Minister Madigan to commemorate the humanitarian role played by St John Ambulance during World War 1
The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, will today (Wednesday) launch a special exhibition to mark the role played by thousands of men and women volunteers from St John Ambulance Brigade, who provided humanitarian care and support for wounded and exhausted military personnel, returning home from the First World War.
The discovery of over 3,000 photographs and documents, many of which originate from over 100 years ago, allows the exploration of the role played by St John Ambulance Brigade and its volunteers during the turbulent period of early 20th century.
The outbreak of the First World War in 1914, saw St John Ambulance join forces with the British Red Cross, to provide medical care for war casualties in hospitals in Ireland and overseas. Volunteers spent countless hours supporting local hospital depots, making artificial limbs and picking sphagnum moss from bogs, which was used in bandage manufacture.
The exhibition interweaves the personal stories of those who worked quietly and tirelessly in the background to alleviate pain, suffering and depravation of both combatants and non-combatants alike.
Speaking today, Minister Madigan said:
“Today, we remember and pay tribute to the medical and nursing staff of St John Ambulance, who treated disabled military personnel with compassion and dignity, as they sought solace and refuge from life-altering physical and psychological scars received on the battlefield.
The volunteer work of citizens during the period of the war was extraordinary. They responded to the humanitarian call out during a time when no national health service existed.
This exhibition honours the efforts and past voluntary sacrifice of St John Ambulance over the last century. “