The Story of the Emu Feathers



Author: Faithe Jones

Posted on

With the outbreak of WW1 (1914-1918) Lieutenant Colonel R.M. Stodart, the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Light Horse, campaigned all the way up to Prime Minister Fisher to successfully have emu plumes reinstated as part of the Queensland Mounted Infantry uniform.

He maintained the plumes were essential to the mounted corp spirit. The Queenslanders' plumes were the envy of all other regiments until 1915, when the non Queensland 3rd Light Horse Brigade arrived in Egypt wearing them.

The Queenslanders vigorously protested. A conference of Light Horse Brigadiers could not settle the matter so it was referred back to the Australian Government which eventually ruled that all Light Horse Regiments could wear the plumes provided there was no expense to the public purse.

It can be argued that the emu plumes bolstered all Australian Light Horse corps spirits, as they had done partially to the Queensland Mounted Infantry.

The emu plumes are still worn by Armoured Units of the Australian Army today.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

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