THE WORK OF THE VOLUNTARY AID DETACHMENT (VAD) IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR
Arrival of a Red Cross convoy at No. 2 Stationary Hospital, Abbeville.
Having been witness to the insufficient treatment that war-wounded had received in the Battle of Solferino (1859), the Swiss Henri Dunant attempted to establish a means of international aid. From this the Geneva Convention and the Red Cross sprang (the red cross, taken as an international sign of mercy, is the Swiss flag reversed).
The British Red Cross Society received its royal charter in 1908, following the International Convention at Geneva in 1906. This deemed that Red Cross workers could not be treated as Prisoners of War; that they could be armed for defence and that only those societies authorised by their government could serve in foreign countries.