A thanksgiving service for former Ledbury GP Dr Desmond Burrowes takes place at 2.30pm tomorrow (Saturday), at St Michael and All Angels' Church, Ledbury.

It will follow a private family service and burial in the morning, at Christ's Church, Wellington Heath.

A former pupil of Westminster School, Dr Burrowes rose to became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians but chose Ledbury and the life of a rural GP as his career path.

He first came to the town in 1953, following work at St Thomas's Hospital, London, including in the chest clinic and as the neurology house physician.

Speaking at his retirement from St Katherine's surgery and the Cottage Hospital in 1986, he said: "If I had my time again, I would choose to work in this area. I feel privileged to have been here at all."

His friend, John Ross, a retired consultant physician from Hereford said: "Desmond was outstanding as a caring and knowledgeable practitioner. Ledbury was lucky to have him."

Personal tragedy stuck in 1975, when Dr Burrowes lost his first wife, Ruth.

He later remarried and spent a happy retirement at Wellington Heath with his second wife, Ann, where both indulged their love of family, friends and gardening.

Mrs Burrowes said of her husband: "He could have had the pick of positions but he preferred Ledbury. He was very much of the old school as a doctor, working at times every other night, flat out."

Former colleague Robert Scholefield GP said: "He was actually a Doctor of Medicine, which is a fairly unusual degree for a GP to have. He was a delightful mentor; a gentlemanly physician."

Dr Burrowes served on a number of committees, including Herefordshire Hospital Management Committee, Herefordshire Local Medical Committee and Hereford and Worcester Health Authority.

He died at Hereford County Hospital on Saturday, January 11, from bronchial pneumonia, following a chest infection. He was 79.

Dr Burrowes leaves a wife, Ann, children Sue and Michael, and four grandchildren.