Topic: Walter Payne

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A soldier of the Great War killed in action during the disastrous action at Passchendaele.

Rifleman Walter Payne – 48840

Walter was born at Tai Tapu on 31st August 1889, second son of William and Agnes Payne. He was a farm labourer for the Springs County Council. He was married to Bertha Etta le Beau in 1910 and they had three children Robert William (aged 6), Muriel Agnes May (aged 5) and Alan Douglas (aged 4). Bertha married again after the War in 1922 to Patrick Sloan. Walter was 5ft 6½in tall with fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. In early April 1917 he and other soldiers on final leave were guests at a farewell gathering in the Public Hall where they were each presented with a suitably engraved gold medal.

Walter enlisted at Christchurch on 12th January 1917 (the fourth brother to enlist) and was assigned to the 25th Reinforcements, New Zealand Rifle Brigade, G Company. He embarked from Wellington on 26th April 1917 SS Turakina. Before leaving he had made a will on 22nd April leaving everything to his wife Bertha. He arrived in Devonport and on to the camp at Sling on 20th July1917. He marched out for France on 6th September 1917 and was attached to the Base Depot at Etaples on 9th September. He joined the 3rd Rifle Brigade in the field and was posted to A Company. He was declared wounded and missing on 12 October, aged 28, during the disastrous action at Passchendaele. A Court of Enquiry was held 27th April 1918, which concluded that as there had been no information about him for over six months, he had been killed in action on 12th October 1917. His body was never found or identified and his name is inscribed on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, Belgium. In New Zealand Walter is remembered on the Springston War Memorial.       

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Walter Payne


First Names:Walter
Last Name:Payne
Date of Birth:31 Aug 1889
Place of Birth:Tai Tapu
Date of Death:12 October 1917
Place of Death:Passchendaele, Belgium
Memorial or Cemetery:Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing
Age at death:28
User Name:Selwyn Library
Occupation before enlisting:Labourer
Marital Status:Married
Regiment or Service:3rd Rifle Brigade
Enlistment details:12 January 1917
Parents or Next of Kin:Bertha Payne
Service Number:48840
Rank last held:Rifleman
Embarkation:26 April 1917
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Transport:SS Turakina
Theatres of War:Western Front
Cause of Death:Killed in action
Other biographical information:4th brother to enlist