museum and archives handling collection catalogue

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Planning an event? Browse the catalogue to see what you can borrow and display at your event to inspire your visitors.


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    Museum and Archives

    Handling Collection Catalogue

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    Whether you are raising awareness or raising funds, the items listed in this catalogue will help to generate interest and discussion about the work of the British Red Cross and its humanitarian values. All the items have been specially chosen and are available for loan with supporting information. The catalogue has been divided into a number of themes to help you find things more easily. Please let us know if you cannot find what you need or if there are any topics that you would like to see covered in the future. Related information sheets are available on request


    You may borrow as many or as few items as you like. Our only stipulations are: > you pay for return postage > return all the loan items on time > take good care of your loan > follow the laundry instructions supplied when you borrow uniforms Many items are replicas of original items, and some are original items please treat them all with care and follow any instructions provided. This will ensure that items are available when you require them in the future.

    Booking: Please fill out a copy of a Loan Form at the end of this catalogue and email to Or send it to the British Red Cross Museum and Archives, 44 Moorfields, London EC2Y 9AL Or contact Jane High, Collections Assistant, Museum and Archives Tel: 020 7877 7058

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    Contents: First World War display Page 4

    First World War wheelchair

    Page 5

    Uniforms Pages 6 - 19

    Medals and badges (1914 to 1980s)

    Pages 20 - 26

    Relief parcels Pages 27 - 32

    Replica posters (First and Second World War)

    Pages 33 - 38

    Books Pages 39 - 40

    Certificates Page 41

    Training manuals (1912-1960s)

    Pages 41 - 50

    Junior Red Cross training manuals (1948-1973)

    Pages 50 - 53

    Message and tracing Pages 53 - 54 Medical Equipment (1900-1960s)

    Pages 54 - 61

    Images Pages 62 74 Loan request form Page 75

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    First World War display

    A separate/self-contained display has been produced especially for the centenary of the First World War, 2014-2018

    A table top display, including items that can be presented on backdrop boards (stands and boards not supplied), featuring all the main activities of the British Red Cross during the First World War. Including: > volunteering > transport > auxiliary hospitals > nursing > fundraising > work abroad

    The display includes original objects - medals, nursing equipment, first aid and nursing manuals, and reproduction photographs and certificates. All items have explanatory text or captions. Any items from the display can be loaned separately. Please note: available for short-term loans of approx 1-2 weeks only

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    First World War wheelchair Ref: H/EQP/2015/4


    The wheelchair can be borrowed for display at events, but must not be sat on or used

    to transport people.

    It can be borrowed as part of the First World War display (above) or separately.

    The wheelchair is known as a Carstairs type and was designed to be lightweight to allow for

    manoeuvrability in confined spaces, including up and down stairs, and was used in hospitals

    and other institutions. It would have had a detachable wooden bar to stop the patient from

    falling out when negotiating stairs. We do not have the wooden bar, but you can see the

    holes in the armrests where it would have gone.

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    Womens Uniforms from 1914-1980s First World War uniforms (1914-1918)

    VAD nurses uniform with dress (blue), apron, belt,

    over-sleeves, collar and head-veil

    Ref: H/UNI/2002/30-32


    One size fits all

    38 available

    During the First World War VADs (Voluntary Aid

    Detachments) supported the territorial medical services

    in hospitals and convalescent homes. Units were called

    Voluntary Aid Detachments and members were also

    known as VADs.

    (Please note that mannequins are not supplied with

    the uniforms)

    Commandants uniform with

    dress (red) apron, belt, cuffs,

    collar and head-veil

    Ref: H/UNI/2002/33


    One size fits all

    6 available

    A Commandant was the leader of

    a detachment section. This type of

    uniform was worn by the

    Commandant of an auxiliary



    Ref: H/UNI/2002/18 and H/UNI/2015/1 1915

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    Armbands worn by members of a Kent Voluntary Aid

    Detachment. The brassards were used in emergency

    situations where it was necessary to be protected by

    the Red Cross emblem.

    Storm cap



    Women ambulance drivers who carried out foreign

    service wore a Storm cap, in navy blue cloth, with

    stitched cloth peak

    Second World War uniform (1939-1945) Members dress with apron, belt and head-


    Available in the following sizes:

    Dress size 8

    Ref: H/UNI/2002/26

    1 available

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    Dress size 10

    Ref: H/UNI/2002/36

    1 available

    Dress size 12

    Ref: H/UNI/2002/15, H/UNI/2002/16

    & H/UNI/2002/24, H/UNI/2002/23

    4 available

    Dress size 14

    Ref: H/UNI/2002/9 & H/UNI/2002/25

    2 available

    Dress size 16

    Ref: H/UNI/2002/11, H/UNI/2002/10

    & H/UNI/2002/12

    3 available

    Dress size 18

    Ref: H/UNI/2002/13, H/UNI/2002/21,

    H/UNI/2002/22 & H/UNI/2002/35

    4 available

    Dress size 20

    Ref: H/UNI/2002/29

    1 available

    Dress size 24

    Ref: H/UNI/2002/14, H/UNI/2002/27 &


    3 available

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    Member's indoor uniform Orphan Annie dress

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/5, H/UNI/2013/7-9


    4 available

    A members dress of a blue lustre fabric and named Orphan Annie because of the loose cut

    and rounded collar.

    Worn with a belt, apron and head veil as below

    Member's indoor uniform petersham belt



    Member's indoor uniform white aprons

    Ref: H/UNI/2015/7-10


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    Member's indoor uniform white headveil with Red Cross emblem

    Ref: H/UNI/2015/11-14


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    Second World War brassards

    Brassard for a mobile VAD

    H/UNI/2007/1 1939-1945

    Mobile VADs were those members who were

    expected to go wherever their services were


    Brassard for an immobile VAD



    Immobile VADs were those who carried out

    duties in their own homes or local areas.

    Womens post-war uniforms 1950s to 1980s Member's indoor uniform Norman Hartnell Type 2 dress

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/2-4 & H/UNI/2013/6, H/UNI/2013/10


    5 available

    This style of uniform was designed by Norman Hartnell the Royal dressmaker. It was part of

    the New Scheme to widen British Red Cross membership and attract a million new


    Worn with a belt, apron and head veil, as below

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    Member's indoor uniform petersham belt

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/35, H/UNI/2013/37, H/UNI/2013/40 & H/UNI/2013/49


    4 available

    Member's indoor uniform white aprons

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/12-25 & 48


    15 available

    Member's indoor uniform white headveil with Red Cross emblem

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/26-28 & H/UNI/2013/31-34


    7 available

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    Member's indoor uniform lupin cotton

    dress with belt

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/1 & H/UNI/2013/39


    Indoor uniform Commandant's dress

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/11


    Member's uniform ladies white shirt

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/43


    Member's uniform navy blue beret

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/45


    The hat was part of the womens outdoor

    uniform worn by officers and VAD members

    on formal occasions. It was worn with a navy

    jacket and skirt, shirt and tie, and gloves

    such as H/UNI/2013/46 below

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    Member's uniform white gloves

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/46


    The gloves were part of the womens outdoor

    uniform worn by officers and VAD members

    on formal occasions. They were worn with a

    navy jacket, skirt, shirt, tie, and a beret such

    as H/UNI/2013/45 above

    Mens uniforms 1960s to 1980s

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    Mens outdoor uniform jacket

    Ref: H/UNI/2009/1


    With British Red Cross Essex Branch cloth


    Mens outdoor uniform hat

    Ref: H/UNI/2009/2


    With members gilt and enamel hat badge

    Member's uniform white men's shirt

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/42


    With cloth badges for first aid, Hampshire

    Member's uniform white short-sleeved

    men's shirt

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/41


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    and British Red Cross and the emblem.

    Member's black tie

    Ref: H/UNI/2013/47


    Part of the mens outdoor uniform worn by

    officers and VAD members. It was worn on

    formal occasion with navy jacket and

    trousers and a white shirt.


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