Ros Knight

Ros ensures that all our information is accurate, well-written, fair, and easy to find on the internet.

Posts by Ros Knight:

The volunteers who played a crucial role in the Battle of the Somme

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British Red Cross stretcher bearers

© IWM

During the Battle of the Somme, our volunteers were up to their knees in mud helping the wounded. From carrying casualties and searching for the missing to providing hot water bottles and cigarettes, our volunteers did everything they could to help.

Now you can walk in their memory – or remember your ancestors who served in the war.

As soon as fighting began in July 1916, the army’s first aid teams and stretcher bearers were overwhelmed. They turned to the British Red Cross’ trained volunteers for help.

Alf Collard, who was in charge of the Red Cross team, wrote:

‘On Sunday, July 2nd, when the wounded began to come in in large numbers, we were called upon to provide as many stretcher bearers as we could furnish. I am pleased to say that about 60 orderlies worked all through Sunday night and well into Monday without a stop …’  More

Summer gardening tips from our expert

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Strawberries in a garden

By @joefoodie

It’s the Rio Olympics, the kids are off school and strawberries are glistening on supermarket shelves: summer is officially here. With it come fabulous blooms, scents and insect activity in the garden. Whether you have a lawn or a window box, enjoy these top summer gardening tips from our Open Gardens ambassador Tamsin Westhorpe. More

Celebrating nurses through the ages

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First World War Red Cross nurse lights a cigarette for a patientIt’s International Nurses’ Day: let’s celebrate the fantastic nurses who helped us treat Ebola, malaria – and flirty WW1 patients.

Florence Nightingale: no gossip

Florence Nightingale rose to fame after her work during the Crimean War. Like the British Red Cross today, she believed that every sick and injured person deserves help, no matter who they are or where they are from.

“A really good nurse must needs be of the highest class of character,” she wrote in 1881. More

Competition: Find a friend and write Poetry Together

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Magnetic poetry by Steve Johnson

Magnetic poetry by Steve Johnson

Calling all children and young people! Grab a pen and team up with an older friend or relative for a new poetry competition. You could win a prize – and meet Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

‘Poetry Together’ is a fun competition to get people talking and sharing ideas.

Children and young people pair up with an older relative, carer or friend to create their own poetry.

All shortlisted entrants will be invited to the launch of the Manchester Children’s Book Festival in June. Here their poetry will be shared and celebrated by poet Carol Ann Duffy.

Be quick though – the closing date is Friday 29 April. 

Find out more and enter the competition

Get inspired with these refugee poems

Writing a poem can be tricky whether you’re working alone or in a pair. Here are some poems inspired by the refugee crisis to get you thinking. More

William Shakespeare and the WW2 prisoners of war

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Cast put on a performanceFairies. Shipwrecks. Mistaken identities. It’s no wonder William Shakespeare was the playwright of choice for many  prisoners of war during the Second World War. We look back at some rather unusual performances…

During WW2 the British Red Cross sent more than 239, 500 books to prisoners of war (POW) libraries. The books had to cover a range of subjects to suit every taste.

Titles ranged from Shakespeare plays and classic novels to biographies, thrillers and even dictionaries.

There was a general shortage of books in the UK so the Red Cross library service relied on donations. The King and Queen donated 1,700 volumes with special inscriptions for POW libraries for Christmas 1941.

In May 1943 Penguin Books provided a selection of books for prisoners in Germany and Italy. Alongside Cold Comfort Farm and The Growth of Science prisoners could enjoy A life of Shakespeare by Hesketh Pearson.

Copies of The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, among other Shakespeare classics, found their way into the hands and onto the makeshift stages of POW camps across Europe.
More

First aid and fairytales: 90 years with Queen Elizabeth II

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The Queen visits a TB patient

As our Patron Her Majesty the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday, take a peek at some of the quirky moments we’ve shared.

At a meeting on 11 June 1926, the British Red Cross council sent “hearty congratulations to the Chairman [Duke of York] on the birth of a Royal Princess.”

That little princess, Elizabeth, would grow up to have a long connection to the British Red Cross.

On 20 November 1947, Red Cross first aid teams helped the crowds during the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Volunteers lined the route from St James’s Palace to Buckingham Palace, treating 324 casualties. More

Prank call or refugees trapped in a sinking boat?

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Migrants rescued by a Coast Guard shipDawn in Rome. Sixty-six-year-old Gianni Brusadelli is woken suddenly by the shrill sound of his phone. He answers, bleary-eyed, to a man shouting in a mix of French and English.

Brusadelli hangs up, suspecting a prank. But according to The Times, the calls continue.  As the sounds of an engine and waves hit Brusadelli’s ear, he realises he is speaking to a boat full of migrants, stranded at sea.

They are trying to reach the coast guard – but they’ve been given the wrong number. More

The heroic women of WW1: a nurse’s diary

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Peggy Arnold in her First World War Red Cross nurse's uniformGroans and moans. Blood and pus. It must have been a shock swapping life in Surrey for a hospital tent in France. But that’s exactly what Peggy Arnold did during the First World War. Exactly 100 years after she died, we remember Peggy’s heroic work and the thousands of women like her who volunteered for the British Red Cross during the war.

Margaret Trevenen Arnold, known as Peggy, was the eldest of four daughters. Before the war she and her sister Ruth joined the Surrey branch of the British Red Cross. They attended lectures and practical classes in first aid and other useful skills.

In February 1915 Peggy went to Hilders House, a new Red Cross war hospital. Here she trained as a nurse.

Four months later, she was ready. More