A BATTLE of Britain war veteran and Spitfire ace, Geoffrey Wellum, has opened a new community room a his church on the Lizard peninsular.
Mr Wellum is well known in his home village of Mullion as a World War Two fighter pilot and former squadron leader.
He is also a parishioner of St Mellanus Church and did the honours on Wednesday by cutting the ribbon to officially open the new building.
The £100,000 extension to the church vestry will be used as a meeting room, and includes a kitchen and disabled toilet.
David Welsh, of the parochial church council, said they were thrilled at the new space, which can be used by clubs and groups.
He thanked the Friends of St Mellanus Church group, which match funded the church council’s contribution to the project.
He said they were grateful as some of the money came from a bequest given on the death of George Greatwood.
Debbie Read, the secretary of Friends of St Mellanus Church, said the group had managed to get funding from three grants to equip the new extension.
She said: “We also purchased new chairs for indoor and outdoor use and new, lightweight folding tables.
“We received funding from Cornwall 100 Club and Goonhilly Wind Farm Community Fund, both funds being administered by Cornwall Community Foundation. Also we received funding from the Co-operative Membership Community Fund.”
Mr Wellum DFC, was known by other pilots during the Battle of Britain as “Boy” because of his tender years, having joined the RAf at 18 in August 1939.
flew with the RAF’s 92 Squadron in dogfights above London and the Home Counties.
He later led eight spitfires from the aircraft carrier HMS Furious to relieve the besieged island of Malta.
Now in his 90s, Mr Wellum published a book about his time in the RAF, called First Light.