The Queensland city of Toowoomba will hold a memorial service on Sunday for doctor couple Roger and Jill Guard, who perished on flight MH17.

The Queensland city of Toowoomba will hold a memorial service on Sunday for Roger and Jill Guard, who perished when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine.

The couple was held in high regard in the regional community, west of Brisbane, where Mr Guard was the director of pathology at Toowoomba Hospital and his wife worked as a GP.

A service will be held for the couple at the Empire Theatre, with their grieving family asking people not to bring flowers but instead give money to the medical charity Doctors Without Borders.

The couple had been on their way from a medical conference and holiday when the plane was shot down, killing all 298 people on board including up to 39 Australian citizens and residents.

Last month, son Paul Guard said the charity was his parents’ favourite.

“The fact that my parents were doctors and they lost their lives in a conflict zone, and the work that (this charity) does is in conflict zones and crises around the world, we just think it is very appropriate,” he said.

Mayor Paul Antonio said the event would give the community an opportunity to start the healing process.

“There has been a deep community response to this terrible tragedy and it’s important that we come together to express our grief and offer support and sympathy for the Guard family,” he said.

“It’s difficult to comprehend that an incident of this nature on the other side of the world can have such a profound effect on our peaceful city of Toowoomba.”

The memorial service will begin at 2.30pm, at the theatre in Neil Street, with Paul Guard to speak to the media afterwards.