The New Zealand Home Servicemen’s Association, was formed in Wellington in 1943 (the first national conference was held in Wellington on 27 November 1943) to represent the interest of the tens of thousands of men who took up arms for the defence of New Zealand but did not serve overseas. Six months attested service in Home Defence in the NZ military Forces was required for membership in the association. Its membership in 1946 reached a peak of 13,788.
As a number of Home Servicemen’s Association members were also members of the Returned Soldiers Association (R.S.A.) there was a close relationship with the R.S.A. In the above badge you can see that this pin has a coloured 1970 date attachment. The idea of the attachment was borrowed directly from the RSA who had been using coloured date attachments from 1940 fitted over the crown. These were changed annually to indicate that the wearer was up-to-date with his or her subscription (an innovation the RSA’s themselves borrowed from the Returned Sailors & Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia where it has been noticed during the visit to Sydney by the 1300-strong RSA Contingent for Anzac Day 1938).The number on the back of this badge is a individual service number which does mean that the original owner of these badges can be traced, unlike some R.S.A. badges where the number on the badge is not always a service number (the early large R.S.A. badges used the serviceman’s number).
441730 belonged to Lance Corporal Milton Hamilton PARK. Milton served in both the 1st Southland Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade and 3rd Battalion Otago Regiment as well as serving for a short time in the 3rd Field Ambulance. He served from 1941 until 1944 when he was placed on indefinite leave without pay. For his service he was awarded the War Medal 1939-45 and NZ War Service Medal.
You will also find the earlier Territorial Force bar number on these badges. These bar numbers give you a bit more information than just the individuals number. They also tell you what military region and regiment of the former service man was in/from. The 3 indicates the Military District, in this case Southern. The 14 is the regiment in this case Nelson, Marlborough Mounted Rifles and 53 is the serviceman’s individual number.