[image: The Work of the American Red Cross During the Great War]



Chapter V
Outside of the work in France, the Red Cross did relief work in twenty­four foreign countries during the period covered by this report. That this work, which is brought together under the caption "Work Elsewhere Overseas," was not insignificant is indicated by the fact that cash appropriated for it aggregated over $63,000,000, while the value of chapter relief supplies used in it was approximately $12,000,000, producing a total of $75,000,000 for the twenty months ending February 28, 1919.

While different kinds of work were carried on in each country, in accordance with the particular needs of the country concerned, there were practically no kinds of work that were not also undertaken in France. It might almost be said that the work in each country was simply a duplication, in a smaller way, of the work done in France, though, of course, there was no need in certain places of particular activities that were greatly needed in France. In each place, the endeavor was to do the things that were most needed and thereby to strengthen the Allied nation where it was weakest---always, of course, confining activities to the field that the Red Cross could properly undertake.

Because of these circumstances, and because of a desire to make this report as brief as it can be made consistent with comprehensiveness details of the work done in each country outside of France will not be presented--- dependence being placed on the descriptions of each kind of work that have been given in the preceding chapter, which is devoted to the work in France.

The present chapter will be confined to brief mention of the main lines of work carried on in each country in which the Red Cross operated extensively.

The table that follows shows the cash appropriations for the countries where the important operations were conducted:


While the somewhat general similarity in conditions made the needs in Belgium parallel those in France, an important difference was due to the fact that such a large proportion of the country was occupied by the Germans, with the result that refugees were scattered through France, Holland, England and Switzerland. This condition naturally imposed great difficulties on the Belgian Government, and on the Red Cross in its endeavors to help the people in want.

As in the case of the work in France, the main policy of the Red Cross was to aid the people by supporting and helping national agencies. In this undertaking, relief was given through the Belgian Red Cross and some 300 other Belgian relief organizations, some of the major activities being described in the paragraphs that follow.

Soldiers' Relief Service

More than sixty relief organizations were aided by the Red Cross in carrying on activities directly connected with the welfare of Belgian soldiers. Among these activities were hospitals, canteens and rest houses, bath and lodging houses, libraries and reading rooms, schools and farms for re­education of mutilés, manufacturing and distribution of artificial limbs, cinemas and concerts, athletic contests, gifts of musical instruments and music, supplementary allowances for nurses, care of Belgian soldiers' families, gifts to decorated and specially meritorious soldiers and research and employment service for disabled and discharged soldiers.

Eighty-two canteens served approximately 25,000 soldiers daily.

Twenty-eight hospitals were aided by gifts of cash and supplies of numerous kinds.

Cinemas at the front entertained an average of 8,000 men daily.

Libraries were equipped with nearly 300,000 volumes; one reading room alone served 450,000 men in one year.

An educational course was given to 7,500 Belgian soldiers during one year.

Relief of Children

The Red Cross made grants to nearly seventy organizations carrying on relief work for children. Children's colonies were established in France, Switzerland and Holland. Baby-saving work was conducted in Belgium and in refugee centers. Everything possible was done to preserve the health and welfare of these children.

The Red Cross aided directly in evacuating some 20,000 children, placing 8,000 in France, 2,000 in Switzerland and 10,000 in Holland ---in school colonies, etc.

Fifteen milk distributing depots were maintained in unoccupied Belgium.

Four hundred baby clothing outfits were distributed monthly to Belgian children in France.

A dispensary was established and operated by the American Red Cross at Le Havre, France, in April, 1918, and in September a hospital of 20 beds was added. Social service and public health nursing were also carried on. To February 28, 1919, a total of 14,610 dispensary patients were treated, 2,523 house visits were made by doctors and nurses and 195 hospital patients treated.

Relief of Civilians

When one considers that approximately 90,000 Belgian civilians remained in unoccupied Belgium within range of German guns, and that 600,000 found refuge in other countries, some idea can be obtained of the hardships these people went through during more than four years of war.

Grants were made to nearly 150 relief agencies, and with these agencies the Red Cross cooperated in:

Establishing and maintaining hospitals, refugee colonies, health centers, etc.;

Providing housing accommodations, clothes, household furniture, livestock, etc.;

Transporting refugees to places of safety;

Maintaining a service by which members of families were brought in touch with one another.

In short, the Belgian refugees were followed wherever they were and provided with suitable food, clothing and comforts.

A permanent Red Cross Commission for Italy was appointed in the fall of 1918 and arrived in Rome during the latter part of December. In January, 1918, it took over the work of a temporary Commission, composed of members of the Red Cross Commission for France who had been sent to Italy at the time of the great emergency resulting from the Caporetto disaster of November, 1918.

Red Cross work in Italy thus commenced in November, 1918, during the great offensive, when the need for moral and material assistance from America was urgent. The help given at this time was confined mainly to hospital and ambulance service for the hard-pressed soldiers at the front, and relief of refugees from the Venetian plains.

During the following months the work of the Red Cross extended to 141 towns, as shown on the below, as well as to thousands of smaller villages from the Alps to the Island of Sicily.

Service for American Soldiers and Sailors

Red Cross work for American soldiers and sailors in Italy included hospital service, canteen service, and home and communication services.

Large quantities of medical and surgical supplies and considerable equipment, including drugs, medicines, surgical instruments, sterilizers, incinerators and X­ray machines, were furnished the American military and naval forces. Four hospitals were operated---one for the Army, one for the Navy and two for American war workers.

Canteens were established wherever American soldiers were stationed, and rolling canteens followed them to the front when they took part in the victorious Italian offensive of October, 1918.

Other Red Cross work for American soldiers in Italy included the distribution of comforts and the operation of a home and communication service which up to February 28,1919, had handled over 22,000 cases. Perhaps the most important of these cases were 14,600 instances in which correct addresses were secured for allotments to American soldiers' families residing in Italy.

Medical and Hospital Service for the Italian Army

As a result of the 1918 offensive, the Italian Army lost one hundred hospitals and two main field magazines of medical supplies. The disorganizing effects of these reverses were increased by the fact that thousands of wounded soldiers were coming in from the front.

Although at this time the Red Cross had barely commenced operations in Italy, the seriousness of the situation was at once appreciated, and large quantities of gauze, cotton, drugs and other medical supplies and equipment were given the Italian authorities. Within sixty days 951,000 articles were distributed, including ten complete field hospitals.

During the following months the Red Cross continued to furnish both the Italian Army Medical Department and individual military hospitals with general medical supplies and specialized equipment such as disinfecting machines and articles for research laboratories. A service was operated for manufacturing, sterilizing and distributing surgical dressings to supplement the regular supply of the Italian Army.

Ambulance Service for the Italian Army

On December 9, 1917, two days after the United States had officially declared war on Austria, there appeared on the streets of Milan one hundred Red Cross ambulance drivers, each driving his own car, bound for the Italian front. These and other ambulances furnished by the Red Cross handled from January 1,1918 to February 28, 1919, 148,224 cases, making 14,194 trips and covering 652,995 miles. That the work of this service was appreciated by the Italian Government is shown by the fact that all the field personnel received War Crosses.

Canteen Service for the Italian Army

Thirty-three canteens were operated by the Red Cross in Italy for the benefit of Italian and Allied troops. Seventeen of these were scattered along the Italian front, both in the mountains and on the plains, and the remaining sixteen were located at important railroad stations along the line of communication. From these canteens drinks, chocolate, cigarettes and other refreshments were distributed, and beds and baths were often provided. The extensive nature of this work is indicated by the fact that an average of 1,400,000 men were served each month in the thirty­three canteens.

Map 11. 141 stations from which the Red Cross rendered service in Italy, November, 1917, to February, 1919

With the signing of the armistice, the service of the front-line canteens was extended to thousands of Italian prisoners returning from Austria and Germany. Because of the lack of system in liberating these men, many of them were in a half-starved condition when they reached the Italian frontier. To February 28, 1919, the Red Cross had served 1,132,300 rations to returning Italian prisoners.

Relief of Refugees

In its work among the refugees the Red Cross cooperated with the Italian Government in making the lives of these unfortunate people as near as possible like their lives in their former homes.

Thousands of civilians were driven from the north to the south of Italy by the great offensive of 1918. Canteens and rest houses were operated by the Red Cross to help them, and clothing and other supplies were distributed among the more needy. During the following months the Red Cross assisted in caring for the refugees in the towns and villages throughout Italy. This work included the maintenance of refugee colonies, hospitals, dispensaries and food kitchens, and the operation of workrooms for the manufacture of many kinds of articles, such as clothing, embroidery, mattresses and furniture. A few statistics concerning this work are given in the following table:

Table 44: RED CROSS WORK AMONG REFUGEES IN ITALY , November, 1917---February, 1919

The above statistics do not show the large quantities of supplies distributed among refugees. A few of these supplies are mentioned below:


Care of Children

The Red Cross cooperated with the Italian Government in feeding, clothing and caring for the thousands of war orphans and other unhappy children in Italy. This work included the operation of summer colonies, orphanages, day nurseries, industrial schools, playgrounds and health centers, and the distribution of food and clothes. During the period covered by this report, the Red Cross was able to help 154,704 Italian children, 50,554 of whom were cared for in institutions.

Other Activities

The other activities of the Red Cross in Italy are too numerous to mention individually in this report. They included such important work as the distribution of cash to 326,035 needy families of Italian soldiers and the operation during the Spanish influenza epidemic of forty-eight relief stations from which special foods were distributed and medical aid was given.

Mention should also be made of certain work in connection with the victorious Italian offensive of the fall of 1918, during which Red Cross ambulance and camion services followed the Italian troops to assist in legitimate ways both the Army and the civilian population in the regained territory.

American Red Cross activities in the British Isles consisted chiefly of caring for American soldiers and sailors passing to and from the front, providing for those shipwrecked nearby, and caring for the American wounded.

The map below indicates the extent of the Red Cross work in the British Isles.

Hospital Service

A foremost place in any outline of Red Cross work must always be given to the hospitals. The importance of this activity in the British Isles was emphasized during the time American troops were brigaded with British. The American wounded from these units were necessarily taken to the British Isles.

There were thirteen American Red Cross hospitals in the British Isles for American military and naval forces, which cared for 6,000 patients. Several of these hospitals were organized or constructed by the Red Cross, and then turned over to the American Army Medical Corps; others were operated under an arrangement by which the American Red Cross furnished the management and the equipment and the American Army supplied the technical personnel. One of these hospitals was for American nurses, and two were operated for the Navy.

In addition to the American Red Cross hospitals in the British Isles for American soldiers, there were several American Army and Navy hospitals. American Army patients were also cared for in 200 British institutions. Wherever there were American Army or Navy patients in the British Isles, the Red Cross assisted in every way possible through its hospital visiting service, its casualty information service and its distribution of hospital and medical supplies, equipment and comforts.

In addition, the Red Cross operated small hospitals or infirmaries for American soldiers in fifty camps throughout the British Isles.

Camp and Canteen Service

The importance of the camp and canteen service for American soldiers and sailors carried on by the Red Cross in the British Isles is suggested by the fact that nearly one million American soldiers passed through Great Britain during the period covered by this report and that a large portion of them was scattered through 100 camps for rest and training. The camp service included the distribution of many kinds of supplies and comforts, erection of shower baths and performance of emergency service of every description.

The Red Cross, in the beginning of its work, depended largely on the British canteens, to which liberal donations were made. Later, the Red Cross equipped and operated its own canteens in metropolitan districts, along lines of communication and at ports. Perhaps the four most important were located at Liverpool, London, Glasgow and Southampton.

Following is­ a list of some of the principal items distributed free to American soldiers and sailors through the Red Cross camp and canteen service:


Map 12. 329 stations from which the Red Cross rendered service in the British Isles, October, 1917, to February, 1919

Care of the Shipwrecked

The Red Cross helped in every way possible those American soldiers who were survivors of the transports "Tuscania" and "Moldavia," which were sunk in the neighborhood of the British Isles. Money, clothing, comforts and other supplies were given to these survivors; and those placed in hospitals were given every assistance by Red Cross representatives.

Anticipating future occurrences similar to the sinking of the "Tuscania" in February, 1918, the Red Cross made provision for caring more completely for the survivors. Stores of clothing, first-aid outfits and other necessary supplies were located at various Irish stations for completely outfitting 6,000 Americans on short notice. Arrangements were made for billeting and feeding any number that might be landed at out-of-the-way places, while a fleet of motor cars was made available for emergencies.

Other Activities

Space is not available in this report to tell of all the activities of the Red Cross in the British Isles; home service, communication service, nursing service and kindred activities are covered at length in the chapter on France.

Mention should be made, however, of the work of the London Chapter of the American Red Cross. This Chapter carried on all of the Red Cross activities in Great Britain prior to the appointment of a commission, and since then has worked in close cooperation with it, operating a hospital supply service; work shops for making surgical dressings, hospital garments, etc., employing over 2,000 women; an officers' hospital and a well-equipped club for nurses. It has active committees dealing with comforts for soldiers, distribution of books, entertainment of officers and nurses in London and kindred activities.

Mention should also be made of more than $5,000,000 contributed by the Red Cross to other relief organizations in the British Isles; among other items, $4,500,000 was given to the British Red Cross, and $250,000 to the Scottish Women's Hospital.

The two most urgent reasons for Red Cross work in Switzerland were, first, the necessity of working from that country in aiding American soldiers in German prison camps, and, second, the need for extending to the Swiss Government and people aid in caring for the thousands of refugees from many lands who were located in Switzerland.

Map 13. 25 stations from which the Red Cross rendered service in Switzerland, May, 1918, to February, 1919

Map 13 above shows the places from which the Red Cross operated in Switzerland.

Prisoners' Relief Service

This service rendered aid to all American prisoners of war, and to many Allied prisoners, by supplying food and clothing, forwarding mail and money and communicating with the families and friends of the prisoners.

Diagram 7. American prisoners in German and Austrian prison camps aided by the Red Cross, August 15, 1918, to December 15, 1918

On August 15, 1918, the Red Cross was aiding 577 American prisoners in 39 prison camps. On November 30, 1918, this number had increased to 3,604 (including 12 sailors and 146 civilians) in 72 prison camps. Diagram 7, above, shows the number aided by months.

Supplies were shipped weekly or fortnightly by the Red Cross in twenty-pound packages, to all American prisoners of record, wherever located. At the start of this service the Red Cross furnished all such supplies free. Later, the U. S. Army and Navy furnished certain essential supplies to the Red Cross, which added supplementary items such as special food for invalid prisoners, chocolate, candy, pipes, tobacco, shaving outfits, etc. Complete clothing outfits were supplied on request.

To determine whether supplies reached their destination, the prisoners were asked to sign and return a card enclosed in each package. Acknowledgments were received for ninety per cent. of the shipments.

In the following table are listed the quantities and kinds of articles furnished American prisoners, including those supplied by the U. S. Army and Navy:

Table 47: SUPPLIES FURNISHED AMERICAN PRISONERS (Including items supplied by U. S. Army and Navy), Twenty Months Ending February 28, 1919

Mention should also be made of relief supplies aggregating nearly $3,800,000 in value purchased by the Red Cross, from funds furnished by the Serbian Government, and forwarded to Switzerland for distribution to Serbian prisoners of war.

Among the other services performed for prisoners, the Red Cross acted as agent in transmitting over $32,000 to imprisoned soldiers of seventeen different nationalities, nearly one-half of which went to Americans. Also, over 50,000 letters were written to relatives and friends concerning the health and whereabouts of American prisoners.

After the armistice was signed, the Red Cross distributed food and clothing to 2,600 American and 8,400 Italian prisoners repatriated through Switzerland.

Relief of Civilians

Relief was extended by the Red Cross to destitute children and aged persons repatriated by the Germans through Switzerland, interned Allied soldiers, interned civilians of the United States and Allies, and to Swiss families whose sons or fathers were in the service of the United States or Allied Governments.

This relief in large part consisted of establishing and maintaining hospitals, canteens, workrooms, etc.; donations to other relief organizations; and furnishing food and clothing to the needy. Mention should be made of the workrooms established for interned soldiers, where many necessary articles were made.

Although the American Red Cross had representatives in the Balkans as early as the winter of 1914-1915, relief activities did not assume large proportions until the summer of 1918, when commissions were sent to Serbia and Roumania.

In the fall of 1918 a commission was sent to Greece, and early in 1919, with the opening up of large territories occupied by the Central Powers during the war, units were sent to North Serbia, Roumania, Montenegro and Albania to combat conditions beyond description. However, the work of these units was hardly well under way by February 28, 1919, hence a record of things accomplished must be omitted from this report. The appropriations for the Balkan States recorded on page 66 include $2,550,489.99 for expenditure by these units.

However, a fair idea of the work done by the Red Cross in each of the countries comprising the Balkan States will be conveyed by the following outlines of the work done in Roumania and Serbia by the units that went to those countries during the summer of 1918.


In August, 1918, the Red Cross sent a Commission to Roumania which arrived in Jassy, the temporary capital, in September, and found great suffering on all sides. All that remained of the once prosperous kingdom was the mountainous province of Moldavia, about the size of the State of Connecticut, where the population had doubled from the influx of soldiers and refugees. Pneumonia, cholera and typhus were rampant, the medical and hospital facilities were entirely inadequate, and there was a distressing lack of food, clothing and other supplies.

Soon after its arrival, the Commission took over a 500 bed military hospital at Roman, and later assumed charge of a civil hospital in Jassy. Dispensaries for needy civilians were operated in both places. In Roman alone, more than 20,000 operations were performed or treatments given.

Map 14. 13 stations from which the Red Cross rendered service in Roumania, December, 1918, to March, 1918

The chief difficulty in the way of extending general relief was to secure necessary supplies. Russia was the only gateway to the outside world, and Russia was suffering from economic disorganization. However, despite great difficulties, carloads of foodstuffs, clothing, drugs and surgical supplies were brought from Archangel, Petrograd and Moscow, and made available to the Roumanian population. In the three districts of Putna, Tekuchin, and Bocan, over 40,000 persons were fed every day by the Red Cross. A canteen was opened in Jassy, where for two months meals were given 2,000 people. The various places in which Red Cross service was rendered are shown on the map above.

In March, 1918, after Roumania had made a separate peace with Germany, it became necessary for the Red Cross to withdraw. The undistributed Red Cross relief supplies were turned over to the Roumanian Government and various organizations. Among these articles were foodstuffs sufficient to feed 2,000 people for three months, and large quantities of bandages, medicines and garments.


The only part of Serbia that was unoccupied when the Red Cross Commission arrived there in August, 1918, was a narrow strip of land lying along the Greek border south of Monastir, once fertile, but at that time stripped of everything by the invaders.

In this narrow area were found 50,000 Serbians wholly dependent on charity. All through Greece homeless and destitute refugees were scattered.

A supply of seed and agricultural implements was sent from America for use in cultivating 21,000 acres near Monastir. A party of agricultural experts was sent to take charge of this work.

To aid refugees in northern Greece, the Red Cross furnished large quantities of food, clothing and medical supplies, established hospitals and built houses.

For the Serbian Army, the Red Cross, among other things, equipped and sent from America complete dental units, furnished supplies and equipment to Serbian Army hospitals, established canteens for convalescent soldiers and sent clothing to Serbian prisoners in Bulgaria.

Mention should also be made of a contribution of $50,000 to the Serbian Red Cross, and of the aid extended to the Serbian Government in caring for prisoners of war (see page 79).

In August, 1918, the Red Cross sent a commission of specialists to Russia for the purpose of assisting this country in the same way it was helping other Allied nations. However, because of the disorganized state of the country, it was impossible to carry out the full original plan.

The commission, on its arrival in Russia, was accorded the hearty support of the Provisional Government then in power and the cooperation of the Russian Red Cross, the Sanitary Department of the Russian Army, and the Union of Zemstvos. The increasingly chaotic conditions in Russia, however, made the work more and more difficult, until in March, 1918, with the German advance on Petrograd, the commission was forced to abandon its program and move to Moscow, where it stayed doing what it could until October, 1918, when it was ordered out. Despite these difficulties, many important things were accomplished, some of which are mentioned in the paragraphs that follow.

A complete ambulance unit of 125 cars was sent from America for service with the Russian Army.

During the winter and spring of 1918 the Red Cross distributed 450,000 cans of condensed milk, helping 25,000 babies, a large number of whom would otherwise undoubtedly have perished.

During the summer of 1918, a large number of American and Allied citizens were assisted through distributions of food, clothing and medical supplies.

The wretched condition of 25,000 people employed on the Murmansk railroad was improved by large shipments of foodstuffs.

In July, 1918, the Red Cross sent an expedition to Archangel to assist the American troops operating in this northern section of the world. Red Cross work in the Archangel district has included the operation of a hospital, the distribution of comforts to American and Allied soldiers and the relief of destitute civilians.

With the assistance of the chief surgeon of the American forces the Red Cross operated a 100 bed hospital in Archangel. On December 20, 1918, there were 80 patients in this hospital, most of whom were American soldiers.

As the opportunities for effective work in European Russia gradually narrowed, an enormous field for necessary work opened up in Siberia. An appeal for help came from the leaders of the Czecho-Slovak troops fighting in that district. Wounded soldiers were pouring into Vladivostok, with inadequate facilities available. In response to this appeal, the Red Cross sent representatives to Siberia in June, 1918, and rushed men and supplies from the United States, cooperating from the start with the Far East chapters of the Red Cross. From this start the Red Cross work in Siberia has rapidly expanded to cover many phases of military and civilian relief, with a personnel of nearly 350 Red Cross workers on February 28, 1919. The work was still being extended on that date, so that the text which follows gives only a partial idea of Red Cross work in Siberia.

The huge area to be covered, extending for 4,126 miles along the Trans-Siberian Railway as indicated on Map 15 below, the extreme cold, and the multiplicity of tongues and currencies are factors making Red Cross work in Siberia very difficult.

Medical Service

The medical service for the benefit of American and Allied troops and numerous refugees, was probably the most important work carried on by the Red Cross. It involved equipping and operating hospitals and dispensaries, the distribution of drugs and other medical supplies, the establishment and operation of baths and disinfecting plants, and the equipping and maintenance of an anti-typhus sanitary train.

Map 15. 29 stations from which the Red Cross rendered service in Siberia, June, 1918, to February, 1919

During the period covered by this report, the Red Cross operated five hospitals, as shown in table below:

Table 48: HOSPITALS OPERATED BY THE RED CROSS IN SIBERIA, July 1, 1918---February 28, 1919

In addition to this hospital work, the Red Cross furnished equipment and supplies to a large number of Siberian hospitals, including such items as beds, mattresses, blankets, operating tables, instruments, drugs, surgical dressings and food.

An important part in the fight against typhus was taken by a complete Red Cross sanitary train made up of bath, boiler, tank, sterilizing, dressing, hair-clipping and other cars. This train, manned by Red Cross workers, went into infected districts applying modern sanitary methods.

Other anti-typhus work included the establishment of an isolation hospital in Vladivostok and the operation of a bathing and delousing station at Ekaterinburg which, up to February 28, 1919, had given 30,000 treatments.

Camp Service

The military relief service of the Red Cross in Siberia, in addition to the medical service just referred to, includes various services for American and Allied soldiers, such as the distribution of comforts and the operation of home service and a communication service. During the Christmas season of 1918 all the American troops in and around Vladivostok were given comforts and other supplies, including 6,000 comfort bags made by the Japan Chapter of the American Red Cross. At the same time the members of the Russian Railway Service Corps, composed of American railway men, were given knitted articles and other necessary supplies. Altogether 10,000 Americans in Siberia have received presents of supplies through the Red Cross.

In Western Siberia, the Red Cross has assisted the Czecho-Slovak and other troops operating in this section. Some of the more important supplies distributed among these forces are listed below:


The home and communication services, in cooperation with these activities in America, straightened out the home troubles of American soldiers and kept the families and friends of these soldiers informed concerning their health and whereabouts.

Refugee Relief

The refugee relief work of the Red Cross in Siberia has involved many and varied activities, such as the provision of lodging, food, clothing, medical service, employment and educational facilities. Table 50 gives some statistics of this work.

Table 50: REFUGEE RELIEF WORK OF THE RED CROSS IN SIBERIA, July 1, 1918---February 28, 1919

One of the chief problems confronting the refugee service of the Red Cross has been to provide shelter for the many refugees who poured into the Siberian cities from all directions. This problem was especially acute in Vladivostok, where there were hundreds of homeless Russians, Armenians and Serbians. To relieve this housing situation, the Red Cross equipped and operated a number of refugee barracks, where lodging was furnished and meals were served. These barracks not only protected the inmates from the wind and weather, but also served as a practical means of teaching cleanliness and sanitation.

Two sewing rooms, a weaving establishment and a tailor shop were operated by the Red Cross at Vladivostok to furnish employment for refugees. In the sewing rooms 6,500 garments had been turned out to December 31, 1918.

Particular attention was devoted by the Red Cross to the care of the many refugee children in Siberia. Schools were operated in Vladivostok, and seven groups of children from Petrograd living at various places in Western Siberia received Red Cross assistance.

Until the British began their advance into Palestine it was not possible for the American Red Cross to offer direct aid to the countless thousands of sufferers in these areas.

Prior to that time, a great deal of relief had been carried on in Armenia, Persia, Syria, the Russian Caucasus and Mesopotamia by the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief. Even after the severance of diplomatic relations between the United States and Turkey this work went on with scarcely a hitch. To February 28, 1919, the American Red Cross had contributed to this committee $4,500,000 in money and $1,444,032.54 in supplies.

In March, 1918, the American Red Cross sent a Commission to operate in Palestine and the Near East. The Commission reached Port Said on June 11 and commenced active operations in Jerusalem on July 4,1918.

The operations of the Commission to February 28, 1919, extended to 54 towns and villages, indicated on Map 16 (page 88), and engaged 144 Red Cross workers.

The statistics which follow indicate the extent of the work in the Jerusalem district from July 1, 1918, to February 28, 1919. Work in the Beirut and Aleppo districts was started in November, 1918, and January, 1919, respectively, along similar lines.

In the Jerusalem or southern district the work of the Red Cross extended as far north as Acre and as far south as Port Said. The medical service in this district included the operation of twelve hospitals and sixteen dispensaries. Table 51 gives some statistics concerning this phase of the work.


The motor service of the Red Cross rendered invaluable assistance throughout the Jerusalem district, transporting nearly 28,000 refugees and invalids a total mileage of 119,981 during the eight months ending February 28,1919.

Map 16. 54 stations from which the Red Cross rendered service in Palestine and the Near East, July, 1918, to February, 1919

The work among children in the Jerusalem district included the operation of orphanages, day nurseries and schools in which reading, writing, arithmetic and various trades were taught. A few statistics of this part of the work are given in the following table:


In addition to the services shown above, the Red Cross rendered assistance to refugees in the Jerusalem district by furnishing employment to 5,000 men and women. The productive activities carried on included weaving, sewing, cooking, wall building, brick making and farming. The major accomplishments­of this industrial and agricultural service are shown in Table 53.


These are so numerous that mention below is made only of the more important.

Since the signing of the armistice, the Red Cross has sent a unit into Poland cooperating with the food supply organization of the Allied countries by covering the important field of emergency relief lying outside the furnishing of food. This unit carried on such activities as furnishing clothing and medical service, assisting in the establishment of a national health bureau, establishing dispensaries for immediate relief of sickness and suffering, etc.

A Red Cross unit was sent also into Germany, cooperating with the military authorities in caring for Russian and Allied prisoners in that country.

The American Red Cross took a leading part in the organization of the League of Red Cross Societies, designed to unite the Red Cross societies of the world in active cooperation against the miseries which arise from disease and disaster.

Mention should also be made of the collection of old clothing for liberated countries in Europe in response to a request from the Hoover Commission. The Red Cross conducted this campaign through its chapters and paid the charges of assembling these clothes to the point of shipment.

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