History of Women in the Red Cross
A special Overseas Detachment was formed of 641 brave women who crossed the Atlantic for service overseas during and after World War II. These women drove ambulances – often in blackouts – supported patients and assisted staff in military hospitals. Courageous, strong and perhaps ahead of their time, they carried with them the strength and good wishes of many women who could not leave home.
Those who stayed behind mobilized to make bandages, sew surgical gowns, and assemble food parcels for shipment overseas. These food packages were lifelines to prisoners of war who had no contact with the outside world. The packages let them know people from home who didn’t have much to spare during the hard years of the war, were thinking about them.
Between 1945 and 1947, a delegation of 58 Corps volunteers escorted nearly 45,000 war brides and their 21,000 children on their transatlantic journey to Canada. This was the largest mass migration of women and children in Canadian history.
Woman can also become involved in the Red Cross movement by joining the Tiffany Circle. It’s one way the Red Cross is challenging female volunteers and philanthropists to follow in the footsteps of a long line of women leaders, as modern-day female heroes. Members of the Canadian Tiffany Circle are helping to shape the future of one of Canada’s most important humanitarian organizations and will certainly leave their own lasting legacy.
The Red Cross honours the support and leadership women have provided over the past 100 years and urges women to be a part of the future.