Operation Hanwood was the British Army’s contribution to the UNPROFOR peace keeping mission in Croatia which ran from April 1992 to October 1993. Alongside the peacekeeping troops there was a sizeable medical contingent that both supported the troops themselves and offered medical care to the civilian population in the war torn country. Today we are looking at a small commemorative shield for this medical contribution to the operation:
The main body of the design depicts a map of the former Yugoslavia with Croatia, the area of operations, highlighted in blue. Above this are the badges of the 24th Field Ambulance, UNPROFOR and a picture of a Landrover ambulance:
Below is a scroll with the name of the operation on it:
The Secretary for State for Defence, Malcolm Rifkind, updated parliament on the progress in Yugoslavia in 1994:
Since the first deployment of UNPROFOR troops to the former Yugoslavia, the United Kingdom has contributed to the growing international military effort to contain the conflict and alleviate suffering. In the spring of 1992, we sent an Army field ambulance to Croatia. In the autumn of that year, we sent an armoured infantry battalion group to Bosnia to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the victims of the conflict. That deployment has undoubtedly helped to save thousands of lives. The Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force are also making a very important contribution.
There are now some 2,450 British soldiers serving in UNPROFOR’s Bosnia-Herzegovina command— a contribution second only to that of the French. Since the beginning of the year, we have also provided the commander for the UN forces in Bosnia, Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Rose, who is carrying out his responsibilities in a most impressive manner. Our military effort in the former Yugoslavia is outstanding in scale, range and quality, and we need fear no comparison with the contribution of any other nation in the world.