The only serving member of British Army to receive the Victoria Cross talked to pupils at South Thames College yesterday.

Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry VC was given a one per cent chance of survival after saving members of his platoon from ambushes in Iraq.

His forehead is made of metal and doctors rebuilt nose and replaced his eye sockets.

The soldier talked about his background and appearance on Dancing on Ice.

He said: "When I first came to London I dropped out of college, I was dealing drugs, drinking and smoking.

"I turned my life around and now I am the only living British soldier still serving in the Army to have been awarded the Victoria Cross."

L Cpl Johnson has written a book, Barefoot Soldier, about his experiences and plans to return to his regiment.

Law student Jordi Williams said: "I'm so happy I met Johnson. He showed me no matter what you've been through you can always come out a better person and be where you want to be."

The event was organised as part of Black History month.