A TRUE South Cheshire hero has been honoured at a memorial service in Lichfield.
Barbridge-born train driver Wallace Oakes was one of 21 George Cross recipients from Staffordshire, South Cheshire, Warwick-shire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands celebrated at the event.
Mr Oakes demonstrated unrivalled bravery in saving passengers aboard a train which had caught fire on June 5, 1965.
To avert a certain crash, Mr Oakes applied the brakes and stayed at the controls of the train, despite knowing it was putting his own life at great risk.
He died a week later after suffering 80% burns to his body.
It was part of a service of commemoration to mark the 150th anniversary of the investiture of the Victoria Cross at Lichfield Cathedral.
Surviving family members were present at the service including Rob and Jean Hoskins and their daughter Gemma, and Colin and Joy Oakes.
Rob and Lorna Hickey, along with their daughter Leah, were also present, representing Wallace's brother-in-law Dennis Buckley.
His cousin Ken, 83, who could not attend the event, said: 'Wallace just loved the railways and it was trains, trains, trains with him. He always wanted to drive a train and he managed to live his dream.
'It was a shock to us all when the incident happened but he thought the world of his passengers and made the family extremely proud through his actions.'
Faddiley war hero Dr Thomas Egerton Hale was also remembered at the event. Dr Hale earned the Victoria Cross - the highest award for bravery - in 1855, for two acts of heroism at the Siege of Sebastopol in the Crimean War.
During an attack he stayed with a dangerously wounded officer after almost everyone else retreated.
On the same day, after the regiment retired to the trenches, Dr Hale, an assistant surgeon, helped to carry several wounded men from the open ground to the trenches.