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In honour of our soldiers: James Arthur Hayne

By Samuel Cheng

Published 10:52 PDT, Fri April 12, 2024

In a series of Richmond’s poppy street signs in memory of our fallen soldiers, we share the story of Hayne Court.

Born on Aug. 13, 1891, in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, James Arthur Hayne grew up as an only child. Hayne worked many jobs across the provinces, including as a miner in Alberta, before deciding to relocate to Steveston.

It was also at Steveston that Hayne met the love of his life, Lilly nee Fisk. They got married on Sept. 12, 1914, shortly after Hayne’s turned 23. He worked as a fisherman alongside Lilly’s brother, who owned a fishing camp at the time.

The newlywed couple gave birth to two children, Gordon and Mary Frances. The siblings were born within a year of each other with the brother being the older of the two.

In less than two years after their wedding, Hayne enlisted in the armed forces in New Westminster on March 24, 1916. He joined the 131st Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and took off for England seven months later.

Hayne arrived at Liverpool and was transferred to the 30th battalion, before being transferred again to the 47th battalion, both were units under the command of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Hayne finally arrived in France on Nov. 28, 1916 and was wounded four months later. He was declared medically fit for duty a month later, unfortunately, upon returning to duty he was killed in action on May 1, 1917. Tragedy struck this family twice when the mother of his two children, Lilly Hayne died from influenza two years after the death of her husband.

The orphaned children were sent to live with Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Barber, who owned a grocery store in Vancouver. The children received a memorial cross, plaque and a scroll from the Government of Canada to commemorate their father’s sacrifice in the war.

Today, Hayne Court is found to be located to the south of Odlin Road and to the east of No. 4 Road.

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