Tag: First World War

The Red Cross saved my father’s life in the First World War

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Amanda Nicholson holds her father's First World War flying jacket to show where the bullet went through the cloth

Amanda Nicholson holding her father’s flying jacket with the bullet hole still in the back

“If it wasn’t for the Red Cross I wouldn’t be here.”

For Amanda Nicholson, the ceremonies to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War on 11 November will be especially poignant.

Her father, James Orr MacAndrew – known as Jo – was one of Britain’s first fighter pilots during World War One.

“My father came from a family of six where all three sons served during the First World War,” Amanda said.

“My father was terribly anxious that the war would end before he had a chance to enlist.”

But Jo did manage to join up in March 1918 after leaving school at the age of 19. This was just five months after his older brother, Colin, was killed in action.

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

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Stobart and Serbia retreat in First World War

‘Lady of the black horse’, by George Rankin

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

One of many women who volunteered with the Red Cross, she was head of a hospital unit on the front line.

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

As head of the hospital, 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

Easy peasy cake recipe that’s 100 years old

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A young girl eats a cupcake

© PeopleImages

Let’s face it: cake is cool again.

But at the British Red Cross, we’ve been using cake to help change people’s lives for over a century.

After all, the quickest way to someone’s heart is through the stomach.

If you’re looking for ideas for your own tasty bake, here’s a delicious recipe crafted by some British Red Cross volunteers during the First World War.

They handed out this cake to soldiers on the front line, to line their stomachs and boost their spirits.

And now you can recreate it in just four easy steps.

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The record-breaking teenager who was the ‘Little Wimbledon Wonder’

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Black and white photo of Lottie Dod in a cricket cap

Lottie Dod © National Portrait Gallery, London

This is a story of sporty siblings, a tennis court and a formidable Wimbledon champion. But we’re not talking about Serena and Venus, or Andy and Jamie. We’re talking about the youngest person to win a Wimbledon singles title – ever. We’re talking about British Red Cross volunteer Lottie Dod. 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

Valentine volunteers: love stories from World War I

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A Red Cross VAD nurse marries a First World War soldier in 1918

From flirting soldiers to a tragic marriage, indulge in some love stories from the First World War.

Young Red Cross nurses spent hours on the wards tending to wounded soldiers. The men’s conversations, jokes and songs must have provided a welcome relief from all the cleaning, making beds and gangrenous limbs the nurses had to deal with.

Many patients took a shine to the women who cared for them. Soldiers gave photographs of themselves to the nurses they liked as a memento.

‘A nice young lady’

First World War Red Cross nurse lights a cigarette for a patient More

Christmas during the First World War: in pictures

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WW1-xmas-hospital-ward

British Red Cross nurses had to celebrate the festive season hungry and over-worked, yet they were still determined to be cheerful. See the First World War through the eyes of the women who were actually there.

1. The busy life of a nurse

This witty cartoon triptych depicts the typical life of a Red Cross nurse (they were known as Voluntary Aid Detachments) serving abroad during the war. The sketches show how her life officially should be, how she dreams it might be, and how it actually is. Poor woman…

WW1-xmas-triptych More