A FORMER student of Five Acres High School has been given an award for her resilience in the face of personal tragedy.

Staff at the school nominated Lilly Marshall-Davies for a Nairac Youth Award after she exceeded all expectations in her GCSEs following the deaths of both her parents.

Lilly lost both her parents within six months of each other but despite this personal tragedy – and the disruption to her education caused by the Covid lockdown – Lilly excelled in her exams.

Her excellent results meant she was able to continue studying at sixth form college.

The awards honour the memory of Captain Robert Nairac, from Standish.

He joined the Second Battalion Grenadier Guards in January 1973.

In 1977, during his second tour of duty in Northern Ireland, he was passing himself off in Armagh as an Irish republican to infiltrate terrorist strongholds and gather vital information when he disappeared, aged 28.

In February 1979 the Queen approved the posthumous award of the George Cross, the highest honour for gallantry in peacetime, to Captain Nairac.

It is now known that Captain Nairac was abducted, tortured and murdered by Irish terrorists.

His body has still not been found and the investigation into his murder continues.

The awards are presented to two outstanding young people from the county by the Gloucestershire branch of the Royal Society of St George.

A branch spokesperson said: “The staff at Five Acres School felt Lilly’s achievements showed incredible resilience and determination and those selecting this year’s winners agreed.”

The awards were presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Mr Edward Gillespie at the branch’s 43rd annual service held at Holy Trinity Church in Longlevens, Gloucester.

Branch Chair Mrs Pat Ayres said: “It gives our members great pleasure that this Branch recognises exceptional Gloucestershire youngsters through these annual Nairac Youth Awards.

“The two young people receiving this year’s awards were chosen because they displayed qualities we associate with Captain Nairac – selflessness, courage and determination.”

Winners are presented with a silver salver which they keep for a year, a framed certificate and £200 to give to charity.

Lilly has chosen to make a donation to Diabetes UK.

The other award was presented to Buster Brasier-Dinning who, aged 16, coaxed a man who was about to jump from a bridge over the A419 to safety.

The Royal Society of St George welcomes people of all backgrounds and nationalities who love England and who wish to see knowledge of English history increased and St George’s Day celebrated.