Red Cross marks battle anniversary





The Red Cross is marking the 150th anniversary of the battle which inspired Henri Dunant to found the world's best known humanitarian movement.

At the end of June 1859, the armies of France and Sardinia, led by Napoleon III, confronted the Austrians at Solferino in northern Italy.

The Red Cross is marking the 150th anniversary of the battle which inspired Henri Dunant to found the world's best known humanitarian movement.

At the end of June 1859, the armies of France and Sardinia, led by Napoleon III, confronted the Austrians at Solferino in northern Italy.

What he saw at Solferino shocked Dunant, and inspired him to develop an organisation dedicated to helping war wounded.

But the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had modest beginnings; Dunant and four friends met in an apartment in Geneva's old town to discuss possible rules for war, aimed at alleviating suffering.

It established the immunity from attack of all hospitals and medical personnel treating the wounded; it said all wounded combatants must be treated impartially; and introduced the red cross on a white background as the official symbol for humanitarian work.



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