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VICE - CHAIRMAN OF THE B.R.C.S.

VICE - HERE can surely be no one in the world possessing even the faintest spark of compassion who does not hold in the highest esteem the Red Cross movement. In this unceasingly troubled life, the work of Red Cross Societies everywhere is, among the welter of things of which humanity should be ashamed, pre-eminently one of which it can be proud. ‘The Red Cross attracts to its ranks men and women of outstanding seflessness and social conscience. And among the foremost of the Red Cross leaders of all lands who have set the highest standards of service to mankind is the Countess of Limerick, Vice-Chairman of the British Red Cross Society. Her Red Cross work has taken her on extensive journeys to some of the farthest parts of the world, She has recently returned trom her bitesr strenugus tour, ot West Africa, where she visited branches of the Britisi Red Cross Society in Nigeria, the Gold Coast, Sierra Leone and Gambia. During World War Εν Lady Limerick undertook Red Cross missions in the Umited States of America, Canada, North Africa, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Ttaly, France, Belgium, Ciermany and Austria. Wherever she has gone, she has infused fresh en- thusiasm into Red Cross workers — in leper colony vr military hospital, children’s convalescent homes or lonely Malayan villages, in Red Cross Field Units in the barrle areas of Korea, Lady Limerick has made the Red Cross her life's work, bur it is by no means her sole contribution to ουσια] service, Born in 1897, her connection with the Red Cross began early in World War 1, when she joined its Voluntary Aid (nursing) Detachment to serve in hospitals in Britain and France. But she has always taken a keen interest in all aspects of social welfare, and has been a member of many important United Kingdom bodies dealiny with public health, housing, women’s work, legal aid for the poor, maternity and child welfare, local government, and a variety of other voluntary public duties. She trained for such a career at the London Schoo! of Economics, and began her public work --- as distinet from her nursing service —— shortly after her marriage in 1926 to the Hon. Edmund Colquhoun Pery, now the Sth Karl of Limerick. After several years’ work on bodies concerned with the welfare of the poor, she was clecte.] to a London borough council, and became chairman of its maternity and child welfare committee and of its public health committee. Seven years later she was elected to the London County Council, with its much greater scope of work and responsibilities, and on this she served for ten years. A woman of boundless energy and the widest social svinpathies, Lady Limerick began to undertake more anil more public work. For many years she has been a pro- minent member of the administrative council of the Family Welfare Association in Britain, and has served on the Marriage Guidance Council. Her interest in nursins extended to all branches of the profession, and she was tor 16 years up till 1950 Privy Council representative on the General Nursing Council for England and Wales. Lady Limerick made a special study of housing and its problems and served as a member of the Central Housing Advisory Committee οἳ Britain's Ministry of Health, In addition to other important work, her Red Cross activities expanded greatly during World War II, and has scarcely diminished since the war ended. Until 1940 she was President of the County of London branch of the Society, and in 1948 became Vice-Chairman of its executive committee, a post combining the exacting admin- trative work at national headquarters with personal visits to any part of the world where the British Red Cross society is earrying out vital emergency work, 26 CHAIRMAN OF THE B.R.C.S. By PHYLLIS DAVIES English feature writer and journalist formeriy on the staff of the London “Daily Mail’. The Countess of Limerick, Vice-Chairman of the British Red Cross Society. On her visit to the Far East in 1948, which included Burma, Malaya and Ceylon, the Vice-Chairman patd special attention to the problems of displaced persons in India and Pakistan following partition. On her return to Britain she appealed to the public for money to continue and extend the work of the B.R.C.S. in those countries. The following year she went to Amman to look into the conditions of Arab refugee camps near Jordan, and to arrange for their removal to higher. healthier sites. In 1951 she made a wide tour of Africa, visiting Red Cross units in the Sudan, East Africa, the Rhodesias an: Nyasaland, and also Mauritius. Two years later she made a tour of the Far East, when she visited branches in Singapore, Malava, Hong Kong. North Borneo, Brunc: and Sarawak. She also visited Japan and Korea to sec the organisation for the treatment and evacuation of the war casualties. Lady Limerick’s outstanding humanitarian work has received the gratitude of her country in the form of two honours bestowed on her by the late King George VI -- the lest being the title of Dame (of the Order, of the British Empire) the equivalent for women of a knighthood. In June, 1954, Queen Elizabeth IT, raised her to set a higher rank in the Order and conferred upon her the ricle ot Dame Grand Cross. But above all, the reward of her busy life is in the gratitude of countless thousands of people all over the world whs have benefited by her long and ungrudging devotion to the Red Cross.