A new care home near Devizes will be named after a veteran of both world wars whose bravery is awe-inspiring.
The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT), who will run the new home, in Horton Road, Bishops Cannings, has announced it will be called the Hayward Care Centre after Reginald Hayward.
Originally from South Africa, he was an acting captain in the 1st battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment, in the First World War when he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
He was given the award for his heroic and almost superhuman powers of endurance from March 21-22, 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.
He was commander of prisoner of war camps from 1945 to 1947, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Dan Hayes, OSJCT’s operations director, said: “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 the First World War under way, 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 to date, by naming one of our newest care homes after this celebrated Wiltshire war veteran.”
The care home will open in early 2015 and have 82 beds, of which 48 will be for people with dementia.
The home is replacing Anzac House in Moonrakers and Southfield in Victoria Road.