Royal Red Cross Decoration 1883-1994

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The Royal Red Cross was instituted as a decoration by Queen Victoria by royal warrant of 23 April, St George’s Day, 1883 for award to ladies who showed special devotion while nursing the sick and wounded of the Army and Navy. The Royal Warrant said that it be bestowed ‘upon any ladies, whether subjects or foreign persons, who may be recommended by our Secretary of State for War for special exertions in providing for the nursing of sick and wounded soldiers and sailors of our Army and Navy’.

In November 1915, the Royal Red Cross was expanded to two classes: First Class, or Member (RRC); and Second Class, or Associate (ARRC). In 1917, arrangements were made for Members of the First Class who performed further outstanding services to be awarded a bar.

The decoration was specifically extended to the Nursing Services of the Royal Air Force in 1920 and to men in 1977. The award is now restricted to members of the Nursing Services of the Armed Forces and properly constituted Auxiliary Nursing Services working under Armed Forces control.

Recipients of the Royal Red Cross are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "RRC" or "ARRC" for Members and Associates respectively.

This collection was transcribed from the War Office: Registers of Recipients of the Royal Red Cross (WO 145) from the National Archives, Kew.


Period covered: 1883-1994

Records in this collection are likely to include the following:

  • surname
  • initials
  • rank
  • service
  • award details

Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.

Original Source: The National Archives

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