Thursday, November 11, 2004


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


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