Red Cross. Soldiers Receiving Medical Attention


This World War I poster shows a crowded scene at a Red Cross truck, with wounded soldiers being treated with supplies from boxes marked with the Red Cross symbol. The British Red Cross played a major role in caring for the wounded during the war. Together with the Order of Saint John, it formed the Joint War Committee to pool monetary and human resources and to work together under the protected emblem of the Red Cross. Volunteers were organized into Voluntary Aid Detachments, trained in first aid and other skills, and sent to work alongside doctors and nurses in hospitals, convalescent homes, and rest stations. Volunteers performed such tasks as packing supplies and staffing medical supply depots. These activities were carried out both in Britain and in the conflict areas of Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and East Africa. The Joint War Committee was also the first organization to supply to the battlefields, in September 1914, motorized ambulances, which proved far more effective than the horse-drawn ambulances used by Britain in previous conflicts. According to official statistics, 1,662,625 British soldiers and sailors were wounded during the war; 702,410 were killed. These figures do not include another 427,587 wounded and 205,961 killed from the rest of the British Empire.

Last updated: February 10, 2014