Hamilton RSA is one of the oldest RSAs in New Zealand, established in 1916, the same year that the national Returned Soldiers’ Association was formed. (Later named the Returned Services Association)
The association was founded by wounded veterans returning from World War One. It was established to provide care for returning soldiers, to honour the memory of those who would never return, and to support the widows and orphans of men who died in the conflict.
The Hamilton RSA was formed to provide compassion, comradeship, and commitment to servicemen, women and their families. Support and welfare services remain at the heart of the Hamilton RSA.
Hamilton RSA, along with all RSAs throughout New Zealand mark ANZAC Day on 25 April. The day commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and honours all returned servicemen and women.
The date marks the anniversary of the landing of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. Thousands lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign, 8,500 Australians, and 2,779 New Zealanders – this was about one-sixth of the New Zealanders who had landed on the peninsula.