Louis Appia was born in 1818 in Frankfurt-am-Main and
graduated as a doctor in Heidelberg in 1843. He had a particular interest in
improving surgery for victims of war.
In 1859, during one conflict, Appia mobilised resources and donations, to
help the wounded and worked in field hospitals. Volunteering for such
missions became a hallmark of his life.
Two years later, Appia became chairman of the Medical Society in Geneva then,
in 1863, he was asked to work on a commission looking into Henry Dunant's
ideas for improving the condition of wounded soldiers in battlefields. This
commission became the ICRC.
In October 1863, Appia suggested that all volunteer rescuers in war zones
should wear white armbands to identify them. General Dufour later suggested
that a Red Cross should be emblazoned on the armbands.
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