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Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 11:24 UK
Edward Jenner's epic story to be told in TV documentary

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Dr Mark Horton is a trustee of the Jenner Museum in Berkeley

A new BBC documentary is to explore the epic story of how a Gloucestershire doctor developed a life-saving vaccine with the help of a cow.

In 1796, Berkeley's Edward Jenner injected eight-year-old James Phipps with cowpox from Blossom, believing it would protect the boy from catching the deadly smallpox virus.

He may not have conquered armies and navies, but he did vanquish one of the greatest foes of all, smallpox.
Dr Mark Horton

The discovery saved billions of lives all over the globe.

A monument celebrating this achievement is now set to be unveiled in front of the World Health Organisation building in Geneva.

The monument will be unveiled on 17 May 2010, to mark the 30th anniversary of the official declaration that the disease had been eradicated.

Documentary

On the same evening, Dr Mark Horton will explore the historic story in a television documentary on BBC One (West).

Mark is a trustee of the Jenner Museum in Berkeley with his favourite object being the horn, claimed to be from Blossom the Cow, which is kept at the museum.

He is campaigning for a statue of Jenner to be reinstated to its original position in Trafalgar Square.

In 1858 the statue was erected on a fifth plinth but a campaign by people opposed to vaccinations had him ousted in 1862.

'National heroes'

Mark Horton with the Jenner cow horn
Mark is campaigning for a statue of Jenner to be reinstated in London

The statue has occupied a less prominent position in Kensington Gardens ever since.

"He may not have conquered armies and navies, like Napier or Nelson, but he did vanquish one of the greatest foes of all, smallpox," said Dr Horton.

"For that reason I think he deserves a place in Trafalgar Square amongst our national heroes".

'Jenner's Marvellous Medicine' will be broadcast on BBC One in the West region at 7.30pm on Monday, 17 May, 2010. The programme will also be available on the BBC iPlayer for seven days after the original transmission.

For more information about 'A History of the World' the BBC has set up a website, where people can upload details of their own objects. The address is bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld.





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