Rebecca Gill
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Neutrality and the politics of aid in insurgency
British relief to the Balkans, 1876–78
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Lady Strangford, helped along by Gladstone's patronage, administered one of the most prominent funds to aid suffering Christians in the Balkans, concentrating her efforts on those in the Rumeli district. The villages in Rumelia upon which Strangford and Long focused their concern had, by the spring of 1877, begun to return to normal. Unlike pro-Slav and Bulgarian relief funds, which relied on local connections, the Turkish Compassionate Fund worked closely with British diplomatic personnel. Much of the work of the Fund centred on the large town of Filibe, the site, a year earlier, of Lady Strangford's relief efforts. The question of aid to Serbian wounded had crucial political ramifications. The British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War's (NAS's) role in the Serbo-Turkish War proved controversial, on the grounds of its ineptitude as much as of its politicisation.

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Calculating compassion

Humanity and relief in war, Britain 1870–1914


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