accessibility & help

First World War

Between 1914 and 1918, our 90,000 volunteers gave their time and skills to help the sick and wounded.

Browse these pages to find out about our work during the war. Read our blogs to get first-hand accounts of what life was like for our volunteers.

Find out where you can see treasures from our archives at a venue near you.

Nurses and Red Cross VADs

What the Red Cross did in the First World War

Our volunteers and staff did everything from running hospitals and fundraising to transporting the wounded and loaning wheelchairs.

Red Cross volunteer nurses

Volunteers during the First World War

90,000 volunteers worked at home and abroad during World War One. They performed all kinds of roles from nurses to air raid wardens.

Patients lie in beds with Red Cross nurses standing beside them

Auxiliary hospitals

The Red Cross provided vital auxiliary hospitals and convalescent homes during the First World War. These temporary treatment centres provided care for wounded servicemen.

Prisoners of war receiving parcels from Red Cross

Food parcels for prisoners of war

British prisoners of war were in desperate need of food. Find out was included in a Red Cross food parcel.

A cross-shaped pin showing an ambulance for Our Day fundraising event

See a piece of WWI history near you

There are many First World War centenary exhibitions taking place across the UK. You can see paintings, photos and trinkets that belonged to our volunteers on loan at many of these museums.


Join our First World War family history project

A First World War record card

Can you spare a couple of hours a week to put our VAD records online? We'll give you training and you can do it from home when it suits you. Your efforts will help many people see what their relatives did during the First World War. Find out more:

True stories from WWI

Source: Red Cross blogs

Visit a Red Cross hospital

A Red Cross nurse stands in a hospital ward
01 Mar 2014

Dunham Massey has been transformed back into a 1917 Red Cross hospital to mark the centenary of World War One.

Plan your visit >