A proud expatriate has called on town planners to have a street renamed to further honour a war hero.

Albert Williams, originally from New Malden and who immigrated to Australia in 1958, wants Victoria Cross added to the name Bazalgette Gardens, in acknowledgment of the bravery award handed to the RAF pilot it was named after.

Squadron Leader Ian Bazalgette was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross after being killed saving his crew while downing German ground bombers on a doomed raid over St Maximin, France, in 1944.

The road was named after the New Malden schoolboy in the early 1950s but Mr Williams, also a Second World War veteran, believes the history of the street is now unknown to residents.

Calling from Australia, the former Tiffin Boys pupil told the Surrey Comet: “I visited the street on a trip back to New Malden last year and the people I spoke to down there had no idea who it was named after.

“I have written to a local MP and the mayor of Kingston but got no response.

“There are not that many of us vets still left and I think if we add the Victoria Cross part so it was called Bazalgette Gardens VC or even Victoria Cross then it might help to keep his name alive.

“I am getting old now and this is one thing I would like to see before I die.”

New Malden councillor and conservative leader Howard Jones backed the campaign but disagreed that Sqd Ldr Bazalgette had been forgotten by New Malden residents.

He pointed to the annual Remembrance Day service, where Sqd Ldr Bazalgette and fellow VC recipient and former Beverly school pupil Cyril Barton are honoured.

He said: “It is a very nice idea and if there was a lot of public support we would be happy to get behind it.

“It is great to know that Mr Williams wants to celebrate the heroes but I don’t think it is fair to say he is not known here.

“On Remembrance Sunday and regularly at Beverley school these two heroes are remembered.”