A World War Two fighter pilot shot down over a Coulsdon school while battling to save a comrade has been honoured in a memorial to mark Remembrance Day.

Caesar Hull, 26, died when his Hurricane plane crashed into Purley Boys' School - now Coulsdon College - as he led his squadron on an attack on German bombers on September 7, 1940.

His sister Wendy Bryan and brother-in-law Gerald, both 92, travelled to Croydon yesterday for an emotional unveiling of a sculpture at the site of his death.

Mr Hull, who was promoted to leader of the RAF's No. 43 Squadron at the age of just 24, died as he fought bravely to save his friend Dicky Reynell from the fire of Luftwaffe fighter planes escorting Do17 bombers to attack London.

Mr Reynell also died in the mission. 

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The sculpture at Coulsdon College

Mrs Bryan, of Binfield, Berkshire, said she was touched by the sculpture, designed by artist Paul Bearman, which depicts an aeroplane and a dove.

She said: "It is so wonderful that they have done this.

"So many others were killed in the war and you can't get around that, but it is wonderful that so many people are here.

"I'm really proud and touched."

Mr Hull, also an amateur boxer, was born in South Rhodesia in 1914 but could not join his national air force as he could not speak Afrikaans. He joined the RAF instead and quickly rose through the ranks.

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Wendy and Gerald Bryan, Alan Pollock and members of the armed forces by the sculpture

Mrs Bryan, whose 59-year-old son with Gerald is also called Caesar, learnt of her brother's death through a telegram.

She said: "I got a letter from Caesar saying I haven't seen you in a long time and why don't you come to visit in Scotland, where he was posted.

But when I got there I was told her had been moved to Tangmere that day. He died just three or four days later."

The sculpture is the second memorial to Mr Hull, who is also remembered as a hero in Bodo, Norway, where he was stationed for just a few days during the war before leading the British evacuation.

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A wreath being laid at the memorial to Mr Hull 

His sister said he had been a "well-liked man" and that "people fell for him everywhere he went".

The college observed two minutes of silence before Steve Oxlade, executive principal, and Alan Pollock, flight lieutenant of 43 Squadron in the 1960s, paid tributes to Mr Hull.

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Alan Pollock paid tribute to Caesar Hull

Mr Pollock said those who knew him had remembered Mr Hull as "a really splendid bloke who everyone liked, adding: "Some people said he had no flaws.

"He was an effervescent bloke, always looking out for the young squaddies."

The college commissioned the sculpture after being contacted by the RAF, who wanted to excavate the site of an old sports hall which was being demolished to look for remains of the crash, although none were found.

Mr Oxlade said: "Caesar Hull was an interesting man. He was shot down while defending us all from tyranny and fighting for democracy. This sculpture is fitting."

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Attendees observe two minutes of silence