Homes to be named after local soldiers awarded the VC

Published: Friday 7th July 17

New council homes in Battersea are to be named after local First World War soldiers who were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Three Wandsworth heroes: Arthur Lascelles, Reginald Haine and Edward Foster

Haine Court, Lascelles House and Edward Foster Court are being built on the Patmore and Savona housing estates, which will provide 57 new high quality council homes to rent.

Priority will go to Patmore, Savona and Carey Gardens estate council tenants who want to downsize, or households assessed and prioritised as overcrowded.

The new homes are expected to be completed in phases from mid-2018 onwards. They are named after soldiers of the 1914-18 conflict, born within present-day borough boundaries, who received the highest armed forces award for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Cllr Clare Salier, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “These servicemen fought with extraordinary courage, and it is only right that a century on we continue as a borough to honour them and to commemorate their heroism. I am proud that we are able to do so through the provision of new council homes, and that the names of these bravest sons of Wandsworth live on in serving their community.”

Cpl Edward Foster lived in Tooting and was a council dustman before joining 13th Battalion The East Surrey Regiment, a ‘pals battalion’ raised by the Mayor of Wandsworth in 1915. On 24 April, 1917, the 31-year-old was engaged in fighting near the French village of Villers-Plouich. The battalion was held up by a German trench position strengthened with barbed wire and a machine gun. Cpl Foster stormed the trench but during hand to hand fighting he lost his gun and used grenades to dislodge the enemy. He recovered his gun then used it to knock out the machine gun position. As well as the Victoria Cross, he was awarded the Médaille Militaire, France’s third highest decoration for bravery. Cpl Foster survived the war and lived in Tooting until his death in 1946.

Reginald Haine's family lived in Wilna Road, Earlsfield, when he was born. 2nd Lt Haine was serving in the Honourable Artillery Company near Gavrelle in northern France, and on 28 and 29 April, 1917, his position came under fire from a larger German force. The young officer led six counter-attacks that seized key positions along with 50 prisoners and two machine guns which he defended until the morning when he took the initiative again and recaptured lost ground. He had led his men with exceptional courage for 30 hours of continuous fighting. 2nd Lt Haine survived the war and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Army, receiving a Military Cross for action on the North West Frontier in 1919, and in the Second World War he commanded a Home Guard battalion. He died in 1982. 

Arthur Moore Lascelles was born on 12 October, 1880, at Wilby Lodge, Nightingale Lane, Balham, although his birth was registered in Streatham. He was an acting captain in 3rd Battalion Durham Light Infantry when his position at Masnieres in France came under heavy bombardment on 3 December, 1917. Despite being wounded by shrapnel Capt Lascelles encouraged his men and organised his unit’s defence until the attack was repulsed. Continued heavy fire eventually overran his position, prompting Capt Lascelles to mount a desperate counter-attack which, against all odds, drove back the enemy. He was killed in action less than a year later at Fontaine-au–Bois on November 7, 1918, just days before the Armistice was signed.

Memorial stones were laid in Wandsworth Town Hall’s garden of remembrance in honour of all three, during a ceremony held in April, 2017

More about how Wandsworth Council leads the way on delivering new homes:

  • Wandsworth Council received £13million from the government to spend on frontline services after overseeing the second highest amount of affordable housing built in London last year
  • Construction of 1,742 more shared ownership and low cost rent homes is forecast over the next few years, at sites including Wandsworth town centre and Nine Elms, Battersea
  • Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, is a member of the Mayor of London’s Homes for Londoners Board
  • Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, referred to Wandsworth Council as a fantastic example’ of local authority housebuilding during the Mayor’s Question Time of 19 October, 2016
  • Through the council’s housing building programme, construction is under way all over Wandsworth including in Tooting, and near Wimbledon Common, and at three sites in Battersea, with hundreds more on the way
  • More than 3,000 new homes for shared ownership, social renting, low cost rent, market rent and for sale are to be built by the council and partners at two major estate regeneration schemes in Battersea and Roehampton which guarantee newly built homes for all council tenants, leaseholders and freeholders on their estates
  • The council’s housing strategy target is to ensure a minimum of 18,000 homes are built in Wandsworth during the next ten years

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Recent comments

A nice tribute to the three Heroes, just hope that the Names and the inscriptions shall be honoured and respected.
John J

7 July 2017