1RAR family prepares for changing of colours

THERE are few more important occasions in the life of a military unit than the presentation of new colours. For infantry battalions particularly colours are a proud tradition, the richly embroidered silk banners once a rallying point amid battle’s tumult.

Off the battlefield they were a pocket history of the unit’s traditions and achievements.

Victoria Crosses have been awarded to ensigns – the specific rank given to officers carrying unit colours – who died defending those colours or who saved them at great personal risk.

Now their value is purely symbolic but they remain powerful symbols in regimental affairs.

In a customary ceremony next Wednesday <16 May> the First Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment will receive new colours from the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

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