150 Years of the British Red Cross- An Online Exhibition

The British Red Cross was formed 150 years ago on 4 August 1870. Among their celebrations is a special online exhibition.

The Red Cross inspired me into a nursing career. I spent months learning to bandage, make beds, and stop bleeding. Occasionally I helped out at events as a junior member of the organisation. This year the British Red Cross celebrates 150 years since its creation in 1870. With travel limited at present it was heartening to see the Red Cross has developed an online exhibition to mark the event of 150 voices. It is the perfect way to lose an hour or two on a rainy day without leaving your home.

portrait watching dutch red cross
Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

The 150 Voices exhibition has a range of objects from handwritten letters to paintings and other medical instruments. There’s an audio recording beside each item and it is also written down on the page. I like the concept of this museum – it is one for the curious.

Take the medal won by volunteer Gertrude Morris in 1913 in the Turco-Balkan War. I instantly wanted to know more about her and what she had done- but I also realised this was a war I had never heard of before exploring the pages. There was an exquisite sketch book that belonged to Edith Maud Drummond Hay, a VAD in World War One. The time taken to create those sketches of nurses in action in the First World War was very poignant, and a world away from the social media of today. There’s a World War Two prisoner of war food parcel too, filled with items that would either never be distributed today (tobacco) or I had never encountered- what exactly are collops? The more you look the more you see- and it is very easy to fall down the rabbit hole.

If you are grounded by travel right now this is a wonderful virtual tour of the history of the Red Cross and you can find out more here.




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