1. Music has long been a tradition of Armies down through the centuries. Regimental and Corps songs, marches, dining music and barrack room ballads have strong links with battles fought and won. Ritually, the victorious Regiment ‘adopted’ the music or folk songs (and frequently the spoils of the battle field and other paraphernalia) of the defeated as a reminder of The Deeds of That Battlefield Won. This music was frequently ‘reorganised’ to better recall the event and to fit the language and customs of the conquering force.

2. It was fashionable for the distinguished Regiments and Corps to commission great composers to write special Chamber Music, Songs and Marches for their exclusive use. On many occasions, Regiments and Corps have adapted contemporary compositions which espouse their traditions and ideals. The RAEME Slow March is one such early eighteenth century composition, adapted for use by RAEME as the Corps Slow March.


3. The RAEME Slow March was authorised by Army Office in 1992.


4. The aim of this instruction is to describe the RAEME Slow March, its origin and use.


5. The RAEME Slow March is a special musical arrangement for military band of the contemporary composition ‘The Harmonious Blacksmith’ by LT Russell King, an officer of the Australian Army Band Corps. The melody is at Annex A. The origin of the ‘Harmonious Blacksmith’ is described in Annex B.

6. The RAEME Slow March may be played on RAEME parades, particularly during the March Past in Slow Time, and with the approval of the Parade Commander on other occasions where a formed body of RAEME troops are parading as part of a composite parade. Units proposing to use the RAEME Slow March should liaise with the Music Director of the supporting Band to have it included in the programme of music. All Army Bands hold copies of the music.

7. The RAEME Slow March was officially played for the first time, by the Band of the Royal Military College Duntroon, during the Corps sponsored Commemorative United Drumhead Service, conducted at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra on 24th February 1992.

RAEMEsmallThe official description of the emblem is:

‘Upon a lighting flash, a horse forcene gorged with a coronet of four fluer-de-lis, a chain reflexed over its back and standing on a globe. Above, a crown upon a scroll bearing the inscription RAEME.

The horse forcene and chain are symbolic of power under control and the lightening flash, of the electrical engineering.

The horse forcene also forms part of the crest of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and, together with the flash, is intended to mark the close relationship which exists between the electrical and mechanical engineers in both civil and military life. The globe is indicative of the impact of engineering on the world.


The strict translation of the Latin ‘Arte et Marte’ to English is difficult. The RAEME Corps Committee has adopted the translation accepted by both sister Corps of the British and New Zealand Armies. ‘Arte et Marte’ is translated, as the Corps Motto to mean ‘WITH SKILL and FIGHTING’

The Corps Motto is to be used on such occasions as a verbal or written call, or sections of the Corps, to achieve their individual or collective objectives at hand.

The vital repair and maintenance role for the Australian Army is provided by the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME).

Although the Corps is “young” it has already developed proud traditions. It is fully combatant and Workshop Units and Corps members have served with distinction during war wherever Australian troops have been involved since the formation of the Corps during World War II. The late Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, in giving praise to the Corps stated:

“They exist to keep the punch in the Army’s fist. They are a new Corps, born in the late war, they have done magnificently and have won their spurs in battle”.

The date of the formation of RAEME as a corps was 1 December 1942 however, the evolution of the Corps reaches back into earlier Australian military history and before, even back to earlier armies of England.

With the development of firearms, cannon and mortars the responsibility of Ordnance Officers became more important and their armourers and artificers were tradesmen of particular high skills. Those “craftsmen” started a tradition of skills and pride in their workmanship, which is evident in todays RAEME soldiers. The name “Craftsman”, a proud and noble designation from the time immemorial, is the rank exclusive to RAEME private soldiers.

From the arrival of the first fleet in 1788 until their withdrawal in 1870, defence of the colonies was entrusted to British troops. Until Federation on 1 January 1901, each of the colonies was responsible for its owndefence forces. In Victoria, the Ordnance Commissariat and Transport Corps was formed in 1886 and Richard Harding Esquire, a qualified engineer from England, was appointed the first Inspector of Ordnance Machinery on the 19 September 1888 with the honorary rank of lieutenant and with a staff of 12 Armament Artificers. Present day RAEME professional engineering officers can trace lineage to Richard Harding, the first officer appointed by Australian forces to fill an engineering appointment.

After Federation and the amalgamation of the State Defence Forces, the Ordnance Department of the Commonwealth Military Forces was formed. The Chief Ordnance Officer (COO), a civilian, and civilian storemen were the focal point of Ordnance activity in the military districts. The technical advisor to the COO in each military district was the Ordnance Mechanical Engineer (OME) and in the Army Headquarters in Melbourne was the Principal Mechanical Engineer (PME) who was technical advisor to the Master General of the Ordnance.

Small Ordnance Workshops in each military district were staffed by military members named Australian Army Ordnance Corps (P), ( AAOC(P) ), and civilian public servants who filled the trade positions of wheelwrights, blacksmiths, saddlers and carpenters.

Artificers were transferred to the Engineering Branch of the Ordnance Department however, those serving with artillery companies or batteries remained attached. The Armament Artificers, known as the “Corps of Armament Artificers” came under the command of the Inspector of Ordnance Machinery. Lieutenant Harding, promoted to Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, was appointed to that position in 1909 and remained such until his retirement in 1925.

In 1914, the Corps of Armament Artificers were mobilized for active service and by the time the war had ended their numbers had increased to 55. Corps members distinguished themselves during the war; many of whom served overseas with Australian Artillery units and three were awarded Military cross for bravery.

Between the wars the Army establishments were reduced. However, after the Minich crisis of 1938, limited expansion of the Army was authorised and the Ordnance Workshops undertook the reconditioning of the Army’smobilisation stores held by the Ordnance Service. The AAOC(P) personnel augmented by temporary civilian tradesmen, upgraded the equipment predominantly of artillery nature. This included adoption of 6 inch Naval guns for land service and modification of 18 pr and 4.5 inch Howitzer field guns for pneumatic tyred wheels. In 1938 the first intake of Army Apprentices were authorised, serving their time in various Military District Ordnance Workshops.

At the outbreak of the 2nd  World War in 1939, the responsibilities of the Mechanical Engineering Branch of the AAOC were more limited compared to later as other Corps such as Engineers, Transport and Signals were also responsible for mechanical maintenance. However, as the war continued, the commitments of the AAOC(P) increased dramatically due to the increasing sophistication of the Army’s technical equipment.

The problem was not unique to the Australian Army and in its endeavour to keep pace with the trend towards machine warfare the British Government commissioned a committee to investigate the various aspects for the best use of skilled tradesmen in the services. The “Beveridge Report” recommended that a new Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) be formed to assume the responsibilities of the workshop organisation of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps as well as certain repair functions of the Royal Army Signals Corps (RASC) and Royal Engineers (RE). This took place on the 1st October 1942.

The British proposal had been studied by the Australian Army, it was accepted in principle and adapted for Australian requirements. General Routine Order (GRO)G465 authorised the formation of the new Corps of Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (AEME) as part of the Master General of the Ordnance Branch.

GRO 0578 ordered the new Corps to take effect in two phases:

Phase 1 of AEME to be the transfer of personnel of the Mechanical Engineering Branch of the AAOC on the 1st December 1942: and Phase 2 of AEME to be the transfer of unit maintenance tradesmen on 1st May 1943.

Until victory in 1945, AEME units and personnel were involved in all phases of war. They served in Egypt, Palestine, Libya, Cyrenacia, Greece and Crete, Syria, Malaya, New Guinea and South West Pacific.

In recognition of service during the 2nd  World War a numbers of Corps including AEME were granted the title of “Royal” by King George VI on the 10 November 1948.

The Corps today continues to be responsible for ensuring the Army’s equipment operates reliably and efficiently and is expeditiously restored to useful condition after failure or damage.

With rapidly changing technology and ever increasing operational requirements of the battlefield the Corps will continue to have heavy demands placed on it.

The foundations laid by the members of the Corp in its short history provide a sound basis for meeting these future challenges.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece was born in Corfu and educated in Britain. His Naval career began in 1939 when he entered the Royal naval College, Dartmouth, as a cadet. In January 1940 he went to sea as a midshipman, joining the battleship “Valiant” with the Mediterranean Fleet. In this ship he took part in the Sicily landings and was present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay.

On the eve of the marriage to Princess Elizabeth on 20 November 1947 he was given the title of the Duke of Edinburgh by King George VI who also authorised his use of the prefix ‘His Royal Highness’. He retired from active service in 1951 and since the accession of Queen Elizabeth II has played an increasingly important part of the nation’s life.

On the 5th  March 1959 His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh accepted the appointment of Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Apart from the above he holds many other service appointments and is particularly interested in scientific and technological research and development, the encouragement of sport, the welfare of young people and the conservation of the environment.

The Corps of RAEME has had a short but glorious history. It was only officially established in 1942 when the repair facilities of the Ordnance Corps (AAOC) and the Service Corps (RASC) were combined to form the Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps (AEME).

The 1st of December 1942 is generally acknowledged as the Corps Birthday because this was the date of the Order declaring the creation of AEME. In 1948 the dedicated performance of the AEME tradesman during WW2 was recognised by His Majesty King George VI when he granted the Corps the title "The Royal Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers".

The Australian Army's Corps of Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME) provides maintenance support to the Australian Army. The Corps provides repair and recovery support for all equipment operated by the Army, including aircraft and watercraft.

In December 1981 approval was granted in principal for the Corps to be granted a banner and in November 1982 His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh agreed that the Banner be known as The Prince Philip Banner. The 'Prince Philip' Banner was presented to the Corps on 20 May 1986.

RAEME soldier is known as a 'Craftsman'. RAEME Craftsmen repair and maintain equipment as diverse as tanks, trucks and armoured personnel carriers, helicopters, radios, radars and computers, artillery guns up the students and missile systems. Among the wide range of trades available in the Corps are vehicle mechanics, electronics technicians, aircraft technicians and armament fitters.

For the purposes of identification in military radio parlance, RAEME personnel are referred to as 'Bluebells'. A RAEME Craftsman is affectionately known as a 'Crafty' - only because of the 'Oz' military trait of abbreviating everything, not because he is! (If that were the case,Crafties might be quite rightly known as Genies, as that would be an appropriate abbreviation of ingenious.