Nancy Malloy Memorial Plaque

Date / Period
Object Type
Women of the Canadian Red Cross

It was considered an attack on the entire Red Cross movement.

On December 17, 1996, Canadian nurse Nancy Malloy and five other Red Cross aid workers were killed while on mission in the Republic of Chechnya.  “It was just beyond belief,” said Malloy's close friend and colleague, Jane Fairbanks.  

In the small village of Novye Atagi, about 25 km south of the Chechen capital Grozny, Malloy and her fellow Red Cross workers were asleep when a group of masked men stormed the hospital compound and brutally shot and killed the six of them and wounded another. Along with Malloy, Ingeborg Foss and Gunnhild Myklebust of Norway, Sheryl Thayer of New Zealand, Fernanda Calado of Spain, and Hans Elkerbout of the Netherlands died.  

The Red Cross mission was deployed following a peace treaty between Russia and Chechnya that allowed medical workers into the region. The loss of these six Red Cross workers was a massive blow to humanitarianism around the world and the Red Cross quickly withdrew roughly 70 employees from the region.

As a medical and hospital administrator, Malloy, 51 at the time, was partly responsible for keeping a full stock of medical supplies and drugs.

Originally from Brockville, Ont., she attended KGH School of Nursing in 1968 and completed her Bachelor's degree in Nursing Science at Queen’s University in 1969. She moved to Vancouver in 1979 and then went on to join the Red Cross in 1987 as a nurse and director for the British Columbia/Yukon sector, managing six outpost hospitals staffed by nurses in remote areas of BC.

Eventually Malloy signed up with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and went on missions to some of the most dangerous places in the world, including a total of six years in Zaïre, Ethiopia, Kuwait and Bosnia before heading to Chechnya.

Malloy posthumously received numerous awards, including the Florence Nightingale Medal from the ICRC for her exemplary service and courage and devotion to the wounded and sick. In 1997, then Governor General Romeo LeBlanc awarded her the Meritorious Service Medal and in June 2001 she was memorialized along with fellow humanitarian aid worker Tim Stone by a Monument to Canadian Aid Workers in Rideau Falls Park, Ottawa. Stone, executive director of the organization PATH Canada (Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health), died in the 1996 crash of hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961. Since the 1960s, more than 85 Canadians have died in the service of international development and humanitarian assistance.

In a first for the Canadian Red Cross, Malloy received the Order of the Red Cross in 2001.

Nancy Malloy Memorial Plaque

 Novye Atagi
On December 17, 2006, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held a ceremony in the Chechen village of Novye Atagi to mark the 10th anniversary of the brutal murder of six of its delegates there.
Memorial plaques
Memorial plaques on the school wall (formerly a hospital) in the village of Novye Atagi.

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