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Arthur Ernest Payne

Rank: Sergeant

Lifetime: 1890-1916

Reference: 421110


The obituary of Sergeant Arthur Ernest Payne in The Surrey Comet dated 11 November 1916

Sergeant A.E Payne of the Machine Gun Company, Canadian Contingent, was killed in action in France on 5 October 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.

Born in Shoreditch , Middlesex, on 26 March 1890 he was the second son of Mr S & Mrs Edith Ann Payne of 56, Bushy Park Rd, then within the postal district of Hampton Wick. Sergeant Payne was an old boy of Hampton Wick Endowed School and after leaving school had been employed at the Army & Navy Stores, London for about two years, according to his obituary in The Surrey Comet dated 11 November 1916. Subsequently, he served for a period on H.M.S Britannia.

He emigrated to Canada in 1909 where he joined the City of Winnipeg Police. On 20 May 1915 he enlisted in the 43rd Cameron Highlanders of Canada and afterwards came to England with his regiment. From his Canadian Attestation Papers we have a physical description of him. He was tall (almost six foot) with a 44 inch chest. He had fair hair and grey eyes. He was sent to France in February 1916. After taking part in the Battle of the Somme in Ypres he was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to the Machine Gun Company of his regiment.

His Company Commander wrote the following to Sergeant Payne’s parents:
“I have worked with Sergeant Payne when he was a Private, and from that time until he was promoted Sergeant he was a man whom I could trust implicitly. Once instructions were given him one need not bother about the work being done. He was killed instantly at his post of duty by his officer’s side. In closing I would convey to you the deepest sympathy of the entire company officers and men.”

According to a report in The Surrey Comet dated 4 August 1917, his parents were subsequently, in summer 1917, presented at an investiture at Aldershot with the Military Medal which their son had been posthumously awarded for bravery in the field.

Sergeant Payne’s father was, according to the obituary, himself a retired former police constable of the T Division in which he had served for 9 years at Teddington. In retirement he had, since 1904, been employed as the gatekeeper at the East Front entrance of Hampton Court Palace. Sergeant Payne had two other brothers serving in the army: one in France, the other in India.

Sergeant Payne is commemorated on the Teddington War Memorial and on the war memorial in St Mark’s Church, Teddington. He is also commemorated in the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance and on a plaque formerly in the Winnipeg Police Academy and now moved to the Winnipeg Police Museum, commemorating Winnipeg’s police officers who lost their lives in World War 1. He also has an entry in the Online WW1 War Memorial for Teddington.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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