Search for war heroes at home
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