Adelaide Universities Regiment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Adelaide Universities Regiment
Active 1948–Present
Country Australia
Branch Australian Army Reserve
Type Training Establishment
Role Army Reserve Officer Training
Part of 9th Brigade, 2nd Division
Garrison/HQ Greenacres, South Australia
Motto(s) Sapientia Omnia Vincit (Wisdom Conquers All)
March Highland Laddie (Quick)
Morag of Dunvegan (Slow time)
Anniversaries 31 May 1948
Honorary Colonel Brigadier Tim Hanna
Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Jake Kearsley
Unit Colour Patch AUR unit colour patch.png

Adelaide Universities Regiment (AUR) is an officer training unit of the Australian Army headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia. Currently AUR maintains a cadre staff of trained Regular and Reserve personnel who oversee and administer the training of Reserve officer cadets. The majority of the regiment is currently based at Hampstead Barracks.


The regiment was first formed in May 1948 as the "Adelaide University Regiment" under the command of Major (later Colonel) Rex J. Lipman when Australia's part-time military force, the Citizens Military Force (CMF) – which was later renamed the Army Reserve – was rebuilt following the end of the Second World War.[1][2] The regiment's first honorary colonel was Arthur Blackburn, a Victoria Cross recipient, whose son, Richard (a prominent lawyer and veteran of the Second World War), became involved with the regiment upon its establishment and later served as its commanding officer between 1955 and 1957.[3][4]

Like other Australian university regiments, upon formation AUR was established as an infantry unit providing military training to tertiary students. Part of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps (RA Inf),[5] it consisted of a rifle company, a support company (with transport, mortar, signals, anti-tank and intelligence subunits) and a headquarters company; this was later expanded as machine-gun and assault pioneer sections were also raised.[1]

Personnel were drawn from universities and teaching colleges in Adelaide and the regiment's first parade took place on 27 September 1948, when nearly 100 personnel were enlisted. Although these personnel were all part-time members, the regiment was assigned a small cadre of five regular personnel to undertake administrative functions.[6]

At the regiment's first training camp, which was undertaken at Woodside in January 1949, 88 personnel turned out. This represented 98 percent of the regiment's strength at the time.[7] As interest started to grow, the regiment was authorised an establishment of 21 officers and 389 other ranks, however, actual numbers remained low initially.[8]

In 1950, the regiment was part of Central Command, along with the 10th and 27th Battalions.[9] During this time it was headquartered at Adelaide University although parades were also undertaken at the Torrens Training Depot.[1] Following the introduction of national service in the early 1950s the regiment's numbers began to grow. By 13 April 1953, AUR had an actual strength of 515 personnel of all ranks. As a result of this expansion, a second rifle company was raised.[10] Between 1955 and 1958, the regiment used the Warradale depot as its base camp.[11]

On 20 January 1957, the regiment received its colours.[1] Presented by the then Governor of South Australia, Air Vice Marshal Sir Robert George, at the time they were the first colours to be presented to a South Australian unit in 30 years.[12]

The end of national service in 1959 led to a rapid decrease in the regiment's size and by the end of the year AUR had only 116 personnel on its books.[13] For the early part of the 1960s the regiment was maintained on a volunteer-only basis and as a result numbers remained low. In 1965, the regiment began to deliver part-time commissioning courses, while at the same time continuing to undertake its role as a "conventional rifle battalion",[14] remaining part of RA Inf.[5] Between 1965 and 1972 the regiment also served as a training institution for national servicemen who had chosen to serve in the CMF rather than the Regular Army.[14] As a result of this, by 1968 AUR reached its "ceiling strength" of 650 personnel of all ranks.[15]

In 1982, AUR established depots at Prospect and St Marys in order to draw recruits from Flinders University. This was short lived, however, as the St Marys depot was closed two years later.[1] In 1991, the Australian Army underwent a Force Structure Review, the result of which was that AUR was reorganised to become solely focused upon the provision of training to Reserve officer cadets, under the banner of the Royal Military College of Australia. AUR relocated to Hampstead Barracks in Greenacres in 2001.[1]

In 2008, the regiment was assigned to the 2nd Division and tasked with the provision of commissioned officers to units from the 9th Brigade,[1] which sees them train personnel from South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. AUR conducts regular training in barracks on Tuesday nights and on various weekends each month, as well as periods of field training throughout the year at the Murray Bridge Training Area near Murray Bridge, Woodside and Cultana Training Area near Port Augusta. The regiment, supported by the Western Australia University Regiment, also conducts the second module of the Reserve General Service Officer course twice a year.[16]

Link to the Royal Irish Regiment[edit]

The regiment maintains an alliance with the Royal Irish Regiment,[17] which has its origins in the regiment's historical link with the Royal Ulster Rifles.[18][19] As a symbol of this alliance, members of AUR previously wore a rifle green hackle behind their hat badge.[2]

AUR Pipes and Drums[edit]

The AUR Pipes and Drums band was formed by the Regiment's first commanding officer in 1949. The commanding officer chose to form a pipe band based on his wartime experience of military bands sustaining heavy casualties whilst performing the role of stretcher bearers. The band's original instruments, 16 sets of bagpipes, and its blue and white Napier kilts appeared in mysterious circumstances in mid-1949. Their first appearance in public was as part of a parade along King William Street on 21 January 1952. In 1992 the band performed at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It was disbanded on 1 February 2010.[2]

In 2011, a former member of the AUR Pipes and Drums, Greg Bassani, was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queens Birthday Honours list for his services to music.[20] The regimental quick march is Highland Laddie.[19]


The regiment currently consists of the following subunits:

  • Regimental Headquarters (Adelaide);
    • Training Company (Adelaide);
    • Recruit Holding Company
    • Beersheba Company (Adelaide);
      • Northern Australia Platoon (Darwin);
    • Tasmania Company (Hobart).[16]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "History – Adelaide Universities Regiment – Forces Command". Department of Defence. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Unit History: Adelaide Universities Regiment". Anzac Day Adelaide 2010 & 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Edgeloe, Victor (1983). "The Adelaide Law School 1883–1983" (PDF). The Adelaide Law Review (7): 1–42. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Refshauge, Richard (2009). "Blackburn, Sir Richard Arthur (Dick) (1918–1987)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Kuring 2004, p. 366.
  6. ^ Graeme-Evans 1973, pp. 9–11.
  7. ^ Graeme-Evans 1973, p. 11.
  8. ^ Graeme-Evans 1973, p. 21.
  9. ^ Kuring 2004, p. 228.
  10. ^ Graeme-Evans 1973, p. 44.
  11. ^ Graeme-Evans 1973, p. 51.
  12. ^ Graeme-Evans 1973, p. 59.
  13. ^ Graeme-Evans 1973, p. 83.
  14. ^ a b McCarthy 2003, p. 159.
  15. ^ Graeme-Evans 1973, p. 101.
  16. ^ a b "Welcome – Adelaide Universities Regiment – Forces Command". Department of Defence. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  17. ^ Mills, T.F. "The Royal Irish Regiment". Archived from the original on 1 September 2005. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  18. ^ Mills, T.F. "The Royal Ulster Rifles (UK)". Archived from the original on 28 October 2005. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Festberg 1972, p. 36.
  20. ^ Frangos, Daniel (13 June 2011). "Queens Birthday Honours: Greg drums up success". Eastern Courier. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 


  • Festberg, Alfred (1972). The Lineage of the Australian Army. Melbourne: Allara Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85887-024-6. 
  • Graeme-Evans, Alexander (1973). Wisdom Conquers All: The History of the Adelaide University Regiment 1948–1973. Adelaide: AUR Regimental Funds. OCLC 2947781. 
  • Kuring, Ian (2004). Redcoats to Cams: A History of Australian Infantry 1788–2001. Loftus: Australian Military History Publications. ISBN 1-876439-99-8. 
  • McCarthy, Dayton (2003). The Once and Future Army: A History of the Citizen Military Forces, 1947–74. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-551569-5.