On a hot day in June 1859, at the close of the battle of Solferino, fifteen thousand dead and wounded lay on the battlefield. There were few surgeons, and many of the wounded died before they could receive medical attention. A young Swiss, Henri Dunant, traveling through the battle area, was appalled by the carnage and the cries of the wounded. He gathered a volunteer band of women from a nearby.
Italian village, and under his guidance and example, they nursed the wounded. Henri Dunant wrote a pamphlet about the terrible scenes he had witnessed. He claimed that much death and suffering could be avoided if an organization was founded to protect the wounded in battle, “without distinction of nationality”.
Thanks to Dunant’s humanitarian concern, the Red Cross Treaty was adopted by fourteen nations at an international conference at Geneva in 1864 and was revised in 1906. It provides for the protection, in time or war, of relief societies to be organized in various nations.
The Swiss flag, with its colors reversed, was adopted as the Red Cross emblem. Now, under the Red Cross banner, the hearts of many nations united in the service of humanity in times of war or national disaster. In every war, this banner of mercy is respected by friends and foes alike.
The British Red Cross Society was founded in 1870, and incorporated in 1908. Although the British Forces have medical services of their own, in times of war the Red Cross provides necessary further assistance.
Who founded the Red Cross?
Clarissa Harlowe Barton.