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By Emma Thom on

150 years of Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian aid

The Red Cross has done some incredible work since its formation in 1863. A look through our collection reveals just a few of its heroes.

Earlier this week we said happy birthday to the Football Association, but another world-renowned organisation turns 150 this week.

Two nurses holding a soldier © Daily Herald / Alfieri Picture Service
Two nurses holding a soldier © Daily Herald / Alfieri Picture Service

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was founded in Geneva on the 26th October 1863. It’s the oldest and most honoured organization within the Red Cross movement, and winner of three Nobel Peace Prizes in 1917, 1944 and 1963.

The Red Cross has done some incredible work since its formation in the mid 19th century. Here are just a few photographs of its laudable heroes.

Spanish Foreign Legion with Red Cross nurse in Irun, 1936 © Daily Herald / Keystone Press Agency Ltd
Spanish Foreign Legion with Red Cross nurse in Irun, 1936 © Daily Herald / Keystone Press Agency Ltd
A crowded road at Fricourt, 1917, unknown photographer © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
A crowded road at Fricourt, 1917, unknown photographer © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Mrs Claude Elliott, WVS, c. 1943, John Cyril Alfred Redhead © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Mrs Claude Elliott, WVS, c. 1943, John Cyril Alfred Redhead © Science Museum Group collection
Children perform fundraising play in bombed residential area, 29 June 1943, Jack Esten © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Children perform fundraising play in bombed residential area, 29 June 1943, Jack Esten © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
GIs on leave at the Milestone Club, Kensington, London, 2 September 1942 © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
GIs on leave at the Milestone Club, Kensington, London, 2 September 1942 © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
British Red Cross attending to wounded soldiers, Robert Watson © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
British Red Cross attending to wounded soldiers, Robert Watson © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
A blood donor and nurse at a civil defence first aid, 1944, John Hinde © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
A blood donor and nurse at a civil defence first aid, 1944, John Hinde © Science Museum Group collection
Preparing for wartime gas - Red Cross nurses receive training, 1933 © Daily Herald / Keystone Press Agency Ltd
Preparing for wartime gas – Red Cross nurses receive training, 1933 © Daily Herald / Keystone Press Agency Ltd
Red Cross workers give drinks to soldiers, Banbury Station © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Red Cross workers give drinks to soldiers, Banbury Station © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Women volunteers queuing to enlist for nursing, 1939 © Daily Herald / Sport & General Press Agency
Women volunteers queuing to enlist for nursing, 1939 © Daily Herald / Sport & General Press Agency
Mrs Cooke, WVS, c. 1943, John Cyril Alfred Redhead © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Mrs Cooke, WVS, c. 1943, John Cyril Alfred Redhead © Science Museum Group collection
Red Cross nurses giving communist salute, January 1937 © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Red Cross nurses giving communist salute, January 1937 © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection

For more ICRC history, pop over to the Science and Society Picture Library website where you’ll find a selection of photographs and objects from across the Science Museum Group to mark 150 years of the Red Cross.

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