David Haines memorial: Loved ones pay tributes to 'kind, open and caring' aid worker

The service was also attended by Barbara Henning, the wife of Salford taxi driver and fellow humanitarian Alan who had also been beheaded by Isis

Natasha Culzac
Sunday 19 October 2014 00:45
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The order of service at Perth Congregational Church following a memorial service to David Haines
The order of service at Perth Congregational Church following a memorial service to David Haines

The family of David Haines, the British aid worker brutally murdered by Islamic State militants, have held a memorial service for him.

Joining friends and family in remembering the slain humanitarian was Barbara, the wife of another Islamic State (Isis) hostage and dedicated volunteer Alan Henning, and their children.

Haines’ service was held in his childhood city of Perth, Scotland, six days after that of Henning’s memorial and five weeks after he was beheaded.

Father-of-two Haines, 44, served 12 years as an aircraft engineer with the RAF before he turned to humanitarian work, providing aid to a number of victims and refugees caught up in hostilities within war-torn regions including Libya during its 2011 civil war and Sudan.

He was captured in Syria in March 2013 while working for relief agency ACTED, before being paraded in front of Isis videos and beheaded on screen in retaliation for Britain’s involvement in the fight against the jihadist group.

In a video tribute on the eve of the memorial service, Michael Haines, David’s brother, said: “[He] would want us all to remember that extremism, terrorism and the mistreatment of people is not something that just happens to those thousands of miles away.

“It's something that affects us all in the UK too. My brother's killers want to hurt all of us and stop us believing in the very things which took David into conflict zones - charity and human kindness.”

According to the BBC, Haines’ family requested that mourners wear brightly-coloured clothes and any RAF berets in honour of his military service, while asking them to donate to Hostage UK rather than give flowers.

Michael Haines and Barbara, the wife of murdered taxi driver Mr Henning, from Eccles in Salford, yesterday released a joint letter calling on people from all faiths to unite in a shared struggle against “hateful acts”.

A service for Mr Henning, 47, was held in Greater Manchester on Sunday entitled ‘His Life and Legacy Remembered’, and included speeches from faith and political leaders.

Michael Haines added in his video address: “I am calling on all of us - every community, every faith - in the coming weeks and months to find a single act of unity. One simple gesture, one act, one moment that draws people together.

“My brother didn't see other nationalities or religions, he just saw other human beings in need of a real help to get by, or sometimes a lot of help to live to see another day.

“This is how my family will remember him, and we hope you all will too - a man of kindness, open and caring, willing to cross the road to help others. My brother. David Haines.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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