© Avening Parish Council 2023
“Preserve, Conserve, Enhance”
38 Charles Barnet Payne
Private: 1st Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment
There is much information available on Barnet Payne but at the same time there are many mysteries
surrounding his service life. Born Charles Barnet Payne on the 17th of September 1888 at Avening, he
was baptised in our church on the following 4th of November. He was known locally as Barnet and
appears on our War Memorial tablets as such. After school he became a clerk eventually working at
He married Cassie Underwood at the Shortwood Chapel in Nailsworth on Saturday the 22nd of May
1915 and the happy couple set up home at Fernlea, Avening. We have been unable to locate this
He volunteered for Army service on the 27th of November 1915 and, inexplicably, was immediately put
on the reserve for six months, completing his attestation on the 19th of May 1916. He joined the Royal
Gloster Hussars Yeomanry and was on home duties until the 16th of December of that year. He left for
France that day, arriving at the regiment’s base at Rouen the following day but lasted only a fortnight with
the Hussars before being posted to the 12th Battalion Gloucester Regiment. By April 1917 he found
himself in hospital at Rouen suffering from trench foot. He recovered in hospitals in England and Ireland.
In his absence from home, meanwhile, his wife had given birth to their only child, Mary, on the 6th of
He had recovered from his foot injuries by the beginning of 1918 but, we think, he was again wounded
because he became removed from his regiment, given a completely new service number and was
transferred to the 1st Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment on the 6th of October 1918. It was on this
document that Cassie's address was given as 7 Falmouth Avenue, Otley Road, Bradford, Yorkshire.
Barnet lasted only 13 days with the West Kents, being killed in action on Saturday the 19th of October.
We have no details of the battle in which he died, although it was obviously part of the German Army's
"Great Retreat", being only three weeks from the Armistice. He is buried at St Souplet British Cemetery,
Le Cateau, near Cambrai and is remembered, with honour, by the Royal West Kent Regiment in
Maidstone, the Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry in Gloucester and on our own church memorial. We
have a copy of a letter from the Ministry of Pensions awarding Cassie and her daughter the princely sum
of £1.02 per week from the 2nd of June 1919. We have another document where Cassie signs for receipt
of Barnet's medals (the British Medal and Victory Medal). On this she signs as "C E Lawley" so she had
remarried by that time. We have been unable to locate any living relative.