Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Overseas Clubs, 1915

Tracking down information on what lies behind this certificate is difficult -- not a lot has been done with regard to research into this aspect of the once ubiquitous Empire Day celebrations, each May 24th, right across the British Empire, and in New Zealand from 1903.

The Overseas Club appears to have formed c.1915 to collect funds to go towards comforts for soldiers serving overseas during World War I. This site mentions Sidney Ward as the creator of the certificates, but nothing more is known about him at this time.

I bought the above certificate, originally presented to Maud Beresford, as well as another presented originally to Nellie Beresford (perhaps sisters?), today at the Blockhouse Bay Community Centre market. They didn't cost much to buy at all, a fraction of what some places online are asking for. I bought them because Empire Day is a bit of a side interest of mine -- and because back in 1915, these would have been proudly held by two members of a family named Beresford. Two people I haven't a hope of tracing, or knowing even if they were in New Zealand at the time they received these.


  1. That is absolutely beautiful. Imagine how proud the certificate holders would have been. What a find! Blog is looking absolutely awesome. Yo thanks for the cool comment on the chimp.

  2. Thanks, my friend. They caught my eye while browsing through a chap's inventory at the market. Yes, they are beautiful. Yell if ever you'd like a hi-res image of them.

  3. I realise that this was written a long time ago, but I came across it when researching 'Overseas Club' fundraising certificates. The Overseas Club is now the Royal Over-Seas League, and was founded by Sir Evelyn Wrench in 1910. The other site references Sidney Ward as the name on the certificate, like Maud Beresford, so he was not the 'creator'. You can find out more about the League here:


    1. Can you provide a better link, Jessabellion? That one goes nowhere. The information as to Sidney Ward as "creator" which I used in the post came from the Cambridge website -- have you contacted them to correct them as well?