9 June 2020

‘A History of First Aid in Britain and France, 1909-1989’

Global First Aid Reference Centre, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Paris, by webinar during Covid-19 lockdown,

19 September 2019      

A trip to the coast: interwar first aid on the roads and the beach

Barry Doyle presented ‘A trip to the coast: interwar first aid on the roads and the beach’ at St John Historical Society’s monthly meeting at St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, 19 September 2019. For more information, click here and  St John Historical Society – Museum of the Order of St John

11 September 2018         British Science Festival, Hull

To Tourniquet or not to Tourniquet: Practising Wartime First Aid in the Twentieth Century

An umbrella splint

This was a drop-in activity with re-enactments of First World War, Second World War and Cold War methods accompanied by modern methods demonstrated by the St John Ambulance trainer and the student team from Hull Links (University of Hull), with past and present objects, such as Resusci Anne, available for visitors to practice under our guidance.

Re-enacting first aid techniques from the World Wars, the Cold War and the peacetime interwar seaside has allowed us to explore continuity and change in practices across the twentieth century, ranging from artificial respiration to caring for wounds, fractures and shock. One of our goals is to attract a wider audience interested in learning about around 2 million people who were trained in first aid in preparation for war in the twentieth century. How have people without full healthcare training learnt to attempt to preserve life and prevent further injury, before paramedics, doctors or nurses arrive at the scene, or before a patient arrives in hospital? What knowledge did they gain in order to care for more minor ailments, in order to avoid attending hospital? Combining our performances about the responsibilities people had in the past with modern first aid education, with help from St John Ambulance and British Red Cross trainers, has allowed us to convey the importance of gaining up-to-date knowledge, inspiring people to have more confidence in training as first aiders today.

26 July 2018

Museum of the Order of St John, London

Introducing St John Ambulance: Caring in the Community Since 1080

Performances of First World War, 1930s’ seaside, and Cold War first aid techniques were accompanied by demonstrations and advice from St John Ambulance trainers within this community day at the museum.

27-28 June 2018 Project Workshop

The History of Emergency Medicine

Details of our workshop are available here: History of Emergency Medicine Conference Programme.

21 October 2017              

Tolkien Centenary Day, Hull 

A day of talks and activities to commemorate the time spent by JRR Tolkien in Hull in 1917, recovering from trench fever, at what was then the British Red Cross Brooklands Officers’ Hospital. Our activities included a talk on ‘Tolkien, the Treasure House and Trench Fever’ and a First World War first aid re-enactment accompanied by demonstrations by modern-day British Red Cross trainers.