Sunday, November 21, 2004

21 Nov 1914 - First Pay Day

A day after the order had come through for the formation of the 2nd Divisional Train, the men were paid for the first time.

Table of "Pay Received from CASC", Collection of Barbara Ellison

Saturday, November 20, 2004

20 Nov 1914 - Recruitment of 2nd Div Train

In late November, the three C.A.S.C. units located in M.D.10, which comprised No. 11 & No. 18 Companies from Winnipeg, and No. 20 Company from Regina, Saskatchewan, were ordered to recruit a unit designed to operate as No. 3 Company of the 2nd Divisional Train. Captain H.J. Freeman, and Lieutenants E.O. Leadley, J.R.C. Stanley, R.A. Laird and J. Sharing became the officers of the unit. In the mean time, No. 18 Company moved its headquarters to the dairy building of the old agricultural college (later Tuxedo Barracks) for a couple of months.

In a letter dated February 1915, Leslie was shown as being from "McFadden Barracks, Winnipeg." However, no other record of such a place has been found, and it may well have been an error.

Anon - The A.S.C. in M.D.10, Post-war typescript report, Courtesy of Bruce Tascona
Address on letter dated 23 Feb 1915, Collection of C.B. Payne

Thursday, November 11, 2004

11 Nov 1914 - Leslie Payne in Winnipeg

When Leslie enlisted in the CASC, he was working as a grocer's clerk at Eaton's Department Store, and had been living in Winnipeg for several months. His attestation paper shows that he was 22 years 7 months old and 6 ft 1 ins tall.

He had originally emigrated to Canada from his native Derbyshire, England in about 1912. In a letter written to his son on 17 Nov 1951 he said, "I left home for Canada when I was twenty."

Leslie Payne in Normanton, Derby, England, ca. 1910

Initially he worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in Saskatchewan, "planting trees in railway cuttings as snow breaks." By May 1913 he was working in Chaplin and then in February 1914, when his grandmother died back home in England, he was in Swift Current.

Leslie Payne & CPR railway wagon at Chaplin
Queen Victoria Day - 24 May 1913

Shortly after this, however, he must have moved to Winnipeg and joined Eatons Department store, living - almost certainly as a boarder - at 36c Broadway. His experience while in the employment of his uncle's off-licence and grocery shop in St. James Road, Derby would have stood him in good stead, both for the post at Eatons, and subsequently as a wagon driver with the CASC.

© & Courtesy of the Provincial Archives of Manitoba
Eatons Department Store Receiving Goods
Winnipeg, ca. 1910

Newspaper report of funeral of Henrietta Christina Payne, Feb 1914, Collection of C.B. Payne
Address in CLL Payne's Notebook, used c. 1914, Collection of C.B. Payne
C.B. Payne, Personal Communication

11 Nov 1914 - Militia Training & the Fort Garry Horse

A document listing clothes supplied to Leslie Payne from the C.A.S.C. (now in the possession of his daughter) is dated 23 October 1914, two and a half weeks prior to his enlistment. This suggests he was already a member of one of the two exisiting militia companies - probably No. 18 Company, under Lieut. J.R.C. Stanley - before he signed his Attestation Paper (View Front and Back) on 11 November. In answer to the question, "Do you now belong to an Active Militia?" he answered, Yes, so he must have been training with them for a few weeks. The clothing issued was the new khaki serge, in contrast to the "resplendent blues" issued to the Winnipeg militia companies before the war.

No. 18 Company was at that time based in the St. James suburb of Winnipeg, an area containing a high percentage of men of British birth, who were far more likely to volunteer for service than those who had less contact with the "old country." Indeed, a later company historian wrote, "the martial spirit seemed to be more apparent in the men of St. James." Their headquarters, where they met for parades one evening a week, was at St. James Hall, Berry Street.

According to Leslie's son Bud Payne,
I remember Dad speaking of having been in the Fort Garry Horse before becoming a machine gunner … Fort Garry Gate features on the 20 cent [Canadian] definitive stamp issued 15 Jun 1938, and it's possible that sight of this prompted Dad to tell me.
Fort Garry Gate - Canadian Definitive Stamp 20c Issued 15 June 1938
In a history of the Winnipeg Militia Companies apparently written shortly after the end of the war, the following statement supports the suggestion that Leslie Payne was one of those who had some kind of attachment to the Fort Garry Horse:
Many of the young bloods who were disappointed because they had not been included in the [first] overseas contingent, transferred to the Garrys and the artillery, which had not yet entrained, or to infantry units with larger allotments which seemed to offer a better opportunity of getting over before the war was over.
Keith Wood of Kamloops, B.C., Canada, provided the following information:
The 34th F.G.H were a militia unit which became the 6th Battalion Canadian Infantry in the First Canadian Division … There was an organized mobilization plan in Canada, [but] once war was declared it was thrown out … by Sam Hughes, the then Minister of Militia. Militia units were diced and formed entirely new regiments. Traditions and years of service were buried to serve the new army. For the C.A.S.C. it was the same. So the 7th (Winnipeg) Company was formed from the two militia C.A.S.C. Companies and independent volunteers in Winnipeg in 1914 ... The cavalry in 1914 were seen as the elite force and every young man who could ride desired service in such a unit … as 90% of the CASC were horse-drawn at that time, [CLLP] would have been mounted.
Unfortunately, records of the Fort Garry Horse in the pre-war period are very limited. Gord Grossley, the archivist for the Fort Garry Horse Museum & Archives in Winnipeg, states:
I suspect that [CLLP] served in the 34th F.G.H. pre-war. In August 1914 the Garrys were not mobilised as Cavalry, but were given the opportunity to populate the 6th Battalion, C.E.F. as infantry. This did not appeal to many horsemen, so he may have bided his time until November, when positions in the Service Corps opened up. This allowed him to get overseas, and still remain 'mounted'.

Anon - The A.S.C. in M.D.10, Post-war typescript report, Courtesy of Bruce Tascona
Anon - List of Clothing from C.A.S.C. Oct 23.14, Collection of Barbara Ellison
Anon - CEF Attestation Paper, Soldiers of the First World War, Library & Archives of Canada
Bud Payne - Personal Communication
Gord Crossley - Personal Communication

11 Nov 1914 - Enlistment at Winnipeg

On Wednesday 11 November 1914, Leslie Payne and three of his friends enlisted in the No. 7 (Winnipeg) Company of the Canadian Army Service Corps in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He was assigned the regimental number 515 and the rank of driver, while his friends William Percival Hogg (1892-), Robert "Bob" Valentine Moodie (1886-1956) and George Henderson "Bud" Willox (1886-1970) received the numbers 468, 470 and 529 respectively. This was a "Supply and Transport" company, which had been formed from the amalgamation of two existing Winnipeg militia C.A.S.C. companies, the 11th Company 6th Mounted Brigade and the 18th Company.

The photo below shows Leslie seated, with Bud Willox (at left) and Bob Moodie at the Campbell Studio, Winnipeg, and was probably taken at around the time that they joined up.

All four were young men - Bud was the oldest, at 28 - and while they may have been somewhat apprehensive, they would still have had some of the sense of adventure which brought them out to Canada from England and Scotland a few years earlier. However, reports of heavy casualties from the First Contingent, which had gone to Europe earlier that year, were being reported in the press, so they would not have been under the impression it was going to be something of a holiday camp. They were among a group of 62 men who signed up that day, none of whom would have had an inkling that the war would carry on for another four years, or that it would be even longer before they would return to Canada. Many, of course, would never return.

Here's Your Chance, It's Men We WantThe recruitment poster shown here - an example displayed as part of the excellent Archives of Ontario online exhibit, Canadian Posters from the First World War - is typical of those that Leslie and his friends might have seen displayed on the streets of Winnipeg during the weeks prior to their enlistment. As the text accompanying the exhibit explains:
In the early days of the war the recruitment message was fairly passive, even jovial and appealed to the pride of the prospective volunteers. But, as the war progressed the posters became more forceful calling on men to do their duty and used appropriate imagery to reinforce the message.


Today is the 90th anniversary of the day that my grandfather enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Winnipeg, Manitoba. OK, I've cheated a little, as today is actually 8th March 2005, and I missed the boat by almost four months, but I hope the reader will forgive me. Over the next few weeks I hope to catch up and make good the omissions.

The series of notes will describe the results of my research into the history of Charles Leslie Lionel Payne's service in the CEF during the Great War. I'm hoping that the succession of diary entries will broadly follow the timeline of his service. It will therefore take some four years or so to complete, and is a somewhat experimental exercise. I'm sure there will be ample opportunity along the way to fill in with some background information about his childhood in Derbyshire, his adventures as a young man in Canada before the war, and perhaps even something of the rest of his life after demobilisation.

According to my father Bud, aunt Bunnie and cousin Graham, who all knew him far better than I did, he rarely spoke about the war, and thus passed on little about his experiences during that time. The primary objective for me is to make a record of as much as possible of what I've managed to discover in the course of my research over the last few years. I hope that the "journey" will be of interest to both members of my own family as well as others whose family members fought in World War One.

Brett Payne
Tauranga, New Zealand