Art from the past: a dangerous journey in the First World War

Stobart and Serbia retreat in First World War cropped

Every month, we’re dusting off a piece of art from the British Red Cross collection to give it the attention it deserves. This month, we look at a painting that captures an extraordinary retreat from Serbia in the First World War – led by one of the many women who volunteered to give medical support on the frontline.

Just over 100 years ago, Mabel St Clair Stobart was forced to flee her field hospital in Belgrade, Serbia.

Events in the First World War were escalating. Serbia had been invaded – and lives and vital medical equipment were now in danger.

As head of the hospital unit, Mabel Stobart had to lead the sick and wounded, and the nurses, on an 800-mile escape over snow-capped mountains.

Yet most people have not heard her name – or know anything about her incredible life. More

Haunted by death: doctor tells of life in Gaza

©ICRC

©ICRC

For decades Dr David Nott has performed surgery in some of world’s most dangerous places – including Bosnia, Iraq, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Earlier this month he flew to Gaza to work with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which is bringing vital help to people caught up in the ongoing violence. Dr Nott, who also performs cancer and trauma surgery at hospitals in London, describes a day amid the chaos and pain of this weeks-old conflict.

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In our own words: July 1914

Fundraisers in Sussex

Volunteers from Sussex pose with their secret fundraising weapon: a dog

Only a month before the First World War began, British Red Cross volunteers were in full training mode. Their first aid skills were improving by the day. They were learning all kinds of practical tasks that would come in handy, from fire safety at field hospitals to cooking for invalids. Whole communities joined in to help, both volunteering and fundraising – and even animals were made to do their bit.

In Kent, a camp was underway to train local volunteers in hygiene and running a quartermaster’s store. It was reported that “the earliest arrival on the afternoon of the opening day was the camp cow.  More

The search to reunite families separated by conflict in South Sudan

South-Sudan-RFL-2

You’re at home when you hear the cackle of gunfire followed by shouts and screams.

You run out of your house, grabbing what few possessions you can. Along with your siblings and your father, you flee into the bush.

But you have to leave your grandmother behind; she’s too frail to travel. And your mother? She was at market. When she gets home, all that remains is the charred remnants of what used to be her home.

What do you do? You’re too frightened to go back to your village. So you stay in the bush, searching for food to survive.

Eventually, after weeks without shelter, you arrive at a camp for people displaced by fighting.

You’re given food and shelter, but all you want to know is what’s happened to your mum and grandmother. You hear that the Red Cross could help.

Donate to the South Sudan Crisis Appeal

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Commonwealth games are go!

The ‘friendly’ Games are underway, and we’ve got hundreds of volunteers on hand to make sure everyone has a safe stay in Glasgow. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’re up to.

1. First aiders, first aiders, everywhere…
Commonwealth Games two first aidersYou can barely turn a corner in Glasgow this week without bumping into a British Red Cross first aider. We’ve already been treating quite a few cuts and scrapes, and our teams are providing cover for 16 hours a day at the big BBC riverside festival in the city. More

Young dancers raise the roof at final of Dance: Make Your Move

     

Over 4,000 young people danced their socks off at the recent final of our annual competition, Dance: Make Your Move. Each school performed a routine inspired by the British Red Cross – raising thousands of pounds for charity.

The young stars, aged four to 18, wowed a panel of judges that included members from top dance group, Diversity.

In the months leading up to the final on 13 July, dancers across the UK showed off their moves in dozens of local and regional heats.

But on the day, it was down to 14 teams to battle it out at London’s O2 for a chance to win the junior and senior categories. More

‘’I was ready to die – but Rebecca brought the whole world back to me’

Kathy Malcolm and Rebecca OwenBLOGFor Kathy, it seemed like things would never get better again.

She had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Her kidney failure, due to diabetes, meant dialysis treatment three times a week. She was slowly going blind. And to cap it all, she could no longer maintain her lovely big home.

The 64-year-old, from Llandudno, recalled: “I was at my lowest point – I was basically ready to die.” More