Peter Greed, the designer of the Devizes Millennium White Horse, has died after a long illness at the age of 73.

Mr Greed was born in Ivy House, Southbroom Road, Devizes, on March 6 1935. His father, Percy, was headmaster at St Peter’s School and also served as mayor of Devizes.

Peter Greed was educated at Devizes Grammar School before studying for a BSc at Reading University.

During his National Service he gained his commission from Mons Officer Cadet School. He was sent to Russia with five other officers during which he received a head injury. It was a period he never spoke about.

On returning to Civvy Street he took up the post of head of physics at Headlands Grammar School in Swindon and later became head of electronics and information systems at New College.

Always looking for challenges, Mr Greed achieved some notable successes in the scientific field.

While at Headlands he developed a gyroscopic liner propulsion unit for which he holds the patent, and developed a radio satellite observation system to bring science alive for sixth formers.

As education officer for AMSAT UK he travelled to NASA’s Washington HQ to ask them to fly Guildford University’s amateur satellite Osca-1 piggy back on one of their shuttle launches. They agreed to do it free of charge.

But Mr Greed will probably best be remembered for designing the Devizes Millennium White Horse, which was cut in September 1999.

He had been trying to have the horse carved into Roundway Down since he was at grammar school and the design now in place is a variant of his original.

He was also twice president of Devizes Rotary Club and chairman of governors at St Peter’s School. Despite his long illness, he has not been replaced as a mark of respect.

He and his second wife, Elizabeth, were heavily involved in the life of Urchfont and were married at the village church ten years ago.

Mr Greed has three children from his first marriage. Petra, who lives in Windsor, Paula, a doctor in Liverpool, and Glenn, a research scientist for the Met Office. He also leaves five grandchildren.

His funeral takes place at St Michael’s Church in Urchfont on November 25 at 2pm.