Post World War II
Some records indicate that the 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment was reraised at Cairns in 1949, while others attest that the Battalion was reformed at Atherton in May 1950, with headquarters at Cairns and sub-units being located at Atherton, Innisfail, Tully, Mareeba, Babinda and Gordonvale. In 1950, the 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment was presented its first King's and Regimental Colours incorporating the Battle Honours of all of its predecessor Battalions.
In June 1951, nine members of the 51st Battalion represented the unit at the Jubilee Celebrations at Canberra. On 18 August 1957 Queen's and Regimental Colours were presented to the 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment.
North Queensland Regiment by His Excellency, Field Marshall Sir William Slim, GCB, GCMC,GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC, Governor General of Australia while on the 1st 1957, the original King's and Regimental Colours were laid up in the Cairns City Council Chambers. These were subsequently transferred to the Australian War Memorial, Canberra in 1973. On 12 September 1959, the Commanding Officer, Officers and Men of the Far North Queensland Regiment were extended the Freedom of the City of Cairns by the Mayor and Council.
The 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment was again reorganised on 3 June 1960 when it was integrated with 31st Battalion, the Kennedy Regiment and 42nd Battalion, The Capricornia Regiment and renamed 2nd Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment, with Battalion headquarters located at Townsville. This was part of an Australia wide reorganisation of the Citizen Military Forces which saw the formation of State Regiments. The new Regiments inherited the Battle Honour of all their composite Battalions and Regiments, but the individual Battalions/Companies retained custody of the Colours of their parent Regiments.
A further reorganisation of the Citizen Military Forces saw an expansion of 2nd Battalion, the Royal Queensland Regiment into its original Battalion structure and the 51st Battalion was reraised as 51st Battalion The Royal Queensland Regiment at Cairns on 24 May 1965.
On 16 November 1969, His Excellency The Honourable Sir Alan Mansfield, KCMG, Governor of Queensland, presented the Queen's and Regimental Colours of the Royal Queensland Regiment to the 51st Battalion at Cairns. Colour Parade Program. The Queen's and Regimental Colours of the 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment being laid up at St Monica's War Memorial Cathedral, Cairns on 30 November 1969.
On 19th of October 1969, the 51st Battalion Association comprising the surviving members of the 51st Battalion AIF from World War One, held a Laying Up of the Colours Ceremony at the State War Memorial at King's Park, Perth, Western Australia, during which a plaque was laid to represent the Queen's and Regimental Colours of the 51st Battalion. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II conducted a Royal tour of Australia during 1970, the 51st Battalion became the only Citizens Military Forces Battalion in Queensland to provide a Royal Guard of Honour during that tour, when her Majesty visited Cairns on 23 April 1970.
13th September 1970 saw the 51st Battalion move its home to the newly constructed Porton Training Depot at 45 Tills Street Cairns. This depot was named in honour of the gallantry of the men of 31st/51st Battalion in the battle at Porton Plantation in June 1945.
28 October 1973 saw the Commanding Officer, Officers and men again being extended the freedom of the City of Cairns, this time as the 51st Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment.
In 1976 yet another Army reorganisation was to occur with the 51st Battalion being reduced in numbers and renamed the 51st Independent Rifle Company, The Royal Queensland Regiment on 31 July 1976.
In the early 1980s, the army began to pay more attention to the northern regions of the nation and raised Regional Force Surveillance Units in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, based on a squadron/troop structure. On 1 October 1985, the 51st Independent Rifle Company, the Royal Queensland Regiment, was re-organised as the Royal Force Serveillance unit in north Queensland and renamed the 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment (51 FNQR) This unit differed from the North West Mobile Force. (NORFORCE)
The new 51st Battalion had Battalion Headquarters, Administration Company, A Company Headquarters and a platoon located in Cairns along with B Company Headquarters, while the platoons of A Company were dispersed at Atherton and Innisfail. B Company Platoons were located at Weipa, Bamaga and the Torres Strait Islands.
As the 51st Battalion was no longer part of the Royal Queensland Regiment, the Queen's and Regimental Colours were laid up in St Monica's War Memorial Cathedral Cairns on 7 June 1986. On its reformation in 1985, the 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment adopted the colour patch of the original 51st Battalion AIF and the badge and motto of the original 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment; the new badge being surmounted by the Queen's crown instead of the King's crown of the original.
On 1 October 1987, the 51st anniversary of the raising of the original 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment at Cairns, His Excellency Air Marshal Sir James Rowland, AC, KBE, DFC, AFC, Administrator of the Commonwealth of Australia, presented the new Queen's and Regimental Colours of the 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment at the North Cairns Oval. During the latter half of 1987, the Battalion extended its recruiting base and soldiers were enlisted from Kowanyama, Edward River Mission (Pormparaaw), Aurukun and Lockhart River. In early 1988, Charlie Company was raised incorporating the Torres Strait Islands and Bamaga, with headquarters on Thursday Island.
In 1990, a further Company, D Company, was raised with headquarters in Mount Isa and platoons in Doomadgee, Cloncurry, Normanton, and Mornington Island. Army Orders of 1937 record that the 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment was affiliated with The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI). However, this relationship appears to have lapsed and no record is available of the date of or the reasons for the affiliation. The most likely association is that the KOYLI was formally known as the 51st Regiment of Foot and detachments of that Regiment saw service in Tasmania and Western Australia, two of the previous homes of the 51st Battalion, circa 1840. During the British Army reorganisation of 1960 - 61, The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry ceased to exist as an entity and was absorbed onto the Light Division which, in 1987, was located in a new barracks, The Sir John Moore Barracks, at Hants, England, as a composite Regular Army/Territorial Army Division.
During its time as a member of the Royal Queensland Regiment, the 51st Battalion bore affiliations with the following units:
The Kings Own Royal Border Regiment
The King's Own Scottish Borderers
The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's)
The Lincoln and Walland Regiment (Canada)
The unit has, as its Regimental March, 'The Far North Queensland Regiment' written by Allen Rains, a member of the Battalion Band, at Merauke in 1943. It is the only such march written especially for and containing the title of the unit, of any unit in the Australian Army. It was dedicated to the men of 31/51st Battalion and adopted by the 51St Battalion in 1957. Sergeant R.J. McMellon, 2/4 RAR pipes and drums, wrote the march 'The Black Kookaburra' and P.M.Wm Gall wrote the slow march 'Soldiers of the North'.
Both of these marches were written on the occasion of the presentation of the Queen's and Regimental Colours to the 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment on 1 October 1987 as the Regimental March could not be played by Pipes and Drums as used on that parade.
© AWM DNE/69/0223/NC
Yarrabah Mission, Qld. April 1969. These Aboriginal troops, all from Yarrabah Mission, near Cairns, are serving with the 51st Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment. Pictured, left to right (back): Private (Pte) Luke Palmer, Pte Maurice Davidson; Pte Bryce Barlow, and Pte Lawrence Harris; (front): Pte Albert Sands and Pte Cecil Davidson. Pte Harris, a police tracker at Yarrabah, is a cook in the Battalion's B Company kitchen.