Leslie Lionel Payne (1892-1975)
Chapter 3: Enlistment
in the C.E.F. (Winter 1914/1915)
Leslie Payne enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary
Force (C.E.F.) on 11th November 1914 in Winnipeg. He was assigned
a service number 515 (later changed to Regtl. #1989), in the No. 7 (Winnipeg)
Company, Canadian Army Service Corps (C.A.S.C.), and given the rank of
"Driver". This was a "Supply and Transport" company, which had been
formed from the two existing Winnipeg militia C.A.S.C. companies, the 11th
Company 6th Mounted Brigade and the 18th Company. There is a carefully
posed studio portrait (at left) signed "Campbell's, Winnipeg" showing Leslie
(seated) with George Henderson "Bud" Willox (standing at left) and Robert
Valentine "Bob" Moodie (right). Bob Moodie (Regtl. #1976) and Bud
Willox (Regtl. #2009) enlisted at Winnipeg on the same day as "Les", and
it is assumed that they were initially assigned to the same C.A.S.C. company.
The portrait was almost certainly taken either just before or just after
their enlistment. All three are dressed very smartly in suits and
Leslie Payne stated at the time of his enlistment
that he belonged to an "Active Militia". He appears to have received
some clothing from the Canadian Army Service Corps (C.A.S.C.) two and a
half weeks earlier, and may have belonged to one of the two militia companies
mentioned above, although it is also possible that he trained with the
Fort Garry Horse (F.G.H.) prior to his enlistment. The following
is from CBP:
"I remember [CLLP] 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."
Unfortunately, records of F.G.H. 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' ... The trade
of 'Driver' always referred to one who drove a team of horses, rather than
a motor vehicle. At the time, truck drivers were known as mechanics.
As such, he would wear spurs and riding breeches."
Keith Wood of Kamloops, B.C., Canada, provided
"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."
There are two photographs which were probably
taken during the period which the Company trained at McFadden Barracks,
Portage Avenue, Winnipeg. (This is the address written for Leslie
by his Uncle Hallam on a letter to him i.e. CHP by another party, dated
23rd February 1915.) The first (above right, CLLP 2nd from left)
shows a line of six soldiers on parade in uniform and with rifles, standing
at attention on a sidewalk cleared of snow, in front of a substantial stone
and brick building; Leslie Payne and at least one other appear to be wearing
The second photo (at right) is more informal
and shows Leslie alone, standing in the snow with riding crop but no rifle,
in front of what appears to be the same building. The building looks
to be at least three stories high. The latter photo is in the form
of a post card, and is addressed on the reverse, "Lce/Corp L Payne,
Reg. No. 1989 C.A.S.Co., Dibgate Camp, Nr. Hythe, Kent", although it
does not appear to have gone through the mail. It seems unlikely
that it was taken in Kent, as the chance of snow that far south in England
by the time CLLP reached there in April is slim.
The following is from Gord Grossley:
"CLLP is wearing his puttees infantry-style.
The tying tapes show as a thin lighter band of cloth around the upper calf
… Rank was worn on both arms during WW1, so he is still a Private.
The men are all wearing breeches, as worn by mounted personnel, and the
rifles carried are the Canadian Ross Mk III. The cap badges … are
the Canadian 'General Service' type, a bronze maple leaf with crown and
'CANADA' on a scroll below."
Presumably they spent much of the next four and
a half months "training and drilling" in and around Winnipeg. CLLP's
service records show him receiving further "kit" from the C.A.S.C in Winnipeg
on 1st December, three anti-typhoid innoculations and one vaccination (smallpox)
between then and mid- February. It's interesting to note that no
details are shown in the service records of his pay during the first five
months, when he was in Canada. However, from a "Table of Pay Received
from CASC", amongst CLLP's personal effects, it is clear that he was paid
on at least two occasions in Winnipeg, on 21st November 1914 and 24th March
1915. The second of these payment dates was immediately before the
Company's embarkation for the east coast, probably accompanied by a parade
through the streets of Winnipeg (below left). Shortly thereafter,
they left by train for St. John's, New Brunswick (below right). (Images
are courtesy and Copyright of the Provincial Archives of Manitoba.)
By 29th March they must have arrived at St
John's, New Brunswick, because CLLP's service records show him to have
been "Taken on Strength" (T.O.S.) with the No. 2 Divisional Train on that
date. Later records, such as Pay Sheets, show him to have been within
Number 7 Company of that unit. They spent almost three weeks at St.
John's, during which time he was appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal
on 5th April, and paid on 13th April. Finally, they embarked for
England aboard the R.M.T.S.S. Grampian