Dame Cicely Saunders (No. 2, 1932 - 1937, pictured with her fellow prefects) trained as a nurse, a medical social worker and finally as a physician. Involved with the care of patients with terminal illness since 1948, she lectured widely on this subject, wrote many articles and contributed to numerous books.
Dame Cicely founded St Christopher’s Hospice in 1967 as the first hospice linking expert pain and symptom control, compassionate care, teaching and clinical research. St Christopher’s has been a pioneer in the field of palliative medicine, which is now established worldwide.
Through her single-minded vision, and the clinical practice and dissemination of her work through St Christopher’s teaching and outreach, Dame Cicely revolutionised the way in which society cares for the ill, the dying and the bereaved.
Dame Cicely is recognised as the founder of the modern hospice movement and received many honours and awards for her work. She held more than 25 honorary degrees, from the UK and overseas. Awards included the British Medical Association Gold Medal for services to medicine, the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, the Onassis Prize for Services to Humanity, The Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms for Worship Medal.
Dame Cicely was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1979 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1989.