Although born in Berlin to a Jewish family forced to flee the Nazis, she spent almost 50 years of her life in Edinburgh, mostly at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children on Sciennes Road.

She was an honorary fellow

of the Department of Psychiatry at Edinburgh University, a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and of the Royal Society of Medicine. Her South African-born husband Henry Walton, who survives her, is emeritus professor of Psychiatry and International Medical Education at Edinburgh University.

The couple were equally well known in the city as art collectors and their home near Holyrood Park, was something of a private museum until they donated much of their collection to the National Galleries of Scotland.

While Professor Sir Michael Rutter of King’s College, London, is widely-known as the “father” of child psychiatry in Britain, Dr Wolff was a key figure in the development of the field, the author of several books (all written in Edinburgh) now considered classics by child psychiatrists. They include Children Under Stress (1969), which emphasised the need for early diagnosis and treatment for problem children, and Loners: The Life Path of Unusual Children (1995). The latter was a study of children who were detached, disinterested and unable to adapt to social and educational demands of school.

In each of her cases, Dr Wolff sought to determine to what degree emotional disturbances among children were hereditary or caused by environmental factors, including how they were treated by their parents. To her colleagues in Edinburgh, although she had no children of her own, she was known as much for her sincere care for children as for her clinical expertise. She sought to understand children by trying to see the world through their eyes.

Born in Berlin but brought up in Wetzlar, Sulamith Wolff was a schoolgirl when the Nazis began their persecution of Jews. Her father, Walther Wolff, a lawyer, took the family to London and settled in Hampstead, where her parents would spend the rest of their lives.

Sula went to South Hampstead School for Girls and graduated in medicine from Oxford University in 1947 before studying psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital in Camberwell, London.

It was there she met a visiting South African psychiatrist, Henry Walton, whom she would marry in Cape Town in 1957.

Disgusted by apartheid, they both took up jobs at separate New York universities in 1960, moving to Edinburgh in 1962 when Walton was appointed professor of psychiatry at Edinburgh University.

Born March 1, 1924;

Died September 21, 2009.