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Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch Ringwood, Victoria

The Ringwood RSL has some of the best displays of memorabilia in Victorian. The collection focuses on locally and nationally relevant military memorabilia, covering all theatres of activity by Australian Forces since Federation from WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam. We have on display items ranging from uniforms, equipment, photographs, medals souvenirs, trench art, books and ephemera.

Ringwood RSL is a metropolitan sub-branch of the RSL, situated in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
It was formed in 1919 with a membership of 28.
After a short hiatus, and through the efforts of one member, Captain Miles the RSL was re-established in 1924 and has been in continuous ever since this time.
Originally housed in the Mechanics Institute building, members successfully raised enough funds to buy Jubilee Hall on Station street in 1956 with further renovations taking place in the subsequent years.
The clubs current location adjacent to the railway station and within busy shopping district of Ringwood is a definite advantage to the RSL in terms of public access for potential visitors. The club is known also for the strength of its Women's auxiliary which was formed at the start of World War 2and has a long history of successfully raising funds for welfare and conducting social events for families of returned soldiers.
The origins of the memorabilia collection and arrival at this location are currently unknown, however the work undertaken through the VHP by the Memorabilia team has sparked a renewed interest in finding out more about it's beginnings. The collection focuses on locally and nationally relevant military memorabilia, covering all theaters of activity by Australian Forces since foundation. It consists broadly of uniforms, honour boards, military relics, trench art, books, photographs, firearms and ephemera.
It has grown over the years in an impromptu way, largely by donations passed to the RSL by veterans or their families and in some cases by the Armed Forces them selves. The exact size of the RSL's collection is currently unknown, but estimated to be around 2000 items.
Unlike other RSL memorabilia collections in the surrounding areas which have found it difficult to continue due to dwindling numbers of volunteers and inadequate skills, it is anticipated that the Ringwood branch is likely to grow as the demand for suitable places capable of caring for these items increases. Ringwood RSL's desire to participate in the VHP is motivated primarily to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge required to take care of current items with future expansion in mind.
The Ringwood RSL has great exhibition spaces available for the showing of the memorabilia collection and also have a desire to be able to create and develop interesting and engaging exhibitions for the public to enjoy. Prior to their participation in the Veterans Heritage Project (VHP), the organisation did not have a system in place to account for and properly manage their collection. The three main issues have been: 1) loss and/or destruction of valuable objects, 2) little to no knowledge of object provenance, 3) limited skills, equipment and knowledge to undertake collection management.
By providing the Ringwood RSL members with the tools necessary to properly care for their collection, it is expected that not only will the RSL, but the wider community, will begin to actively engage with the history of the organisation through Victorian Collections. It is expected that this will contribute positively to the continuation and preservation of their collection for generations to come.
After 11 day5 of on-site training and support from MA (Vic) staff, participants Ringwood RSL have successfully
• reorganised and renovated the collection store
• developed policies and procedures consistent with museum standards,
• acquired new skills, knowledge and confidence to continue to manage their collection to the standards demonstrated
• catalogued a total of 150 records on the Victorian Collections collection management system — all of which were made publicly accessible.
As a direct result of the Veterans Heritage Project, participating members of Ringwood RSL have become competent users of Victorian Collections, and have also developed a clear understanding of collection management best-practices and standards. The Ringwood RSL Memorabilia team is also committed to continuing the task of cataloguing their collection until it has been completely documented on Victorian Collections and have set targets for themselves to achieve this result. For the continuing success of the project it is important for Ringwood RSL members to recognise a few potential challenges:
1) Maintaining momentum in cataloguing with Victorian Collections use to ensure the on-going success of the project.
2) Ensuring the collection policy is actively used to guide acquisitions and deaccessioning.
3) Ensuring acquisitions are received in a formal way so that vital donor and object information is not lost which can potentially result in the RSL being left with unwanted items and no legal ownership. Procedures to deal with this need to be discussed broadly with RSL management and front of house staff also.
4) Ensuring that all memorabilia is well-documented and appropriately stored.
5) Monitoring and maintaining a Pest Management program to ensure sensitive items such ds those made from fabrics or paper are not degrading.'
6) Tracking the movement of objects as they come on and off display and ensuring records are updated accordingly.
Participation from Ringwood RSL remained constant across the 11-day period, with numbers ranging from two to seven members. The participants were:
• George Ward
• Brian Roe
• Peter Fogarty
• Colin Vincent
• Geoff Coglan
• David Liggett

In total , seven participants can be said to be able to competently use Victorian Collections for cataloguing items. With heightened awareness of the project at the Ringwood RIL it is hoped that new users will be added to this list in the future.

Peter Hedgcock has lately volunteered to assist the above crew.

5.5. Policies and Procedures
During the workshop, participants gained an understanding of the importance of collection policies and donation forms as being fundamental to how a museum operates, as well as guiding and informing how a collection is acquired and used. Resulting from this training, Ringwood RSL developed a draft collection policy that will soon be presented to their council for approval and adoption.

6. Observations
It was important for MA (Vic) Staff to be onsite throughout the entire duration of the program to provide help and advice.
The 11-day training resulted in a steady progression of skill and confidence development as participants had varying degrees of comfort and experience using digital technologies and working with memorabilia. At the start of the workshop, those who were less familiar with computers and internet usage required more assistance from MA (Vic) staff throughout the day; however, by the end of the 11 days, these individuals were able to catalogue objects on their own. MA (Vic) staff also noted that participants were eager and capable to help one another if advice or assistance was needed.
MA (Vic) staff could see participants using their new skills within the examination and investigation of items — searching for inscriptions and markings. Moreover, participants demonstrated a greater understanding of preventative conservation. By the end of the workshop, participants were able to assess and appropriately prepare objects for long-term storage without assistance.

7. Budget Disbursement
Ringwood RSL was granted $5,000 for the purchase of goods and services that would contribute to the preservation of their memorabilia.
MA (Vic) staff concluded that the establishment of a designated, secure storage area at Ringwood RSL was a key priority. This would provide a more stable environment for fragile materials, and create safe, secure storage for easy object retrieval and access. To facilitate this long-term preservation and storage plan, conservation-grade materials were purchased from Archival Survival along with cabinets from Safer Storage Systems.
Additional tools and materials (detailed below) were also purchased to provide Ringwood RSL members with enough resources to allow them to continue cataloguing once MA (Vic) staff had finished on-site.
Table 2: Materials and equipment purchased as at the time of report:

Item Cost
Assorted materials Archival Survival $ 1,899.60
Shelf and cabinets Safer Storage Systems $ 831.00
Assorted materials Archival Survival $ 321.86
Camera Ted's Cameras $ 499.95
Assorted materials Archival Survival $ 693.32
TOTAL: $ 4,245.73

Contact Information

location
16 Station Street Ringwood Victoria 3134 (map)
phone
+61 98706604

Contact

Opening Hours

9am until 10pm

Entry Fee

Free to visitors but they must sign in at reception.

Location

16 Station Street Ringwood Victoria

View on Google Maps

Established by the late Len Polkinghorne the collection was catalogued with the assistance of John Mangan in the mid 1990s. The collection has continued to grow as the demand for suitable places capable of caring for these items increases.

Significance

The collection contains items ranging from the war in the Sudan 1885 up to present day wars. It contains primary source material in the way of photos, notes and diaries.

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1342 items

Designers and Test Pilots. - Book

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Uniform Boots

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Black leather boots with zip up front..

Document WW2 Army News - Newspaper issued to all services in the Northern Territory

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Paper newspapers

Historical information

Newspapers issued to serving personnel during WW2

Book - Sudan Egypt - War in the Soudan Volume IV

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

British Forces in Egypt 1882 - 1885 Volume 4 192 pages

mess tins (dixies) x2,

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Aluminium mess tins, rectangular with folding handles x2

Book - RAE - The Royal Engineers 1945-1972

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Hard cover with jacket. 978 pages with black/white and colour prints, text and index The fourth volumeof the history of The Royal Australian Engineers by Brig P>J> Greville CBE, BE

Untitled

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Headgear USA Navy White "Dixie Cup" Hat

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

White cloth round hat.

Inscriptions & Markings

Raymond NE 537 44 39

Badges Australian - Rising Sun collar badges.

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Four Australian rising sun collar badges

Headgear Souvenir Cap

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Baseball type cap, Maroon colour

Inscriptions & Markings

Royal Australian Regiment

Equipment, Water Bottle

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

00094.1 Plastic water Bottle Viietnam War Period Dark Green in colour 00094.2 Padded water bottle cover Marked CANTIS 81 Dark Green 00094.3 Aluminiun Cup , cooking vessel mess tin marked 1986 and Broad Arrow

Inscriptions & Markings

00094.1 8465 - 71 - 108 - 8703 Marked Dubol 2187441 00094.2. 8465 - 66 - 0639564 CANTIS 81 00094.3 Stokes Australasia Ltd. 8465 -66 - 058 - 5567

Trench art.

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Trench art. Brass shell casing with 2 bullets attatched

Inscriptions & Markings

1942

Book - Handbook On Leadership 1973

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed by defence printing establishment brunswick victoria

Edged weapon - Czechoslovakian Mauser Bayonet WW2

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Czech Military bayonet with solid metal scabbard. Possible for 33/40 Mauser Rifle in WW2.

Inscriptions & Markings

On blade C.Z over C on handle E35. Scabbard CETN also with E35. Matching scabbard and bayonet

Uniform

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

1179 Cloth officer's crown; 1179.1 Cloth British officer's crown; 1179.2 Cloth badge German insignia

Photographs - Assorted WW2 photographs Middle East

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Australian soldiers with a Vickers gun. Newspaper clipping from Cairo "Last Australian leaves Tobruk"

Book - The Anzac Book

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

ANZAC booklet printed 1916. Written and illustrated by the men on Gallipoli Missing the outside front cover.

Inscriptions & Markings

Alice Enid Thomson, Clovelly, Bairnsdale

Souvenir Vietnam doll.

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Plastic Asian doll dressed in local attire (Asian)

Significance

Brought home from the war in Vietnam by an Australian soldier.

Inscriptions & Markings

Chanh-Hung dress very beautiful Vietnam

Untitled

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Souvenir - Princess Mary gift to troops Christmas 1914

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Brass tin with Gilt finish. Given to British Commonwealth Troops for Christmas in 1914. Usually contained cigarettes or tobacco. Also a card and pencil set in a 303 bullet.

Inscriptions & Markings

Imperium Britanicum Christmas 1914. Belgium, France, Serbia, Japan, Russia, Monte Negro.

Untitled

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Book Aircraft - Combat Aircraft of WW2 1941 -1942

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Hard cover book showing details of Aircraft used in the early day of WW2. Large coloured illustrations complete with text by E.Angelucci and P. Matricardi.

Book - WW2 - The Italian Campaign

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Hard cover, no dust cover 208 pages Text with black and white and colour photos

Shield

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

1. Laminated unit poster of 2nd Cavalry Regiment 2. Shield of Australian Light Horse Association

Badges Australian Army

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

00509 .1 Royal Australian Artillery Hat Badge Kings Crown Oxidised 1930 -42 period .2 Women's Royal Australian Army Corps Queen's Crown Bi Metal 1953 - 1960 3. Australian Army Christian Chaplain Hat Badge 1953 - 1960 4. Royal Australian Artillery Hat Badge Queen's Crown 1953 - 1960

Photograph Batch, 5 Black and white photos Morotai and Egypt - Scenes on Morotai church service, troops and Alexandria

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

21 Black and white photographs

Uniform, Army Jacket, Khaki Drill

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Army Jacket Khaki Drill, Two large breast pockets, Two large hip pockets,

Inscriptions & Markings

Two blue service stripes on right lower arm

Photos, Batch

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Sixteen black and white photographs with handwritten notes on back. Photos depict a soldier visiting Luxor, Karnak, Thebes, Giza and Palestine.

Historical information

Soldiers experiences in Egypt.

Inscriptions & Markings

(Example of type of description inscribed on back of photographs. 00143.1 ‘Again showing Jericho from very top of mountain with self holding rifle and officer of party. Oct 1941.’

Untitled

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Document Merchant Navy

Ringwood RSL Sub-Branch, Ringwood

Document listing details of medals issued to Henry Webb for his service in WW1.

Inscriptions & Markings

Dated 11th April 1921 and signed by Henry Webb.