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French Red Cross (Association, France)

Croix-Rouge française

Last modified: 2014-04-25 by ivan sache
Keywords: red cross | croix-rouge francaise | cross (red) | ambulance | first world war | second world war | emergency squad | paris |
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[French Red Cross flag]

Flag of the French Red Cross - Image by Ivan Sache, 18 August 2013

See also:

Presentation of the French Red Cross

The Croix-Rouge française (website) was established on 7 August 1940 as the merger of three associations:
- Société de Secours aux Blessés Militaires (SSBM), established on 22 May 1864 and recognized on the same day as the French National Committee of the Red Cross - renamed in 1870 Société de Secours aux Blessés Militaires des Armées de Terre et de Mer;
- Association des Dames Françaises (ADF), founded in 1879 by Auguste Duchaussoy (1827-1918), as a splinter of SSBM;
- Union des Femmes de France (UFF), established in 1881 by Emma Koechlin-Schwartz (1838-1911), as a splinter of UFF.
The actions of the three associations were jointly managed by a Central Committee established in 1907.

Ivan Sache, 18 August 2013

Flag of the French Red Cross

The flag of French Red Cross (photo, photo, photo), often hoisted over the association's buildings (photo) and vehicles (photo), is white with the association's emblem, made of a Red Cross surrounded by the black lettering "CROIX- ROUGE / FRANÇAISE".

Ivan Sache, 18 August 2013

Red Cross flags used during the First World War

[Ambulance flag]

Ambulance flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2000

The Army Museum in Paris shows a Red Cross flag used by French ambulances during the First World War.
The flag is made of 12 red, equal squares stitched over a white background, as four rows of 2:4:4:2 squares, so the cross is thicker than usual.

[Ambulance flag]

Red Cross flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 18 August 2013

Another Red Cross flag from the First World War (photo) is square, white with a Red Cross whose arms reach the edges of the flag.

Ivan Sache, 18 August 2013

Emergency squads, 10th arrondissement of Paris

In 1943, the Allies air forces increased their raids over Paris and its surroundings, aiming at disrupting communication and transport. The raids took a heavy toll among civilians, especially during the attacks of metro and railway stations. On 6 August 1943, Marcel Morel-Brochet (1899-1992; biography), the Director of the Red Cross dispensary located rue Albouy in the 10th Arrondissement of Paris, founded theÉquipes d'Urgence du Xe Arrondissement (10th Arrondissement Emergency Squads; presentation). Composed of volunteers, the squads assisted the wounded after the raids over Pantin, Noisy-le-Sec, and the Chapelle Station at Saint- Ouen, 20-21 April 1944, during which 600 civilians were killed.

During the fightings for the liberation of Paris, 19-24 August 1944, some 50 members of the Emergency Squads assisted the wounded in the streets and on the roofs; three among the younger stretcher-bearers of the Squad, Pierre Chatenet, Jean Cazard and Lucien Gohier, were killed on 19 August.
On 23 August 1944, Morel-Brochet was commissioned to establish contact between the Allies and German commands, preparing the reddition and perserving lives.
Soon after the liberation of Paris, the Emergency Squads moved to Normandy where they set up and operated a dispensary near the destroyed village of Tilly-sur-Seulles. Some members of the Squad joined the Eastern Front and fought in Lorraine.
Officially disbanded on 20 September 1945, the Emergency Squads were maintained as the Association de l'Amicale des Anciens Équipiers d'Urgence et Secouristes, a friendly association presided by Marcel Morel-Brochet, which kept supporting the Tilly dispensary and funded other social actions.

On 11 December 2004, Marcel Morel (Jr.) offerred the flag of the Emergency Teams (photo; photo) to the Marcel Morel-Brochet Museum, inaugurated that day in the Red Cross Local Delegation of the 3rd and 10th Arrondissements of Paris.
The flag is square, white with a golden fringe, charged in the middle with a small red cross flanked by the golden writings, in an arched pattern, "CROIX ROUGE FRANÇAISE" (top) and "ÉQUIPES D'URGENCE DU Xe ARRT".
The flag bears the following decorations:
- Silver-gilt medal of the Red Cross;
- Cross of Honour of the Stretcher-Bearers of the Liberation;
- Medal of Honour of the Groups of Resistants, Fighters and Health Workers of the Liberation;
- Cross of Commander of Teaching and Social Education.

Ivan Sache, 4 October 2009