Doctors are highly praised for saving lives and curing our aches and pains in our hospitals.

But nurses also play an important role in the treatment of patients, among them those seen in Picture 1.

It was taken at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in 1980 when 130 nurses trained by the Oxford School of Nursing received certificates.

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The six pictured were, left to right, Gail Burgess (Silver Medal), Yvette Mason (Third-Year Prize), Helen Lunt (Medicine), Rosalind Hazelgrove (Paediatrics), Elizabeth Jeffery (John Stallworthy Prize) and Maureen Parlett (Radcliffe Guild of Nurses Prize).

Janice Ann Leist in Picture 2 was one of the student nurses to receive their awards at a ceremony at Horton General Hospital at Banbury in 1967.

Oxford Mail: She is seen being presented with it by the Rev John Hully, the hospital chaplain and one of its “satisfied customers”. He had recently spent three months there as a patient.

He thanked nurses for the kindness and help they had shown him and many others.

There was another happy gathering at the John Radcliffe Hospital in 1980. In Picture 3, nurses from all over the county were presented with prizes by Lady McCarthy, chairman of Oxfordshire Health Authority, in the presence of the Lord Mayor, Gordon Woodward.

Lady McCarthy told them: “The authority is lucky to have this quality of nursing.”

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Nursing, of course, is not always about looking after patients – sometimes, nurses had to think about their own welfare and futures, on the picket line. Picture 4 shows nurses and their supporters during an eight-hour vigil outside Banbury Town Hall in 1988 collecting signatures for a petition calling for more Government cash for the health service.

Oxford Mail: Sister Bernadette Granger, chairman of the North Oxfordshire branch of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “I can see the National Health Service collapsing if we do not get more money. I have been in nursing for 32 years and I have never known morale so low.”

There were similar feelings at protests at other times by staff at Fair Mile Hospital at Cholsey, near Wallingford, in Picture 5 and at Littlemore Hospital in Oxford in Picture 6.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

You can also read his weekly Traffic and Transport newsletter.