The Bairnsdale RSL Sub-Branch commenced life as a returned sailors and soldiers club/association in May 1918 by soldiers returning from the Great War. Facilities at the "Grand Coffee Palace" in Main Street were provided by public subscription from September 1918. The following year, in May 1919, the Club's application to join the newly created RSSILA (Returned Sailors & Soldiers Imperial League Australia) was approved and the Bairnsdale Sub-Branch established.

Over the years the sub-branch has accumulated a collection of historical items that have been donated by ex service personnel and from the local community of East Gippsland. The collection continues to grow and includes items such as artwork, photographs, letters, documents, medals, weapons and souvenirs from the Boer War to the present day arenas of conflict.

We also have a large library of books and digital format material on military history, unit history, diaries, biographies and generally conflict related material.

Our Charter includes the preservation of our proud tradition of Australia's military history and to perpetuate and honour the memory of those who have suffered and died for Australia. The collection is housed in the clubrooms and regularly changed to acknowledge events in our military history and honour those deaths.

Please note that at any point of time not all items of the collection are on display.

Our collection

Bairnsdale RSL Sub-Branch Collection

This is a collection of historical military items that have been donated to the sub-branch by ex servicemen and women and local families of East Gippsland. It includes, but is not limited to, letters, photographs, paintings, medals, uniform, flags, weapons and souvenirs from before WW1 to the present day.

This collection pays particular attention to the relevance of items in context to the region and acknowledges those of the Bairnsdale district and East Gippsland region.