Peter Maling, George Medal winner. Died aged 94
A Christchurch man who won the George Medal during the London Blitz in 1940 has died.
Dr Peter Bromley Maling was awarded the highest civilian bravery decoration for helping rescue two men trapped in rubble at the hospital where he was working.
Dr Maling was at London's St Thomas' Hospital when a high-explosive German bomb hit the buildings. He and two other men braved fire and the danger of collapsing masonry and timber to rescue two hospital employees who had fallen through the smashed ground floor.
The three burrowed into the wreckage, Dr Maling administering morphine to the victims, and finally extricated the trapped men from the debris-filled area.
Dr Maling was born in Temuka and educated at Christ's College in Christchurch and Canterbury University, where he was senior scholar in geology in 1922, graduating the following year with a Master of Science degree.
He studied at the Royal School of Mines, London, that same year and then worked as a geologist with the Anglo Iranian Oil Company from 1935-36 before switching to medicine.
He was at St Thomas' from 1936-42 and was a house physician in his final year before joining the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving in Britain, Italy and Greece and reaching the rank of captain.
He returned to New Zealand and Christchurch in 1946 and was a family physician in the city from then until 1984, when he retired.
Dr Maling had many interests, including New Zealand history and collecting early editions of maps.
These passions led to his authorship of several books, among them The Torlesse Papers (editor) (1958); Samuel Butler at Mesopotamia (1960), Early Charts of New Zealand (1969) and Historic Charts and Maps of New Zealand (1992).