War Diary of AA Laporte Payne Sept 1914

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne


Extracted from


Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda &




September 1914





EPSOM September, 1914


1st Battalion, No 1 Company, Section 4.


J.P.D. Clarke.  Sergt.   “Long John”    C.C.C. Camb X

Williams          “Bimph”                                  X

Osborne           “Ossy”

Harry Richards            “Loose Lizzy”

Roland Richards         “Rolly”                                    X

E.C. Collins                 “Lottie”           C.C.C. Camb

P.D. Gilmour Ellis       “Gil”

A.A. Laporte Payne    “Algy”             C.C.C. Camb




September 20 1914




Links Road


“I was first of all billeted in a public house with three other men. When in the town later I met a friend who said he was in a palace, so I got leave from a Special Constable to move there.  On the next day, most unfortunately, we were re-billeted by companies, and we have landed up in a much smaller house and the food is not nearly as good.  But eight of us all friends are billeted together in two adjacent houses.  It is great fun.  I have met several men I know.  There are 3500 of us here now.  I dined out this evening with Richards at the house of friends of his, named Mountain.


SEPTEMBER 24th 1914


Having obtained leave of absence I called on Major C. Lancelot Storr, Rom 206, War Office, who took details of such qualifications as I had, and said he would do what he could. He informed me that the application from Cambridge University had been mislaid, but that he would put a fresh application for a commission through for me.


I obtained leave to go to town by saying that the War Office wanted to interview me. So a full blown private marched boldly into the “Holy of Holies, armed with a sheet of foolscap on which I had set out my name, age, school, University, degree honours, cadet corps service, and the fact that I had been for four weeks or so a private in H.M. Army.


I received the advice from an old soldier that “ the thing to do is to make the most of yourself, and not belittle your achievements. Humility does not pay in the army.”



September 24th 1914




Private A.A.L. Payne has leave of absence until 10 p.m. September, 24th 1914


H.E. Bowes Lyon

O.C. No 1 Company,

No 1 Battalion.




“Colonel Griffin ….. is wondering what the War Office have done for you today, and says if you would like a commission in his battalion, the 11th Middlesex Regiment, write to the Officer Commanding this regiment, Hydrabad Barracks, Colchester, and ask for a commission as a 2/Lieut.  State all qualifications.  There is at present one vacancy for a 2nd Lieut. And one or two vacancies in the 12th and 13th Battalions.

Our love to you, my son. May the right decision be clear.  I esteem your prompt response to the call of duty.  The strongest fortress of prayer is yours.

Your affectionate Father.


Form M.T. 397                                                                        WAR OFFICE


25th September 1914



With reference to your application for appointment to the Special Reserve of Officers, I am directed to inform you that the applications for such appointments already received are far in excess of the vacancies available. It has therefore not been practicable to grant you a commission in the Special Reserve.

I am to say, however, that your name has been placed on a waiting list of candidates for appointment to a temporary regular commission for the period of the war, and you will be duly informed if, and when, there is a vacancy to which you can be appointed.

If you are desirous of taking up such an appointment it will not be necessary for you (or any other person on your behalf) to address any further communication to this Office on the subject. Owing to pressure of work it will not be practicable to reply to such communication if sent.

If, however, you do not wish to be appointed to a temporary regular commission you should at once notify the fact to this Office.


I am,


Your Obedient Servant,

  1. Grant, Captain

for Director of Military Training.


Secretary of State for War.                                                                 War Office,



25 Sept 1914


Dear Mr. Payne,

I have handed your application personally to the Assistant Military Secretary, so I hope you will be fixed up before long. You may have to wait a week or two.

In the meantime, get Major Griffin to apply officially for you to go to him directly you are gazetted and ask him to address the envelope to me by name to save time. Let me hear if you are not fixed up, say, in 3 weeks time.

Very truly yours

  1. Storr.




As I have no vacancies for officers in my battalion I have forwarded your letter to Colonel Glover, commanding 12th Middlesex Regiment.

Yours faithfully

W.D. Ingle

Lieut. Colonel

Comdg. 11th Middlesex Regt.


Form M.T. 426 (M.T. 3)                                                                      WAR OFFICE


30th September, 1914.


I am directed to inform you that your application for an appointment to a Temporary Commission in the Regular Army has been received. The Cavalry List is full at present.  Will you kindly state by return if possible, whether you desire to be considered for appointment to a Temporary Commission in the Royal Field Artillery.

Please state exactly what previous military experience you have had and also what standard of riding you have attained. If you have hunted state for how many seasons and with what pack etc.

I am,


Your obedient Servant

E.B. CLIVE Capt.

for Director of Military Training.

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