Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry VC visited South Thames College as part of Black History Month today.
The British Army Soldier met over 100 hundreds and spoke about he came to be decorated with the Victoria Cross in 2005, the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces.
Mr Beharry 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 solider still serving in the Army to have been awarded the Victoria Cross.”
Mr Beharry was awarded the prestigious decoration by the Queen for twice saving members of his unit from ambushes in Iraq.
“I have been through a lot, but meeting the Queen was one of the scariest days of my life,” he said.
Mr Beharry endured serious head injuries after falling into a coma and spending time on a life support machine.
Doctors gave Mr Beharry a 1% chance of survival, but he made a miraculous recovery and returned to his role in the Army.
Jordi Williams, a 23 year-old Law student, said: “I’m so happy I met Johnson, I could really relate to his background. He showed me that no matter what you’ve been through you can always come out a better person and be where you want to be.”
Mr Beharry has been working with a number of charities to raise awareness about injured soldiers since winning the Victoria Cross.
The event was organised by South Thames College, Wandsworth Borough Council and the Metropolitan Police.