My grandfather Charles Leslie Lionel Payne (1892-1975) served as a machine-gunner in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War, fighting in many of the major Canadian battles, such as Lens (Hill 70), Vimy, 3rd Ypres (Passchendaele) and Amiens, before he received a machine-gun bullet in the shoulder in August 1918 and "got his Blighty". This project started out merely as an attempt to fill in a few of the gaps in the rather sketchy outline that I had established from his army service records and various documents, photographs and other artifacts saved by the family. After reading summaries of his machine gun unit's history, as well as the "Diary of Private Fraser", a daily journal kept by a member of the same unit, I decided to attempt something a little more ambitious.
------------ Project Objectives ------------
My aim is to collate resources
relating to the history of the 6th Brigade Canadian Machine Gun Company,
later becoming part of the 2nd Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps, during
the First World War, and make them available on the internet. It
is an ongoing project, and I will add material as and when I locate them
and have the opportunity to convert them to the necessary format.
I hope that the presence of this web site on the internet will attract
other researchers whose family members served in the Canadian Machine Gun
Corps, and perhaps encourage them to contribute to the collection in some
------------ Dedication ------------
While he was in France with the Canadian Second Division, Leslie Payne developed strong and long-lasting friendships with three of the men fighting alongside him. These four soldiers were among the lucky ones - they all survived - and they corresponded with or visited each other for many years after the war. Lesley almost never spoke about his three years spent in the trenches and mud of the Western Front, and the experiences that they shared must have created a very special bond between them. You can find much on this web site which will, I hope, help to give you a feeling for what they went through. This dedication is to all of the ordinary men of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps who underwent such extraordinary experiences on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918.
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