East London hospital features in new collection of recolourised pictures from the First World War

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A photograph of a young girl collecting a donation in Westminster during the First World War features as part of a collection of pictures that have been recolourised to commemorate this year’s centenary of the end of the 1914-18 conflict.

The picture was taken at St James’ Park in Westminster and is one of 20 images to have been given a new lease of life by the heritage team at the British Red Cross.

 

The Red Cross is this year marking the role played by women during the First World War when 66,000 women, out of more than 90,000 volunteers, took on roles as Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs) in auxiliary hospitals at home and overseas.

The photograph depicts Miss Christine Powis, a young girl dressed as a Red Cross VAD, collecting a donation from a small boy in the park. The picture was featured on the front cover of an edition of ‘The Gentlewoman’ illustrated weekly journal, dating back to 19 December 1914.

The general public gave generously to the British Red Cross during the war, and wartime donations that weren’t part of a special appeal or fund came to £16.5 million by the end of 1919 — over £970 million in today’s money.

The photograph is part of a collection that has been released by the organisation in tribute to their service for the charity as part of its Women on the Frontline campaign.

British Red Cross Emergency Response Manager for London, Ben Brungs, said: “Christine’s photograph is a charming representation of the key role that the women of London played in supporting the sick and the wounded during the First World War.”

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