A DOCTOR and founder of the cervical screening service in Oxfordshire in the 1950s has died at the age of 92.

Dr Arthur Spriggs headed the Cytopathology Laboratory at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, and built up a vital cervical screening service until his retirement.

He published more than 80 research articles during his lifetime, focusing mainly on the diagnosis of cancer.

As a medical graduate Dr Spriggs also joined the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) in 1944 and helped care for the wounded in the D-Day landings and post war Germany.

Dr Spriggs, who lived near Abingdon, was described as a "wonderfully kind, interesting and amusing" man who was well-respected by many.

Dr Arthur Ivens Spriggs was born in Scotland on September 12 1919 to Alice, nee Watson, and Sir Edmund Spriggs.

He had one elder brother Tony, who also became a doctor.

Educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, Dr Spriggs joined the RAMC in 1944 and saw action on the Normandy beaches where he provided medical aid to the wounded before they were sent back to Britain.

In 1945, in Germany, he was among the first to enter Belsen concentration camp and later that year worked in the British military hospital in Brunswick where he met his wife, Gereth Watson, who he married in 1943.

On demobilisation in 1947, he accepted a post as registrar in the pathology department of the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, and started his career studying cancer cells.

He gained his doctorate in medicine in 1953 and from 1960 he was consultant cytologist for the United Oxford Hospitals and senior researcher for the British Empire Cancer Campaign, now part of Cancer Research UK, until 1970.

His major achievement was the founding and successful running of the county's cervical cancer screening service, which he led until his retirement in 1984.

His laboratory attracted pathologists and scientists from many other laboratories, who helped him with many research projects.

He was elected president of the British Society for Clinical Cytology and president of the European Federation of Cytological Societies.

Dr Spriggs and his wife lived in Gozzards Ford near Abingdon where in his spare time he would raise exotic plants from seeds collected on holiday.

They had one son together, James.

After retirement he helped collect and identify leaf litter samples from all over the country, for An Atlas of Oxfordshire Terrestrial Mollusca.

He also collected Delft china and Belgian lace, and, from time to time, wrote limericks.

Dr Spriggs died on December 12 and is survived by his son and a granddaughter, Hermione. His wife died in 2007.