Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Voluntary Aid Detachment

Organisation formed in 1909 in Britain which supplied nursing orderlies in Red Cross convalescent hospitals and rest homes during World War I and II both within Australia and overseas. Community members volunteered for first aid instruction and to work without pay in hospitals and nursing homes during World War I. The organization continued through World War II until placed under the control of the Red Cross in 1948. In New South Wales they were renamed the Voluntary Aid Service Corps in 1967.

Voluntary Aid Service Corps
1967 -
Part of

The Red Cross in Sydney in World War One

CC BY-SA 2.0

A Sydney branch of the British Red Cross was formed in 1913 and it, and a host of new branches, joined the national movement at the outbreak of World War One in August 1914. The earliest activities were training in first aid and home nursing as pre-requisites for membership of Voluntary Aid Detachments. At a local level Red Cross workers undertook sewing, knitting and fundraising, all the while being encouraged to see themselves at 'ministering angels'.