Our History

The North Bondi RSL Sub-Branch was founded on 22 March 1944 by some of the original members of the Rats of Tobruk. As such, we have long called our Clubhouse Tobruk House or otherwise The Rathouse.

During World War II, in 1941 Great Britain had to withdraw most of its forces from Africa to defend Greece. This left Australian diggers with the task of defending the city of Tobruk, which was a stronghold where future attacks could be launched upon German forces.

Twice the size of Australian forces, the Germans under the leadership of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, had never before been defeated in any battle.

Australia’s forces, led by Lieutenant General Leslie Morhead, held off Rommel’s troops for approximately 250 days. Rommel charged Tobruk with tanks, but Australian forces attacked the infantry, leaving the tanks with no ground support. Luftwaffe performed bombing raid on Tobruk, but instead of Australian diggers fighting back they hid safely in a network of underground tunnels, thus focusing on the task of defending the city against German troops.

Every day at sunset we show our respect by standing and facing to the west to remember all the brave servicemen and servicewomen who fought, and still fight, to protect our Peace and Freedom.

After German forces retreated in order to regroup, Australian diggers wasted no time and went on the offensive. Diggers attacked German positions stealing artillery and then used it against the German infantry defending Tobruk.

The Australian Rats of Tobruk were clearly outnumbered, but still had the courage to defend Tobruk from German troops, despite the city being bombed repeatedly.

With typical Australian dry wit, the diggers gave themselves the name “Rats of Tobruk” after Radio Berlin’s propaganda described the Australians as ‘caught like rats in a trap’.

After the Rats of Tobruk came back from WWII they established the RSL Sub-Brunch known as Tobruk House in North Bondi, with the nickname of The Rathouse. The Rathouse moved to its present location in March 1962; before then it was in an adjacent position.

at the going down of the sun at the going down of the sun

Facilities

Main Bar & Balcony

North Bondi RSL has so much to offer! The Club is equipped with a fantastic bar, with friendly and talented staff on hand to ensure your visit is enjoyable and relaxing.

We have a large stage to accommodate the live bands that perform every Saturday. Come on in, have a feed and a drink, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere!

We not only have seating indoors but also out on the balcony, where you can enjoy one of the best views of the Sydney coastline. So…..sit back, relax, and enjoy all that North Bondi RSL has to offer!

What’s On

Big Screen

We have the biggest screen in the Eastern Suburbs! It’s perfect for catching up on your weekly sporting favourites, or for special one-off events.

Bistro

Our outstanding Bistro is equipped to cater for any occasion, whether it’s a business lunch meeting or a family celebration dinner. If you fancy a lazy weekend brunch, or lunch and dinner every day, we’ve got you covered!

More Info

TAB

Our club features a fully equipped & modern TAB area including two self-service terminals – remember when visiting the Rathouse, bet with your head, not over it!