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During World War One thousands of women and men joined the Red Cross to help the war effort and their records are now being made available online on a free database.
At the outbreak of hostilities the British Red Cross and the Order of St John formed the Joint War Committee. Members and volunteers of both organisations then worked under the emblem of the red cross. They joined Voluntary Aid Detachments and learnt first aid, basic training in nursing, cooking hygiene and sanitation. They worked in hospitals, convalescent homes, rest stations, supply depots, packing centres, in transport and air raid duties, and as work parties. They were from all classes and backgrounds.
Family history enthusiasts are now transcribing the personal record cards, known as VADs, of over 240,000 red cross volunteers. As of this date they have placed online the surname letters from A to R. The remainder will become available in the forthcoming months.
You can search at http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War.
The database is searchable by surname, first name, location/hospitals and role/duties. Obviously the first two are the principal search tools.
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