William Henry Haynes was born at Hanley Castle in 1891, the son of John and Emma Haynes. The Haynes family had moved to Castlemorton by 1897 and on the 1901 Census they were recorded living at Lanes Farm, Castlemorton, where John Haynes was a domestic coachman. William was living with his five brothers, including Walter, who was also to die during the war.
Sometime after this, the family moved to Malvern Wells where William and Walter (and undoubtedly the other brothers) attended Malvern Wells C.E. School. By 1911, William had left home and was working as an under-gardener at Overslade, a small private school at Bilton, near Rugby, Warwickshire.
Sometime after the outbreak of war, William returned to Worcestershire and enlisted in the reserve unit of the 2nd South Midland Field Artillery (Territorial Force). This unit deployed to France in May 1916, becoming 306 (South Midland) Brigade, RFA. From surviving records it is not possible to know whether William served with this unit abroad, but by spring 1917 he had been posted to ‘D’ Battery, 311 Brigade, RFA.
During April and May this unit was involved in the Battle of Arras and on 2nd/3rd May 1917 supported the 33rd Division’s part in a broad attack stretching from Arleux-en-Gohelle on the left to east of Bullecourt on the right. Owing to zero hour being at 3.45am, during total darkness, communication broke down and very little headway was made. However by this time, William Haynes had already been killed in action – not mentioned in the Brigade War Diary – but probably killed by retaliatory shellfire.
His is remembered at Malvern Wells School and Malvern Library and also at St Gregory’s Church, Castlemorton.