R.S.L. (Returned & Services League of Australia

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R.S.L. (RETURNED & SERVICES LEAGUE OF AUSTRALIA)   

Research by Gordon Freegard

 

HISTORY
The League evolved out of concern for the welfare of returned servicemen from the (1914-1918) First World War. During 1916, a conference recommended the formation of The Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA) which included representation from Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. New South Wales was admitted to the League the following year, and Western Australia in 1918. In 1927, the Australian Capital Territory formed a branch and was admitted.

In 1940, the name of the League changed to the Returned Sailors', Soldiers' and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia (RSSAILA), and a subsequent change of name took effect in 1965, as the Returned Services League of Australia (RSL). Two more name changes occurred, in 1963 to Returned Services League of Australia Limited (RSL) and in 1990 to Returned & Services League Of Australia Limited (RSL). The objects of the League remain relatively unchanged from its first incorporation.

 

RSL BADGE SYMBOLISM
At the top of the badge is the Crown signifying allegiance to Queen and country. Below the crown are the national flowers of Australia, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland - the wattle, the leek, the rose, the thistle and the shamrock. In the centre of the badge are a sailor, soldier, an airman and service women who are marching with their arms linked, symbolising friendship and that all services, and all ranks, are united in comradeship. The red of the badge is symbolic of the blood tie of war. The white background stands for the purity of motive - and to render service without personal gain. The blue is a symbol of willingness to render service to a comrade anywhere under the blue sky. The badge may only be worn by members of the League.

INFLUENCE

The influence of the League comes from its founding days organising rituals for Anzac Day dawn services and march, and Remembrance Day commemorations. However, even as early as the 1920's, the role of the League became controversial as it banned women from attending the dawn service because of their wailing.
As well as arguing for veterans' benefits, it has entered other areas of political debate. It was politically conservative, anglophilic, and monarchist.

Many veterans from the Vietnam War found the RSL, dominated by the ranks of World War 11 veterans, an unwelcoming, alien environment, and chose not to participate, but have over the past 20 years become actively involved. This may have been reflective of the changing status of Vietnam veterans in the 1970's and 80's.
Nevertheless the focus of the RSL is above all on the welfare of Australia men and women serving in the armed forces. It has advocated for veterans entitlements, the protection of former battlefields and the rights of serving soldiers, sailors and airmen. The RSL also ensures that those that have served the country are commemorated for their service by providing funeral information to those that have served with the deceased and handing out individual red poppy flowers at the funeral to ensure that the deceased service to their country is acknowledged.

 

CARILLA R.S.L. Sub-branch

The R.S.L. Sub-branch at Carilla  was formed on Saturday Evening the 10th July 1926. Despite awful weather, bad roads and the inducement to remain home by the fireside, the diggers of the district turned out in great force to listen to a most interesting summary of the work of the R.S.L. delivered by Mr. C. Bader, a member of the executive. After the address the assemblage confirmed a decision made earlier in the evening to form a sub-branch of the R.S.L. It was thereupon duly constituted and made a start. Office-bearers elected were; President, Mr. J. R. Shaw; Vice-Presidents, Messrs. J. Padgett and D. Neaves; Committee; Messrs. Cant. G. Holroyd, and G. Thorley; Honory Secretary, Mr. B. Bevan; Treasurer, Mr. J. Lees. The returned soldiers of Carilla are keenly involved in the district's Progress Association, and were instrumental in building an excellent hall, and have the full co-operation of the district. Meetings were held at the Carilla Hall.

On the 10th February 1929 it was reported that the Carilla sub-branch of the R.S.L. has taken a new lease of life under the presidency of Jim Shaw, with Jock Lees as secretary. Routine order for the next meeting provide for short speeches and long drinks.

 

CARILLA HALL  #1

 

   STALL FOR PICKERING BROOK R.S.L.  STANDING EXTREME RIGHT HARRY WHITTAKER  #2

 

LEST WE FORGET


HONOUR ROLL
World War 11  1939 - 45

 

BENTLEY  E. L.
CUNNOLD  H.
CUNNOLD  W. H.
DAVEY  C.
FERNIE  A.
FERNIE  F.
FURFARO  F.
FRANCES  V.
GODBOLD  H.
GARLAND  L.
GARLAND  O. E.
GRIMSHAW  T. W.

GIBBONS  L
GILLESPIE  A.
HAWKINS  V.
HOLMAN  N.
HARPER  I. G.
KING  G. G.
LANE  D.
McCORKILL  R.
NEAVE  G. M.
NEAVE  E. L.
NEAVE  C. H.
NEAVE  C. V.
NIVEN  M.

NEWNES  F. V.
NEWTON  D.
OWEN  V.
OWEN  F.
PETERSON  C. V.
PETERSON  T.
PADGETT  F.
ROADS  R.
ROADS  W.
READ  J.
RUSSELL  S.
SPAIN  W.
SPRIGG  J.

     
     
     
     

         PICKERING BROOK SPORTS CLUB (OLD)
 ANZAC DAY 1974       #3

L - R:        ?    , JACK "Paddy" BOYLAN, GEORGE HOLROYD, BOB DUFFIELD, HARRY WHITTAKER, (Part Hidden) GRAHAM SMITH,  JACK O'MEAGHER, CEC DAVEY, ERNIE HOLROYD, ERNIE MASON, FRANK FURFARO,         ?         .

 

  PICKERING BROOK SPORTS CLUB (OLD)
 ANZAC DAY 1974       #4

L - R: Bugle Man?, GEORGE HOLROYD, Seated  ?  ,  (Part Hidden) GRAHAM SMITH, JACK O'MEAGHER, CEC DAVEY, ERNIE HOLROYD, ERNIE MASON, FRANK FURFARO,     ?            .                  

 

PICKERING BROOK SPORTS CLUB (OLD)
 ANZAC DAY 1974       #5

L - R:  JACK "Paddy" BOYLAN, GEORGE HOLROYD, CEC DAVEY, BOB DUFFIELD, HARRY WHITTAKER, GRAHAM SMITH, JACK O'MEAGHER.

 

PICKERING BROOK SPORTS CLUB (OLD)
 ANZAC DAY 1974       #6

 

 

 

 

References:         Articles:    Returned & Services League Of Australia Limited (RSL) 
                                         Pickering Brook Heritage Group Inc.

                         Images:   1    Kalamunda & Districts Historical Society
                                        2, 3, 4, 5, 6    Stephanie O'Meagher

 

 

 

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