A Marvellous Historical Bearded Gent With A Beard

I think it's safe to say that we love a bit of facial fuzz here at Hawkins. Nothing pleases us more than seeing well looked after beards and moustaches. They make us happy. Growing facial hair has been done across the ages so to us it's always a classic look, but I think it's safe to say that it's been brought up to date with modern day rituals like styling and using oils and balms. Now, if you recall, in an older post we touched on some historic chaps that we considered to be 'gentlemen', in the true sense of the word and one of those gents was Jean-Henry Durant, who formed the Red Cross. We felt he was worth talking about some more because of his amazing achievements but also, because he sported a rather top notch beard. And have we mentioned that we like beards?

Let's start with his beard. He styled out two types of beard, the main being the 'Hulihee' which was a spin on the mutton chops beard (we'll cover beard types in another post, promise) but bushier and bigger in every way. Alongside this he also sported, because one look clearly wasn’t enough, a little 'Soul Patch' underneath his bottom lip. He looked stylish and classic, every inch the gentleman. Born Jean-Henri Dunant, but known as Henry or Henri (and possibly Henners, but we might have made that up) he was born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1828. His parents were affluent Social Workers who helped the poor, infirm, orphans and those in prison and from a young age, Henry's parents stressed
the importance to him of helping others.

Henry first came to public attention in 1858 when he wrote a travel guide of sorts, after visiting Algeria, Tunisia and Sicily. In 1859, wanting to gain business permits from Napoleon III he travelled to Solferino in Italy. Here he arrived to the fall-out from the Battle of Solferino. Affected by what he saw, Henry worked together with locals to provide assistance for injured and sick soldiers. With his own money he made temporary hospitals and bought much needed materials. Back home Henry wrote a book about his experiences, in which he suggested two solutions to what he had witnessed. Firstly, he wanted to create an international organization to help injured soldiers in war and secondly, he wanted an international agreement to protect injured soldiers and volunteers in war. Henry travelled Europe promoting his ideas and in 1863, after being assessed by a panel and the President of the Geneva Society for Public Welfare, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was formed, their worldwide symbol being the white band with a red cross. Bravo Henry.

In 1901, the first ever Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Henry as the founder of Red Cross. One of the officials is quoted as saying, “There is no man who more deserves this honour, for it was you, forty years ago, who set on foot the international organization for the relief of the wounded on the battlefield. Without you, the Red Cross, the supreme humanitarian achievement of the nineteenth century would probably have never been undertaken.” Henry died in 1910 and ever the selfless man, he donated his Nobel prize money and other funds to charity. What a true, historic gentleman.