THE funeral of a midwife who helped deliver hundreds of babies in their own homes across Cumnor and Botley has taken place.

Vera Setford, 85, passed away on January 20 at her home in Foxhall Road, Didcot, after suffering from liver cancer.

The retired district nurse and midwife for Cumnor was based at Botley Surgery from 1964 until she retired in 1986.

Her funeral took place at St Michael’s Church in High Street, Cumnor, opposite the house where she used to live.

Her family asked people not to buy flowers but make a donation to Sobell House hospice or Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Mrs Setford did not have grandchildren, but leaves behind her only child Marion Preston, 50, of Meadow Way, Didcot.

Mrs Preston said: “She was my best friend. My dad died 24 years ago, so in that time we have been incredibly close.

“She had a very strong and kind character, I didn’t know of anybody who didn’t like her.

“It was her and I, and it was only really in the last week that she gave in to the cancer. She was incredibly strong.”

Mrs Setford was born Alice Vera Hircock to Walter and Sarah Annie Hircock in Laxton, Northamptonshire, on August 6, 1928.

She had one older brother, William, who was killed during the Second World War aged 21.

At the age of nine, Mrs Setford decided she wanted to be a nurse after visiting her ill grandmother in hospital and seeing the nurses in their capes and hats.

At 18, she moved from Laxton to train as a nurse at St Helier Hospital in Surrey and then trained in midwifery at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and Woking Hospital.

After working in various hospitals, Mrs Setford joined the Colonial Service and worked in Arden, Algiers and Gibraltar.

It was in Gibraltar she met her future husband Leslie Setford, an officer in the Royal Navy.

They decided to move back to England in 1964 where Mrs Setford became the district nurse and midwife for Cumnor and the surrounding area, based at the Botley surgery.

On retirement they moved to Spain, where Mr Setford died in 1990.

Mrs Setford moved back to North Leigh and helped run the day centre at Field House sheltered housing in West Way.

She moved to Didcot five years ago.