Thérèse Vanier

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Thérèse Vanier
Born(1923-02-27)27 February 1923
Camberley, Surrey, England
Died16 June 2014(2014-06-16) (aged 91)
Relatives Georges Vanier, father
Pauline Vanier, mother
Jean Vanier, brother

Thérèse Marie Chérisy Vanier (27 February 1923 – 16 June 2014) was an English decorated veteran and medical doctor who specialised in haematology and palliative care. With her brother, she co-founded L'Arche UK, a branch of the international organisation dedicated to the communal care of people with learning disabilities, establishing the first community in Barfrestone near Canterbury in 1974.

Hematology, also spelled haematology, is the branch of medicine concerned with the study of the cause, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases related to blood. It involves treating diseases that affect the production of blood and its components, such as blood cells, hemoglobin, blood proteins, bone marrow, platelets, blood vessels, spleen, and the mechanism of coagulation. Such diseases might include hemophilia, blood clots, other bleeding disorders and blood cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma. The laboratory work that goes into the study of blood is frequently performed by a medical technologist or medical laboratory scientist.

Palliative care is an interdisciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress at any stage of illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the person and their family. Evidence as of 2016 supports palliative care's efficacy in the improvement of a patient's quality of life.

LArche organization

L'Arche is an International Federation dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs, and support networks with people who have intellectual disabilities. It was founded in 1964 when Jean Vanier, the son of Canadian Governor General Georges Vanier and Pauline Vanier, welcomed two men with disabilities into his home in the town of Trosly-Breuil, France. Today, it is an international organisation operating 147 communities in 35 countries, and on five continents.


Thérèse Vanier was born on 27 February 1923 in Camberley, Surrey to Pauline Vanier (née Archer), an appointed member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada [1] and Georges Vanier, [2] a decorated soldier and former Governor General of Canada. [3] Her third name, Chérisy, marks the location in France where her father lost a leg in the trenches during World War I. [4] Vanier was the eldest of five children. Her brother Jean Vanier, a trained naval officer and Catholic philosopher founded the first L'Arche community in Trosly-Breuil, France in 1964. [3]

Camberley town in Surrey, England

Camberley is a town in Surrey, England, 31 miles (50 km) southwest of Central London, between the M3 and M4 motorways. The town is in the far west of the county, close to the borders of Hampshire and Berkshire; the boundaries intersect on the western edge of the town where all three counties converge on the A30 national route. It is the main town in the borough of Surrey Heath. Camberley's suburbs include Crawley Hill, York Town, Diamond Ridge, Heatherside, and Old Dean.

Surrey County of England

Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is also one of the home counties. The county borders Kent to the east, East Sussex and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast.

Pauline Vanier Canadian viceregal consort

The Honourable Pauline Vanier, PC, CC, DStJ, born Pauline Archer in Montreal, is a Canadian who was married to Georges Vanier, who was one of Canada's first professional diplomats, Canada's first ambassador to France and Canada's first Canadian-born French-speaking Governor General of Canada from 1959 until his death in March 1967.

As a young adult Vanier studied at Mayfield in East Sussex. At the age of 19, she signed up with the British Mechanised Transport Corps and sailed in a convey as part of the Battle of the Atlantic. Vanier went on to join the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, eventually rising to the rank of captain. [3]

The Mechanised Transport Corps (MTC), sometimes erroneously called the Motor Transport Corps, was a British women's organisation that initially provided its own transport and uniforms and operated during the Second World War. It was a civilian uniformed organisation that provided drivers for government departments and other agencies. Among other roles, members drove staff cars, including for foreign dignitaries whose drivers were not accustomed to driving on British roads, and ambulances in the Blitz.

Battle of the Atlantic longest continuous military campaign in World War II

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, running from 1939 to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, and was a major part of the Naval history of World War II. At its core was the Allied naval blockade of Germany, announced the day after the declaration of war, and Germany's subsequent counter-blockade. It was at its height from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943.

After World War II Vanier studied medicine at the Sorbonne and Cambridge University. Vanier completed her clinical studies at St Thomas’ Hospital in Central London where she became the first female consultant in haematology. It was during this time that she met lifelong friend Cicely Saunders, a pioneer in hospice care, and the founder of St Christopher's Hospice. [3] [4]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Sorbonne historical monument

The Sorbonne is a building in the Latin Quarter of Paris which was the historical house of the former University of Paris. Today, it houses part or all of several higher education and research institutions such as Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris Descartes University, École pratique des hautes études, and Sorbonne University.

Central London Innermost part of London, England

Central London is the innermost part of London, in the United Kingdom, spanning several boroughs. Over time, a number of definitions have been used to define the scope of central London for statistics, urban planning and local government. Its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally, nationally and internationally significant organisations and facilities.

In 1972 Vanier resigned from her position at St Thomas' Hospital to join Saunders at St Christopher's where she taught and pursued clinical work in the burgeoning field of palliative care. [3] [5]

Vanier opened the first English L'Arche community in January 1974 in Barfrestone near Canterbury in Kent. She went on to personally oversee the opening of four other communities. Today there are ten communities in the UK, including one in Lambeth, south London, where Vanier lived until her death in 2014. Vanier's Catholic Requiem mass took place at the Anglican Canterbury Cathedral on 10 July 2014. [6] Her body was laid to rest at Barfrestone cemetery, around 100 metres from "Little Ewell", the first L'Arche Kent Community house she helped to establish in 1974. [7]

Barfrestone human settlement in United Kingdom

Barfrestone is a village in East Kent, England, and between Shepherdswell, Eythorne and Nonington, and close to the pit villages of Elvington and Snowdown.

Canterbury Cathedral Church in Kent, England

Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. It forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, currently Justin Welby, leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Its formal title is the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury.

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  1. "Historical Alphabetical List since 1867 of Members of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada". Privy Council Office. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  2. Vanier, Georges (1 October 2000). Georges Vanier: Soldier: The Wartime Letters and Diaries, 1915-1919. Dundurn. pp. 10–. ISBN   9781459713017 . Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Martin, Sandra (27 July 2014). "Dr. Thérèse Vanier taught lessons in dying and healing". The Globe and Mail . Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Thérèse Vanier - obituary". The Telegraph. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  5. Shearer, Ann (29 July 2014). "Thérèse Vanier obituary". The Guardian . Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  6. News, Independent Catholic. "The Funeral of Thérèse Vanier at Canterbury Cathedral | ICN". Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  7. "Thérèse Vanier has passed away". L'Arche Canada. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.