Dame Janet Maria Vaughan

Dame Janet Maria Vaughan, by Victoria Crowe, 1986-1987 - NPG 5928 - © Victoria Crowe

© Victoria Crowe

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Dame Janet Maria Vaughan

by Victoria Crowe
oil on board, 1986-1987
32 in. x 26 in. (813 mm x 660 mm)
Purchased, 1987
Primary Collection
NPG 5928

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Branded 'too stupid' for further education by her headmistress, Janet Vaughan failed the Oxford entrance examination twice before being admitted to Somerville College. She later graduated with a first-class degree in physiology. Vaughan pursued clinical studies at University College Hospital, London, and qualified there in 1924. An assistant pathologist at the hospital, she published The Anaemias in 1934. During the Second World War, Vaughan played an important role in establishing blood transfusion depots in London, and at the end of the war travelled to Belsen with a new method of treating starvation. In 1945 she was appointed principal of Somerville College, a post she held until 1967.

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Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

  • Fame! (8 April 2006 - 6 August 2006)

Events of 1986back to top

Current affairs

Hampton Court Palace is devastated by fire. Much of the third floor and the roof of the building were destroyed, although, thanks to the courage of the fire fighters, only one painting and one piece of furniture were ruined.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, marries Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey.

Art and science

Poems on the Underground, the brainchild of American writer Judith Chernaik, is launched by London Underground. A rolling programme of poems is displayed in tube train carriages, bringing contemporary and classic poetry to commuters.
The Independent Newspaper is first published.
Artists, Gilbert and George win the Turner Prize.


An explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station leads to nuclear meltdown in the reactor and causes massive nuclear contamination over Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, western Europe, the UK and Ireland, and even North America. The 2005 Chenobyl Forum attributed 56 direct deaths to the disaster and estimated that 9,000 people may die from some form of cancer as a result of exposure to radiation.

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