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Lieutenant Colonel Reginald Leonard Haine VC MC (10 July 1896 – 12 June 1982) was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Haine was 20 years old, and a second lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Honourable Artillery Company, British Army during the First World War when the action took place for which he was awarded the VC. On 28/29 April 1917 near Gavrelle, France, when British troops were holding a salient which was being repeatedly counter-attacked by German forces, Second Lieutenant Haine organised and led six bombing attacks against a German strong point and captured the position, together with 50 prisoners and two machine-guns. The enemy at once counter-attacked and regained the lost ground, but Second Lieutenant Haine formed a "block" in his trench and for the whole of the following night maintained his position. Next morning he again attacked and recaptured the position. His splendid example inspired his men during more than 30 hours of continuous fighting. He was later attached to the 35th Sikhs, Indian Army and was awarded the Military Cross for his actions on the North West Frontier of India at Dakka, 17 May 1919. He later achieved the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and commanded a Home Guard battalion during WW2. In later life he became a Chartered Accountant. He and his wife, Dora, lived in Easebourne and worshipped in St.Mary's church, where he is commemorated by the carved communion rail and by a plaque in the churchyard. We were privileged and delighted to welcome 4 generations of his family to the concert, especially Anna Masic, his great-granddaughter, who read the poem “Courage” at the beginning of the programme.
Two articles reproduced by permission of the “Observer”, with our thanks to our local newspaper for their interest and support.
Four generations of the family remember their Great-Grand-Father at the concert