This tunic is for a member of the 1st Battalion Wellington Rifle Volunteers and dates from the early 1900’s but predates the changes to the Volunteer system in 1911.
Unfortunately this tunic has been striped of the rank insignia and all that is left is the shadow of a Sergeant rank on the right arm.
On the left sleeve you can see the skill at arms badge, Austrian Knot and black facing colour to the cuffs. On the right side you can see the opening to the small “coin” pocket.
A close up of the 1895 pattern volunteers button.
The collar badge is the Duke of Wellington’s Crest.
Unlike the 2nd battalion uniform shown in my previous blog below, this one does not continue the facing colour onto the epaulettes but does indicate what company this was of the 1st Battalion. “F” Company were the “College Rifles”. You may also note that this uniform has white piping to the bottom of the facing colour on the collar where the 2nd battalion uniform does not.
The lining is much the same as in my previous blog, white blanket almost three quarters of the length. The collar has the manufacture/retail tag of Hallenstein Brothers, New Zealand Clothing Factory (excuse my fingers).
The New Zealand Clothing Factory was set up in Dunedin in 1873 by Bendix Hallenstein. The New Zealand Clothing Factory made basic, hard-wearing clothing for men and boys – initially in Dunedin, and then in many towns and cities throughout NZ. In 1876 Bendix Hallenstein opened shops as a sales outlet for the factories; by 1900 there were 34 Hallenstein Bros (HB) shops around the country.