William Church BrasierWilliam Church Brasire, 1890s

William Church Brasier formed a unit of trained first aiders in Margate in 1879. This was the first organised group of St John trained volunteers to offer aid to the injured. Church Brasier’s work was recognised by the founders of St John Ambulance, and he was invited to assist with the early development of what was then known as the Brigade.

His practical experience helped to create a service for transporting the sick, which did not depend on the patient’s ability to pay. The service began with one horse-drawn carriage, two litters and four staff. Church Brasier worked with other early volunteers to promote the importance of first aid, and the need for an ambulance service that was available to all.

Source: Museum of the Order of St John


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