WILLIAM Dent Robinson was a D-Day war veteran and founding member of St Birinus School, who taught for 40 years and led one of the first post-war school exchanges to Germany.

Mr Dent Robinson, born on Christmas Day 1911, died earlier this month just weeks short of his 106th birthday.

He taught geography at St Birinus School in Didcot for nearly four decades and was deputy headteacher for 20 years.

His career was briefly postponed to serve with the RAF during the Second World War and he was later given the Legion d'Honneur by the French government for his role on D-Day.

William Dent Robinson was born on December 25, 1911, in Leicestershire, where his father was the headteacher of a village school.

After completing a degree at Reading University he joined the then co-educational Didcot Secondary School – at the current Didcot Girls' School site – in 1933 as a geography teacher.

It was here that he met his future wife Winifred Shaw, who taught maths, and the couple would later have a son, Nick.

Three years after arriving at the school, Berkshire County Council decided to segregate the boys from the girls and Mr Dent Robinson was a founder member of the newly built St Birinus Secondary Modern School for Boys.

He took a break from teaching to join the RAF during the Second World War, undertaking wireless interception and intelligence work near the front line in Europe.

He took part in the D-Day landings and was subsequently awarded the Legion d'Honneur by the French Government.

In 1945 he was close by when Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was liberated.

After the war he was briefly posted to India and Singapore before returning to St Birinus School, where he was promoted to head of the geography department.

On his return from the war he oversaw and participated in one of the UK's earliest post-war pupil exchange visits with a German school – to Bad Harzburg in the 1950s.

He would later become acting headmaster for a year and deputy headteacher for 20 years.

He was active in the National Union of Teachers and a member of the local examination board before retiring in 1973.

The couple lived in Blewbury for more than 75 years and Mr Dent Robinson enjoyed a happy retirement, cycling, walking, reading, writing and gardening.

He also kept a close eye on the local weather, having his own meteorological records dating back more than 60 years.

When his wife died in 1992, he became heavily involved in the John Betjeman Society, the Royal British Legion and the Methodist Church.

He continued to visit family in Cumbria each summer and remained close with former pupils and teaching colleagues from St Birinus School.

He died at his home in Blewbury on December 4, just three weeks away from his 106th birthday.

He is survived by his son Nick and daughter-in-law Linda and his funeral will take place at 12pm on January 2 at South Oxfordshire Crematorium, Garford.