Relatives of Victoria Cross (VC) holder and former Coombe Boys’ School pupil Cyril Barton were on hand to celebrate the opening of a new school building named after the war hero on July 9.

Former headteacher and renowned artist Clifford Fisher cut the ribbon to officially open Barton Hall, to which he has donated four of his creations, before Pilot Officer Barton’s sisters had the chance to look around the building dedicated to their brave brother.

Plt Off Barton was awarded the VC after completing a fatal bombing mission, despite his plane being severely crippled and ablaze following an attack by a German fighter.

Despite making it back across the channel, Plt Off Barton died after being forced to crash land - although his selfless actions had saved the remaining members of his crew.

Following a tour of the new building, the sisters agreed their brother would have loved to have attended the evening himself, as he was “all for education”, insisting his five younger siblings put their efforts into learning rather than sitting around idle.

The new arts and technology building is part of a £7m improvement programme at the school in College Gardens, and includes a new assembly hall and canteen.

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