Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The branch of the Payne family to which Ernest belonged had been living in Portsmouth continuously since 1871 and probably for periods prior to that.
His father John Thomas Payne (b. 1842) was first positively identified in the 1871 census when he was living with his widowed mother Lucy (b. 1807) and brother Henry (b. 1845) at 7 Douro Court. John Thomas married Fanny Barber in Portsmouth in 1871 and together they had three children, John H, Fanny Eliza and Herbert by the time of the 1881 census when they were living at 12 Grosvenor Street. John Thomas was described as a slater, a trade he maintained until his death.
Ten years later, in 1891, the family had moved to 41 Raglan Street and four more children had been born - Albert, Ernest, Minnie and Gertrude. Later that same year John Thomas died and left a pregnant Fanny to gave birth to another daughter, Charlotte the following year. By the time of the 1901 census the family circumstances had diminished noticeably as they were then living in a lodging house run by Agnes Coleman at 48 Durham Street.
In 1906 Ernest Payne married Mary Annie Stemp and three years later their daughter Irene was born, followed quickly by another named Florence. By the 1911 census Ernest, who was then working as a milk carrier, and his family were at 24 Jervis Road, Stamshaw. Ernest's fortunes must have taken a turn for the better shortly after as he moved to a job with the Passenger Transport Department as a Tram Conductor.
At the outbreak of the Great War Ernest was mobilised from the reserve, which presumably meant that he had previously spent some time in the army. He was immediaately drafted to France with the Hampshire Regiment where he saw action in the retreat from Mons and many battles including the Marne and Hill 60 (Ypres). He was wounded in action and invalided home but recovered and was sent back to the Western Front where he died in a bombing raid in April 1917.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Private Ernest Payne, (7031), 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died on 16/04/1917, aged 31. Remembered on the Arras Memorial.
Ernest Payne is also remembered on the City of Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department WW1 Memorial and the Cenotaph. He is listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X, p347.
Tim Backhouse
March 2014