A RETIRED paediatrician who served as medical officer for the ‘Dam Busters’ during World War II has died, aged 97.

Dr Malcolm Arthurton, of Cartmel, was born in London in April 1918.

During his training as a doctor at Westminster Hospital he worked in A&E treating casualties of the Blitz.

After resident appointments at Westminster Hospital he served for four years in the RAF, and acted as Medical Officer to No. 617 Squadron – the squadron behind the famous ‘Operation Chastise’.

Subsequently publicised as the ‘Dam Busters’, Operation Chastise was an attack on German dams carried out in 1943 using a specially developed ‘bouncing bomb’.

The Möhne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley and of villages in the Eder valley.

Two hydroelectric power stations were destroyed and several more were damaged. Factories and mines were also either damaged or destroyed.

Dr Arthurton's RAF service also saw him help to evacuate casualties from enemy territory in the Balkans. He was mentioned in dispatches in 1944.

After demobilisation he completed his paediatric training at Great Ormond Street, the Post Graduate Medical School and Westminster Children’s Hospital.

He was appointed consultant paediatrician initially in Dewsbury and then Bradford and his gentle manner, commitment and skill made him very popular with his young patients, staff and junior doctors, many of whom kept in touch.

Whilst at Bradford, together with the obstetrician in 1967, he produced a favourable report on the Early Discharge Maternity Scheme involving about 20,000 mothers and babies. He was also involved with the Public Health Department during an outbreak of Smallpox in 1962.

After retirement he was one of the directors of Martin House Children’s Hospice in Yorkshire for 10 years.

After moving to Cartmel in 1994 he delivered meals on wheels and collected scrap metal for charity until the age of 90. He was a regular attender at St John's Church, Baildon, Yorkshire and then at Cartmel Priory.

He was predeceased by his wife of 45 years, Eve, in 1995. He leaves two daughters, one a mathematician, the other a consultant geriatrician, and two grandchildren.

Dr Arthurton's daughter Isabel Huggett said: "He was a very gentle, patient, kind and interested person."