New Devizes Care Home To Be Named After Wiltshire World War I Hero

With the World War I Centenary commemorations underway, one of the UK’s largest not-for-profit care home providers has announced that its newest care facility will be named after a renowned veteran from the First and Second World Wars.

The Orders of St John Care Trust’s (OSJCT) new Devizes care centre, set to open during early 2015, has officially been designated the name of Hayward Care Centre, after celebrated veteran Reginald Hayward.

A British Army officer and recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest British and Commonwealth military award for gallantry in the face of the enemy, Reginald Hayward served as an Acting Captain in the 1st Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment, British Army during WWI.

Hayward earned a Victoria Cross for his heroic, and almost superhuman, powers of endurance from 21st to 22nd March 1918 near Fremicourt, France. Despite being buried, wounded in the head and rendered deaf on the first day of operations, in addition to having his arm shattered and receiving a third serious injury to his head from a bazooka, he refused to leave his men until he collapsed from sheer exhaustion.

Hayward also served in the Anti-Aircraft Command, part of the Royal Army Service Corps, during the Second World War and was commander of Prisoner of War camps from 1945 to 1947, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away in 1970.

Dan Hayes, OSJCT’s Operations Director, commented: “Reginald Hayward is a true British hero and a man very worthy of being remembered, having not only earned the Victoria Cross, but also the Military Cross and Bar.

“With centenary commemorations for World War I underway, we’re proud to show our gratitude to all the men and women who served on our behalf, not just in the First World War, but in all military efforts up to date , by naming one of our newest care homes after this celebrated Wiltshire war veteran.”

Hayward Care Centre, OSJCT’s new 82-bed care centre, will comprise of five wings over three floors accessible by resident lifts, providing 48 beds for long-term residential dementia care and 32 beds for specialist nursing care.

Featuring bedrooms complete with en suite facilities and access to digital television, telephone, Wi-Fi and a 24-hour nurse call facility, each wing will have its own living area, sitting room, dining room, assisted bathrooms and serveries. The home will also include a shop, tearoom and hair salon.

The home is being built by Stepnell Construction Ltd/Brackley Investments in partnership with The Orders of St John Care Trust, whose staff will deliver the care in the new home.