The Red Cross started in 1863. Swiss businessman Henry Dunant was appalled by the suffering of soldiers in battle that he proposed the establishment of relief societies, on a national basis, that would comprise volunteers who were trained in peace time to provide help to the suffering in times of war. These ideas led to the founding of an organisation that went on to become the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Geneva Convention, adopted in 1864, was also Dunant's idea.

The British Red Cross was formed in 1870, along the format already adopted in Europe. on 4 Aug 1870 a public meeting was held and passed a resolution to the effect that "a National Society be formed in this country for aiding sick and wounded soldiers in time of war and that the said Society be formed upon the Rules laid down by the Geneva Convention of 1864". As a result the British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War was formed.

In his despatch of 2 Apr 1901, Lord Roberts mentioned the work of the BRCS:

"The heavy strain on the Army Medical Department was further much relieved by the patriotic efforts of the several committees and individuals who raised, equipped, and sent out complete hospitals."

Lord Roberts also mentions the work of the BRCS who equipped trains.

See the forum posts on the BRCS.

Regimental no: 
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(17 Records)

 Surname   Forename/inits   Regimental no   Rank   Notes 
AbbottArthur EMrQSA (2) CC OFS. Source: WO100/225p205
CarterGerard BorchamMrQSA (2) CC Tr. Source: WO100/225p205
ChepmellCharles W JMrQSA (1) Natal. Source: WO100/225p205. Born in 1860 and completed his studies in medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1887. In 1889 he was awarded the degree MD with distinction by the University of Brussels (Belgium) and was also admitted as a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in England. His war service started when he landed at Cape Town on 8 January 1900, in his capacity as Assistant Commissioner for Natal for the Central British Red Cross Society. This body had been officially recognised as being responsible for organising ‘the reception and forwarding of the various gifts and voluntary supplies of clothing, comforts and luxuries to the sick and wounded in all parts of the country.’ Chepmell proceeded to Pietermaritzburg and carried out his duties with great energy and success until being obliged by illness to resign his post in June 1900. For these services he received the QSA Medal. He subsequently joined the P&O Shipping Line as a Surgeon and was appointed to the SS Manila on 5 March 1901. He was in medical charge of troops and prisoners-of-war in South African waters for a number of months, and subsequently received the Transport Medal. After service on other P&O liners, he also served in a hospital in Malaya. In 1902 he served on the SS Australia, but resigned, having been reported for insobriety in June 1902. He returned to England and was in private practice in London.
For services during WWI he received the British and Mercantile Marine War Medals. QSA (1) Natal (Mr. C. W. J. Chepmell, B.R.C. Society) officially impressed naming; Transport 1899-1902, (1) S. Africa 1899-1902 (C. Chepmell.) officially impressed naming; BWM 1914-20 (Charles W. J. Chepmell); [ Mercantile Marine War Medal ]. Noonan's July 2023
FairbairnJohnMrQSA (1) CC. Source: WO100/225p205. OBE (1st Type, Military), Venerable Order of St John, Esquire's breast badge, QSA (1) CC (Mr J Fairbairn BRC Society). Spink Oct 99 no sale.
FurleyJohnSirQSA (3) Natal OFS Tr. Source: WO100/225p205
GilesH SMrQSA (1) Natal. Source: WO100/225p205. QSA (1) (Mr H S Giles B R C Society). City Coins Sep 03
LanceW FMrQSA (2) CC Tr. Source: WO100/225p205
LayW GMrQSA (1) Natal. Source: WO100/225p205
MannersC EMrQSA (2) Natal Tr. Source: WO100/225p205
PayneHenry J BMrQSA (3) CC OFS Tr. Source: WO100/225p205. QSA (3) Noonans's July 2023
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