Reginald Hayward (VC)
|Reginald Frederick Johnson Hayward|
17 June 1891|
Swartberg, East Griqualand, South Africa
|Died||17 January 1978
Chelsea, London, England
|Buried||Putney Vale Crematorium, London|
|Unit||The Wiltshire Regiment|
|Battles/wars||Second World War|
Military Cross & Bar
Reginald Frederick Johnson Hayward, VC, MC & Bar, ED (17 June 1891 – 17 January 1978) was a British Army officer and a First World War recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest military award for gallantry in the face of the enemy given to British and Commonwealth forces.
On 21/22 March 1918 near Fremicourt, France, while commanding a company, Captain Hayward displayed almost superhuman powers of endurance. In spite of the fact that he was buried, wounded in the head and rendered deaf on the first day of operations and had his arm shattered two days later, he refused to leave his men (even though he received a third serious injury to his head) until he collapsed from sheer exhaustion. Throughout this period the enemy were attacking the company's front without cessation, but Captain Hayward continued to move across the open from one trench to another with absolute disregard for his own safety.
Hayward served in the Anti-Aircraft Command as part of the Royal Army Service Corps, during the Second World War. He was also commander of prisoner of war camps from 1945 to 1947, and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. He died in Chelsea, London, in 1978.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Wardrobe Museum in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.
- Location of grave and VC medal (S.W. London)