader labour movement were less enthusiastic, as evidenced in the Daily Herald newspaper’s editorials and letters.

Universal military training persisted after the conclusion of World War 1, with the Junior Cadet scheme the first to go, in 1922. Senior cadets and service with the militia was suspended in November 1929. (http://guides.slsa.sa.gov.au/content.php?pid=575383&sid=4788359, accessed 29/10/2015)


According to Neil Leckie, Manager of the Ballarat Ranger Military Museum:
* Originally 12 – 14 year olds went to Junior Cadets attached to their school.
* From age 14 – 17 they were Senior Cadets attached to the local militia unit.
* After 1 July of the year a Cadet turned 18, the Cadet left the Senior Cadets and became a member of the Citizen Military Force.
* In October 1918 the AIF, Militia and Cadets were renamed to give some connection to the AIF battalion raised in the area.

Ballarat saw:
8th Australian Infantry Regiment comprising:
* 8th Battalion AIF renamed 1st Battalion 8th Australian Infantry Regiment
* 70th Infantry Militia renamed 2nd Battalion 8th Australian Infantry Regiment
* 70th Infantry Cadets renamed 3rd B, 8th Australian Infantry.

39th Australian Infantry Regiment comprising:
* 39th Battalion AIF renamed 1st Battalion 39th Australian Regiment
* 71st Infantry Militia renamed 2nd Bn, 39th Australian Infantry Regiment
* 71st Infantry Cadets renamed 3rd Bn, 39th Australian Infantry Regiment

Prior to the reorganisation in 1918 the 18th Brigade was the 70th, 71st and 73rd Infantry. It is thought that the 18th Brigade Cadet units in 1920 were those that came from the old:
* 69th Infantry (Geelong/Queenscliff)
* 70th Infantry (Ballarat/Colac)
* 71st Infantry (Ballarat West)
* 72nd Infantry Warrnambool)
* 73rd Infantry (NW Vic)

The next name change came in 1921!

Physical description

Mounted sepia photograph of 21 young males. They are the Ballarat School of Mines Cadets on a training camp at Lake Learmonth.

Back row left to right: Harold Wakeling; ? ; T. Wasley; H. Witter; H.V. Maddison (staff); Lieutenant S.J. Proctor, Joe ? ; ? ; B.C. Burrows.
Centre left to right: Howard Beanland; ? ; F.N. Gibbs; H. Siemering; P. Riley; ? : E. Adamthwaite.
Front row left to right: Albert E. Williams; Francis Davis (RAAF Dec.); A. Miller; W. Shattock; T. Rees

From the Ballarat School of Mines Magazine, 1916
"Our Competition Team, 1916
At a parade, held on the 25th August competition teams were called from from the three colleges - Ballarat College, St Patrick's College, and the School of Mines. In each case, a large muster was obtained, twenty-nine volunteering fro the School of Mines. On account of the number in a team being limited to 21, some had to be weeded out.
The team decided to have a camp at Learmonth in the vacation for the benefit of training for the coming competitions.
The tents, within our baggage, were brought to the Junior Technical School at 10 a.m. on Monday, 11 September. Everything was carted to the station on a lorry, which was very kindly lent by Mr C. Burrow. ...
Arriving at our camp, which was in the Park, we first raised the tents. This was done in record time. Three large tents, A.B.C., were pitched one behind the other. We also pitched a smaller one to act as a provisions tent. The provisions supplied by each cadet were placed in this tent. Dinner was ready by 3.30, and was prepared by the three senior non-coms., who also acted as orderlies.
Things went alright Monday night, the two senior non-coms. acting as sentries for the first two hours.
On Tuesday morning Reville sounded at 7. There was no need for it, however, as nearly all the cadets were up before daylight, owing to their beds being too hard. After physical exercises were gone through we had breakfast.
We then had rifle exercises until Messrs A.W. Steane and F.N. King arrived. The former put the team through the table of physical exercises set down for competition work, many valuable points being obtained.
The visitors remained for dinner, afterwards returning to Ballarat.
Wednesday was uneventful, until the soldiers arrived at about 11 a.m., stopping at the park for lunch. As we handed over the coppers, etc., to them, our lunch was delayed. Two more visitors arrived after lunch, and after taking a few photos returned home.
That night we had a "Sing-a-long" in C Tent until "Lights out" sounded at 9.30.
After physical exercises ad breakfast on Thursday, we went for a six mile route march round the lake, doing skirmishing on the way. In the afternoon we practised rifle exercises and the march past.
A concert was arranged for that night, the chief singers being cadets H. Siemering and W. Shattock. Supper was served at the end of the entertainment.
On Friday, Reveille sounded at 6.30 instead of 7, and, as usual, we had physical exercises before breakfast, after which the team went through skirmishing at the reserve. In the afternoon, section drill and the march past were practised.
Friday night, being our last night in camp, leave was granted until 10 p.m., "lights out" sounding at 11.
Reveille sounded on Saturday at 4.30, the reason being that all kits, tents, etc., had to be packed away ready to catch the 8.15 train to Balalrat. At 7.30 we were all ready to leave for the station.
We had a very enjoyable time in the train, each cadet having a chip in at the patriotic songs.
On arriving at Ballarat, we found the lorry awaiting us. The luggage was carted to the Junior Technical School, the team following. The team were here dismissed, everyone feeling that he had had a very good time.
F.G. Davis"

Inscriptions & markings

Written in ink on front 'cadet camp at Lake Wendouree about 1916. Training for South Street Competitions.