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Donald Sinclair, Herriot's vet

Published Oct. 4, 2005

Donald Sinclair, the country veterinarian who inspired the Siegfried Farnon character in All Creatures Great and Small, has died. He was 84.

Sinclair died Wednesday, four months after the death of his former veterinary partner, Alf Wight, his family said Sunday.

Wight's books, written under the pen name James Herriot, described the adventures of a trio of veterinarians in the Yorkshire dales of northern England. The books were the basis of a popular television series.

Sinclair's wife, Audrey, died three weeks ago. The couple had been married 53 years.

No cause of death was given. A friend, William Foggitt, said of Sinclair: "He missed Alf Wight, and when Audrey died he just faded. He was devoted to her, and he was heartbroken when she died."

Wight's stories were set before and after World War II, when Sinclair, his brother Brian _ who died in 1988 _ and Wight worked together around Thirsk, the small north Yorkshire market town disguised as Darrowby in his books.

The James Herriot books and the television show became so popular that tourist authorities in north Yorkshire officially named the area where the stories are set Herriot Country.

He is survived by a daughter Jan and son Alan.