DR Peter Pritchard, former Dorchester and Berinsfield GP, has died at the age of 99.

Dr Pritchard’s interests, influences and renown extended far beyond the normal bounds of a village GP and he was an integral figure in the community.

Shortly before his death he published his memoir ‘An Eventful Life’ and a detailed critique of the current state of the NHS.

Peter Michael Maddock Pritchard was born on May 19, 1918 in London in the middle of a Zeppelin raid.

He was the youngest child of Hilda Caldwell Smith and Major Jack Pritchard, an airship pilot with the Royal Naval Air Service.

Major Pritchard was killed in 1921 in the R38 airship disaster – leaving his widow to bring up their three young children.

The family, who moved to Hertfordshire during the war, returned to London.

After leaving school he studied medicine at Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University and then St Thomas’s, London.

While at Cambridge he was a member of the Cambridge Spitzbergen Expedition, confirming a life-long fascination with Nordic lands and a taste for adventure.

In 1942, three months after qualifying as a doctor, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and landed behind enemy lines in Burma.

He served as medical officer in gruelling conditions with the Chindits – a special ops unit of the British and Indian armies – and was later promoted to Major.

On home leave in 1943 he married Daphne Witherby, a physiotherapist, and they had three children; Wendy, Rosemary, and James.

Returning to civilian life he worked in paediatrics at Great Ormond Street and University College Hospital.

In 1951 he joined an innovative GP training scheme and came to Dorchester-on-Thames.

When the village of Berinsfield was built on a former RAF airfield nearby Dr Pritchard took an active part in its development and move his practice there to the first purpose built health centre in the county.

Becoming a senior partner in 1970, he set up the first patient participation group in the country.

From 1974-82 he was on the Oxford Regional Hospital Board and Oxford Regional Health Authority.

In 1977 he wrote a book on primary health care for OUP and this led to a number of other books, and to an international profile.

After retiring in 1978 he continued to do locum work in Oxford and travelled widely in Europe.

In the 1990s he was instrumental in the creation of Hurst Water Meadow Trust – set up to purchase the meadow in Dorchester for public enjoyment and education.

He was awarded the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) Abercrombie Medal for ‘meritorious literary work’ in 1985, the British Empire Medal for ‘contribution to community’ in 2012 and in 2017 the RCGP certificate of commendation.

He died on January 6, is survived by his wife Daphne, his children, Wendy, Rosemary and James, and four grandsons.

A celebration of his life will be held at Dorchester Abbey at 11.30am on March 5.