John Greening, famous for his philanthropy in Oxford, was born on December 10, 1921 in Radley, near Abingdon.

He took to farming at a young age, and although this made him exempt from service, he joined the RAF aged 20.

He went to Nova Scotia in August 1941 and then to the US to begin his training as a pilot, later flying Lancaster bombers over Germany.

He ended the war as a flight lieutenant and left the forces in 1946.

He lived in Sunningwell for more than 30 years, working as a farmer until retirement in 1980. He then became known as a benefactor and philanthropist.

Mr Greening donated land for Kidlington ambulance station and Abingdon’s football and athletics centre at Tilsley Park, named after son John Tilsley Greening, killed in a 1979 road accident.

He also donated to the John Radcliffe Hospital, St Anne’s College and the Oxford Playhouse. A £125,000 donation helped Abingdon School establish a science wing, which carries his name.

Mr Greening was awarded an MBE in 1992 for services to the community.

A memorial service will be held in Freeland, near Witney, in the spring.