IRRC No. 68

The birth and growth of a National Society

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In conformity with the resolutions of 1863 and the Swiss policy of armed neutrality, our National Red Cross Society has from its very beginning considered support of the army medical service to be one of its primary tasks. First to assume this task was the Société de secours aux militaires et leurs familles, which was founded on July 17, 1866. Apart from training volunteer first-aid workers to tend the wounded and the sick, the Society also extended its help to the families of soldiers mobilized in war-time. It carried out its main social work during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 and also rendered assistance to French troops interned in Switzerland. The Swiss Central Red Cross Society, which was founded on April 25, 1882, and replaced the Société de Secours, also planned to “promote the care of the sick in time of peace and of war”, at the same time considering it its duty to render “first-aid in the event of accident”.

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