Arm band of British Red Cross Society, 1915
The arm band of the British Red Cross Society consists of a cotton strip with a reinforced panel bearing the symbol of a red cross. The society’s voluntary medical personnel wore it, secured onto the arm by a metal buckle. The armband has the date 16/5/15 written on it and appears to have been used during the First World War. The Red Cross was the first to send motorised ambulances to the battlefields. Its staff worked tirelessly in hospitals, field camps and convalescent homes caring for the sick and wounded.
The armband was donated by Lady Furley, wife of Sir John Furley. He was one of the earliest presidents of the Red Cross Society and a founder member of the St John’s Ambulance Association. The Red Cross was established in 1863 in Switzerland. It trained volunteers to care for the sick or wounded during wartime. It became an international movement in which governments recognise the special status of medical services and the wounded on the battlefield. The Red Cross are still active today.