Search for war he­roes at home

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR VIEWS -

On Sun­day the peo­ple of the UK will com­mem­o­rate the cen­te­nary of the end of the First World War.

The Bri­tish Red Cross has a near 150-year his­tory of sup­port­ing peo­ple in the UK dur­ing times of cri­sis and, be­tween 1914 and 1918, more than 90,000 peo­ple vol­un­teered for the or­gan­i­sa­tion, work­ing as Vol­un­tary Aid De­tach­ments (VADs) in aux­il­iary hos­pi­tals at home and overseas.

The vast ma­jor­ity of First World War vol­un­teers were or­di­nary women, and men, who cared for the wounded and sick, drove am­bu­lances and acted as clerks, cooks and store­keep­ers.

Given the sheer num­ber of peo­ple who vol­un­teered as VADs dur­ing the First World War, it seems likely that many of your read­ers will have an­ces­tors who gave ser­vice dur­ing the con­flict.

Now, read­ers can use our new on­line VAD data­base to find out if their an­ces­tors, es­pe­cially women rel­a­tives, per­formed a civil­ian role dur­ing the war.

Search­able by name, lo­ca­tion and oc­cu­pa­tion, the data­base in­cludes ser­vice records and, in some cases, pho­to­graphs.

Any­one can ac­cess the web­site at www.vad.red­cross.org.uk and po­ten­tially dis­cover new and il­lu­mi­nat­ing facets to their fam­ily his­tory.

Dr Alas­dair Brooks Her­itage Man­ager Bri­tish Red Cross

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