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St John Ambulance Brigade members, Ilkeston, c 1910 ?
c 1910 ?
About this image
A group of St John Ambulance Brigade members at the Manor Football Ground, off Manor Road. The occasion may be one of the annual Ilkeston Flower Shows, a notion reinforced by the fact that the young man seated left front has a flower trapped behind his cap badge! The Brigade members illustrate a range of ranks and ages, indicative of the popular appeal of the ambulance movement. By way of background, the St John Ambulance Association was formed in 1877 by the charitable Order of St John of Jerusalem so that ordinary people could be trained to provide first aid. This ensured that accident victims could be treated quickly and on the spot. The movement was particularly strong in areas - like Ilkeston - that were dominated by the railway and mining industries. From 1887 trained volunteers were organised into uniformed brigades in order to supply organised ambulance services at public events and remained the first and only service of this type well into the 20th century. Here a stretcher, blanket and splints are laid out somewhat untidily and the impression is that they may have seen some use. Coupled with the fact that the central and apparently most senior figure present has his jacket unbuttoned and is devoid of the standard equipment carried by his colleagues, this might suggest that either there has been an emergency or that a demonstration of ambulance skills has taken place prior to the photo being taken. The view is looking north-east with the chimney and pedimented roof of Bailey's lace and hosiery factory on Heanor Road visible in the right background.