Welcome to the DMWS website.  The St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service, to give us our full title has been supporting the Armed Forces Community since 1943.  Even before the formation of the Service Hospitals Welfare Department, Welfare Officers from these two humanitarian charities were serving our military personnel in Field Hospitals as far back as World War 1.  The provision of this vital auxiliary service to the Defence Medical organisations has demonstrated the Nation’s care and commitment to its Armed Forces and their families during times of crisis. 

This distinguished history has seen our Welfare Officers working in hospitals in Libya, Aden, Northern Ireland, on board ship during the Falklands Conflict and most recently in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  It has also included the same level of support in hospitals all over the world where service personnel and their families have been diagnosed with illness, injured in a traffic or training accident. Discrete and understated DMWS has patients at the heart of what we do and we are immensely proud that over the last 70 years  we have provided support to in excess of 1,000,000 patients and their families.  DMWS and its forbears have been an enduring presence in supporting our military community.

More recently we have worked closely with partners such as the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes to support those in rehabilitation and recovery, by providing our service at the Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall and The Personnel Recovery Centre in Sennelager.  Our work complements the welfare provision at unit level, which is always at capacity. 

We make a difference by:

• providing early intervention to meet welfare need where it exists to reduce the risk of escalation in to a crisis
• acting as a preventative measure to diminish the chance of service personnel and their families having to access the services of other charities
• contributing to the work of the clinical teams by helping to get our people back to work whether it is in or out of the services more quickly

DMWS have been part of the “fabric” of welfare provision for the Armed Services Community for many years and we are looking forward to a future where we can continue to do so for many more.  Please take a moment to browse our website and find out more about our remarkable staff and the amazing work that they do.


N A Murdoch   
Chief Executive   
Defence Medical Welfare Service