William Scott of Perth, who has died aged 77, assisted at the post-mortem examination of Wojtek, the bear that went to war with Polish troops.
He was working as laboratory technician at Edinburgh University when the body of Wojtek, who had seen action at the Battle of Monte Cassino, was brought in for dissection.
He discovered that the beer Wojtek drank and the cigarettes it ate during its army career and subsequent retirement at Edinburgh Zoo, had done little to keep it healthy.
Mr Scott went on to have a 30-year career in aviation ground services in Edinburgh and develop other strong bonds with Poland.
He married Barbara Afek, the daughter of a Polish cavalryman. In 1982, Barbara, was chosen to greet Pope John Paul in his native Polish when his aircraft arrived at Edinburgh airport.
William was a customer services supervisor who enjoyed working with the public and dealing with the numerous issues which inevitably arose at a busy air terminal.
He was also union representative and represented his colleagues at negotiations, a role he enjoyed immensely.
He was instrumental in fostering good relationships with other airport operators and was held in high esteem throughout the travel industry.
He was born in Colinton, Edinburgh, in 1944, the youngest son of the late Robert and Isabel Scott.
William, known as Bill, attended the Rudolph Steiner School in Edinburgh, where he became proficient in German and developed a love of zoological science.
On leaving school he trained as a science technician in the laboratory of eminent biology Professor Michael Swan at the University of Edinburgh. He developed an interest in conservation and became a lifelong supporter of WWF.
It was there at King’s Buildings that he was involved in the post-mortem examination of Wojtek. The bear had been adopted as a cub by Polish troops in Iran in 1942.
He was given the rank of private so he could receive rations and was later promoted to corporal. At the Battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek carried ammunition for troops.
After the war, he and his unit were settled at a camp in Berwickshire and Wojtek later went to live at Edinburgh Zoo, where he was adopted and visited by the pupils of Edinburgh Polish Saturday School, which Barbara attended.
Bill went on to run a scientific supplies firm before joining BEA in 1966, which later became British Airways.
It was at Edinburgh airport that Bill and Barbara met. British Airways had taken over British Caledonian and Bill was involved in training the new staff.
They started going out in 1989 and married at the Polish church in Edinburgh in 1995.
Bill and Barbara retired to Perth from where they travelled the world from the Rocky Mountains to Crimea.
The family’s announcement can be read here.