The Red Cross came into being at the initiative of a man named Henry Dunant. Dunant grew up during the period of religious awakening known as the Réveil, and at age 18 he joined the Geneva Society for Alms giving. In the following year, together with friends, he founded the so-called “Thursday Association”, a loose band of young men that met to study the Bible and help the poor, and he spent much of his free time engaged in prison visits and social work.
The Red Cross came into being at the initiative of a man named Henry Dunant, who helped wounded soldiers at the battle of Solferino in 1859 and then lobbied political leaders to take more action to protect war victims. His two main ideas were for a treaty that would oblige armies to care of all wounded soldiers and for the creation of national societies that would help the military medical services.
Jean Henri Dunant (May 8, 1828 – October 30, 1910), also known as Henry Dunant, was a Swiss businessman and social activist. During a business trip in 1859, he was witness to the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in modern day Italy. He recorded his memories and experiences in the book A Memory of Solferino which inspired the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863. The 1864 Geneva Convention was based on Dunant’s ideas. In 1901 he received the first Nobel Peace Prize together with Frédéric Passy.
Dunant was born in Geneva, Switzerland, the first son of businessman Jean-Jacques Dunant and Antoinette Dunant-Colladon. His family was devoutly Calvinist and had significant influence in Geneva society. His parents stressed the value of social work, and his father was active helping orphans and parolees, while his mother worked with the sick and poor. His father worked in a prison and an orphanage.
Dunant grew up during the period of religious awakening known as the Réveil, and at age 18 he joined the Geneva Society for Alms giving. In the following year, together with friends, he founded the so-called “Thursday Association”, a loose band of young men that met to study the Bible and help the poor, and he spent much of his free time engaged in prison visits and social work. On November 30, 1852, he founded the Geneva chapter of the YMCA and three years later he took part in the Paris meeting devoted to the founding of its international organization.
In 2013 the International Red Cross turns 150
In 2014 the Australian Red Cross turns 100
Early Australian Christians with links to the Red Cross
Simpson found a donkey, which he named variously “Duffy”, “Murphy” and “Abdul”, that had been landed by a field artillery unit, and began operating independently. Simpson took off his Red Cross armband and tied it around the donkey’s head. He told the men that as the donkey was now a member of the unit he would make it official. Simpson used the donkey to carry the wounded, using bandages to make a head stall and a lead rope. With his donkey and working all day and into the night, Simpson was making between twelve and fifteen trips a day between the front line and the shore.
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