A caring GP who was well respected by his patients and colleagues founded the Oxford Flood Alliance.

Dr Peter Rawcliffe and fellow campaigners worked closely with the Environment Agency and other bodies on the proposals for the £150m Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme. He was also alliance chairman.

Peter Rawcliffe was born in Walsall, Staffordshire on November 11, 1948, the first child of James “V” Rawcliffe and his wife Barbara.

Due to his father’s work, Peter spent some of his childhood living in the Gold Coast, now Ghana. While in the Gold Coast, Peter contracted polio, which was to affect his health throughout his life.

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Peter returned to the UK for school, firstly at St Bees in Cumbria and then at Ardingly College in Sussex. He was a successful student, becoming head boy, and going on to win a place at Pembroke College, Cambridge, to study medical sciences.

His long medical career began with clinical training and surgical and medical house officer roles at The London Hospital, before moving to Hammersmith Hospital as senior house officer in the Department of Gastroenterology.

Dr Rawcliffe moved to Oxford in 1976 to take up a post at the Churchill Hospital, buying a house in Hayfield Road. In 1977, he moved to the Radcliffe Infirmary as a registrar, where he was awarded a research fellowship under the renowned consultant gastroenterologist Dr Sidney Truelove.

Dr Rawcliffe specialised in coeliac disease at the Radcliffe Infirmary, setting up the Oxford Coeliac Clinic, undertaking research, and writing The Gluten Free Diet Book, co-authored with Ruth James.

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It was while living in Hayfield Road that Dr Rawcliffe first developed an interest in local issues. He founded and chaired a group dedicated to preventing development of the Trap Grounds, an important wildlife reserve in North Oxford.

Oxford Mail: Dr Peter Rawcliffe studying a flood map Dr Peter Rawcliffe studying a flood map

The campaign was continued by others and the Trap Grounds were ultimately recognised as a Town Green in 2006.

While lecturing at a training seminar in 1978, Dr Rawcliffe met his wife, Maggie Stopard, a nurse and later health visitor. The breakdown of his Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite left him waiting for a lift home after the seminar.

He agreed to go for a drink with the trainees, where he met Maggie.

Dr Rawcliffe and Maggie were married in October 1987 at St Aloysius Church on the Woodstock Road.

Their son David was born in 1989 and their daughter Polly in 1994.

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Dr Rawcliffe left research medicine in 1985 to train as a General Practitioner. After a short stint in Bicester, he became a partner at Botley Medical Centre, with the family moving initially to Botley and then to South Hinksey. H

e was known as a highly academic, diligent and caring doctor and was well respected by patients and colleagues.

After a period of ill health, he retired from general practice in 2000.

During his retirement, he dedicated himself to local causes, most notably the campaign to protect Oxford from flooding.

Oxford Mail: Flooding in Botley RoadFlooding in Botley Road

Following the severe flooding in Oxford in 2007, Peter founded and chaired the Oxford Flood Alliance, a group of residents who had suffered from flooding. The alliance successfully campaigned for improvements to a number of bottlenecks in the local waterways and for enhanced flood defences. Its most significant achievement has been to bring together the partners, including the Environment Agency, to deliver the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Dr Rawcliffe was also active in South Hinksey community life, as chairman of the Village Hall Committee, and the organiser of summer fetes and cricket matches. Dr Rawcliffe died from pneumonia on December 14 in the John Radcliffe Hospital after a short illness. He was 72.

He is survived by his wife, Maggie Stopard, who has recently moved back to North Oxford, as well as his two children, David and Polly, and his sister, Lotty.

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