Easebourne war hero to be remembered

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EASEBOURNE war hero Reginald Haine, who received the highest award for gallantry, will be among those remembered at a concert to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war.

Midhurst Music Society (MMS) has joined forces with the Royal British Legion to present Music for Remembrance in St Mary’s Church at Easebourne on Saturday, November 22.

Members of the music society have tracked down relatives of Lieutenant Colonel ‘Bill’ Haine who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery and they are to join in the remembrance evening.

Anthony Knight, a member of MMC, told the Observer: “We plan to include the reading of a first world war poem in the concert and we hope the reader will be one of his young relatives.”

Bill Haine lived in Easebourne with his wife Dora for many years and was a member of St Mary’s Church where his name is carved on the communion rail. A memorial plaque outside in the churchyard also bears his name.

On April 28 and 29, 1917, near Gavrelle, France, he was among troops beset by German forces on three sides as they tried to hold a position which was being repeatedly counter-attacked.

Aged 20 and, at the time a second lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Honourable Artillery Company, he organised and led six bombing attacks over more than 30 hours of continuous fighting and eventually recaptured the position.

The choir, conducted by Mary Knight, will be supported by Richard Bailey on the organ, and Steve Carrigan playing trumpet.

Tickets will be £10 in advance or £12 at the door. Details of the concert and tickets will be published on the MMS website www.midhurstmusic.org