The sacri­fice of war hero­ine Jane

Gal­loway group told of Dun­score woman’s work

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - DISTRICT NEWS -

Dun­score mis­sion­ary Jane Hain­ing was the sub­ject of a talk at the Gal­loway As­so­ci­a­tion of Glas­gow’s win­ter meet­ing.

Re­tired pri­mary school teacher Miss Morag Reid was guest speaker at the meet­ing in the city’s Nether­lee Par­ish Church.

Her talk sur­rounded the life of Miss Hain­ing, who was born in 1897 at Lochan­head Farm on the out­skirts of Dun­score and died in Auschwitz con­cen­tra­tion camp in 1944, aged 47.

Jane was the sixth child of Thomas and Jane Hain­ing. When Jane was five her mother died in child­birth and the re­spon­si­bil­ity of bring­ing up the fam­ily was left to their fa­ther.

Jane, right, at­tended Dun­score Pri­mary be­fore mov­ing on at the age of 12 to Dum­fries Academy where she even­tu­ally be­came the dux.

In 1915 Jane moved to Glas­gow where she en­tered a busi­ness course at the Athenaeum – on com­ple­tion of which she was ap­pointed a sec­re­tary at the Glas­gow of­fices of J&P Coates.

Dur­ing her time in Glas­gow Jane be­came a mem­ber of Queens Park West Church, in Go­van­hill, where she be­came leader of the Sun­day school. Life for Jane was to change dra­mat­i­cally when she read an ad­vert in a news­pa­per ask­ing for ap­pli­ca­tions for the post of ma­tron in a girls’ home of the Jewish Mis­sion Sta­tion in Bu­dapest. She ter­mi­nated her work with Coates and en­tered the School of Do­mes­tic Sci­ence in Glas­gow. On grad­u­at­ing, she suc­ceeded in gain­ing the post of ma­tron at the mis­sion sta­tion. The year was 1932.

Jane set­tled quickly and was pop­u­lar with both pupils and par­ents. She also learned to speak Hun­gar­ian.

In 1938, Ger­many an­nexed Aus­tria and a large num­ber of Jewish refugees en­tered Hun­gary. In 1939, Jane was on hol­i­day in Eng­land when the Sec­ond World War broke out.

She im­me­di­ately re­turned to Hun­gary to con­tinue her work at the mis­sion. Scot­tish mis­sion­ar­ies were be­ing ad­vised to re­turn home but Jane de­clined as she was de­ter­mined to look after the chil­dren in her care.

In a let­ter home she wrote of her great sad­ness at be­ing forced by the Nazis to sew the yel­low star of David on to the uni­forms of the chil­dren. She was of­ten re­duced to tears when car­ry­ing out this task as she was well aware of its sig­nif­i­cance.

The next few years were ex­tremely dif­fi­cult, be­ing watched day and night. Food was scarce and when the girls’ shoes wore out she would cut up her leather lug­gage to make new soles.

In April 1944, the Gestapo ar­rived at the school and ar­rested Jane. She was charged with a num­ber of of­fences in­clud­ing that she had worked among the Jews; she had wept when see­ing the girls at­tend class wear­ing the yel­low stars on their clothes and she lis­tened to news broad­casts by the BBC.

Lit­tle is known about Jane after her ar­rest but it is be­lieved she was held in prison in Bu­dapest be­fore be­ing taken to Auschwitz. Her last let­ter to a friend was dated July 15, 1944.

By Au­gust she was dead. A death cer­tifi­cate in­di­cated she had died of a pul­monary dis­ease. It has never been con­firmed whether this was cor­rect or if she ac­tu­ally per­ished in the gas cham­bers.

In 1948, two stained glass win­dows were in­stalled in Queens Park Church in mem­ory of Jane. They are called Ser­vice and Sacri­fice for the ser­vice she gave and the sacri­fice she made.

A street in Bu­dapest, along­side the Danube, has been named in her honour.

Morag’s talk was per­sonal to as­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber Sheila Camp­bell, whose late mother was a sec­ond cousin of Jane.

Sheila at­tended the meet­ing with fam­ily mem­bers to hear the story of their an­ces­tor. A few years ago Sheila and her hus­band Joe were on hol­i­day in Bu­dapest and vis­ited the site of the mis­sion school.

A vote of thanks was given by as­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Angus Rex who thanked Morag for her most en­thralling story.

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