History of the
Wellington Returned & Services Association
Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) has been a significant part
of Wellington’s social, and at times political structure since 1916.
It was founded in April of that year by people who saw a need for
welfare, rehabilitation, job-finding and meeting-place services for
physically and psychologically wounded soldiers who were beginning
to return from overseas service in World War I. This is the story of
Wellington RSA’s development, heydays, then relative decline, over
the next 91 years.
RSA movement has been at the forefront of national debates about
welfare, defence, duty, remembrance, sacrifice, welfare and
morality. For its membership it has lobbied hard for pensions, land
grants, medals, rehabilitation, welfare, disability issues and other
rights. It has had strong links with the War Amputees’ Association,
Disabled Servicemen’s Re-establishment League, as well as patriotic
and canteen boards, and veterans’ homes.
the many RSAs in New Zealand towns and cities, Wellington’s branch
has been the most broadly influential because of its capital city
location and because its establishment and development paralleled
that of the national body. From earliest times until 1995 it shared
premises and often staff with the New Zealand Returned Services
Association and over the years has provided a high proportion of
history describes Wellington RSA’s colourful beginnings and
chronicles the individuals and events that shaped its personality.
Handsomely produced hardback
book with 231 pages and 215 illustrations.
Table of contents: click
here to see the table of contents.
here to see the
Peter Cooke is an independent historian specialising in military
history and industrial heritage. In 2000 he wrote the three–volume
book Defending New Zealand – Ramparts on the Sea 1840–1950s and he
edits the journal of the Defence of New Zealand Study Group. He has
documented Shell Oil Ltd in New Zealand and Wellington’s water
supply since 1867. Peter was junior editor on No Better Death – The
Great War Diaries of William G Malone in 2005 and has written the
official corps history of the Royal New Zealand Electrical &
Mechanical Engineers, 1942–96.
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