Ros Knight

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In our own words: August 1914


Netley British Red Cross auxiliary hospitalOnce war had been declared, people rushed to support the British Red Cross – especially women. They offered whatever they could – time, skills or property.

Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria visited the charity’s headquarters at Devonshire House to “inspect the Nursing Department” but that was only part of the Red Cross’ wartime work. More

Feeding families on the move in Iraq


Violence in Iraq has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Many are making long journeys across the borders to escape the fighting. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society has been helping families on the move, providing vital food and water.

See them in action in these photos and make a donation to help bring food, water, shelter and healthcare to people affected by the violence.

First World War centenary: preparing for war in a week


Recruitment poster for volunteers from the First World War

On the centenary of World War One we remember an incredible week 100 years ago. When the conflict began on 4 August, British Red Cross volunteers were ready to act. This was the moment they had been training for. They set up hospitals, a brand new HQ – and even started a chaotic library…

The week began with an appeal to the nation from Queen Alexandra, President of the British Red Cross Society:

“A war has been forced upon us greater and more terrible than even the Napoleonic wars which devastated Europe 100 years ago.

“Thousands of our brave sailors and soldiers are standing ready to defend Britain’s shores and uphold her honour. Their sufferings will be great and it is to us that they will look for comfort and relief. That comfort must not be denied them. More

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

Art and letters reveal true stories from the First World War

Pencil sketch of a First World War cemetery in Etaples

British military cemetery in Etaples by Olive Mudie-Cooke

First World War letters, diaries, reports and volunteers’ possessions are telling some fascinating stories in a brand new exhibition.

“When you think of First World War volunteers (VADs), ‘nursing’ may come to mind. In fact you may be surprised at the variety of work that British Red Cross VADs carried out,” says Emily Oldfield, curator at the Red Cross.

Within a few hours of being picked up on the battlefield, wounded men were transferred home to “Blighty”. As more men were injured, the number of nurses engaged for home service – both trained and voluntary – increased. More

In our own words: June 1914

Fulham VAD inspection

Fulham VAD inspection

In the days before Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot on 28 June, British Red Cross volunteers were preparing to act “in the event of war”. This meant tackling everything from a plane crash to the ultimate challenge: hot water bottles.

A terrifying scene unfolded out at sea in Somerset and was reported in the June issue of the Red Cross magazine.

Mr Salmet – “the ‘Daily Mail’ airman” who had been sponsored by the newspaper – was flying over the town of Watchet.

“The piers and esplanade were thronged with onlookers. At 3.40pm the waterplane appeared in sight well out at sea.” More

Royalty at a Royal tea: ten photos from Buckingham Palace



You never know where volunteering for the British Red Cross could lead you. Last week, thousands of lucky volunteers found themselves sipping tea in the sunshine at Buckingham Palace.

The big bash, hosted by HRH the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra, was held on 12 June to celebrate 150 years of humanitarian action.

Around 6,000 lucky volunteers, staff members, and guests from across the global Red Cross Movement were invited. More

From X-men to Bestival: three top tips from the woman who sews for superheroes


Four people dressed as superheroes for the British Red CrossCostume designer Verity Treadwell has sewn glittering creations for everyone from panto dames to the cast of the X-men movies. Now she’s making costumes for a team of Red Cross superheroes that will be campaigning at music festivals this summer. We asked Verity about her career and her three top tips for making costumes.

You’ve worked on some big projects, such as the X-Men films. How did you to get into costume design?
I studied theatre and costume design at Wimbledon school of art. When I finished university I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work for a company that made some of the costumes for X-men and Gladiator. More