Balkan War medal

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Members of the British Red Cross units who served in Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia or Turkey during the Turco-Balkan War (1912-1913) or the Balkan Allies War (1913) were awarded medals for their help. This medal is engraved with the name Gertrude D. Morris on the reverse. Miss Morris QAIMNS was awarded this medal for her service in the Base Hospital which the British Red Cross Society opened at Antivari, Montenegro.

In the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 the governments concerned gratefully accepted the offer of the British Red Cross to send medical help to each side. A special fund was raised and doctors, dressers, nurses and orderlies were sent out. Units and medical supplies were sent to Turkey, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and Bulgaria. Many VADs gained their first experiences here.

From the very beginning British Red Cross volunteers have played a huge role in providing aid where it is needed. Men and women have dedicated their time and efforts to alleviating suffering at home and abroad. Miss Morris’ medal is just one example of a personal story which shows how women volunteers in particular are able to share their skills with others to help in an emergency. I chose this object because volunteers make a real difference to people’s lives. It is important to recognise their life saving skills and their acts of kindness each and every day during times of peace and crisis. Over 100 years later British Red Cross volunteers are still caring for us.

Audio recording by Chloe Williams (Volunteer), Birmingham.
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