John Payne was born in Hartfield, Sussex in 1891.
In the 1911 census he was living with his family (which included 11 siblings!) in cottages on the Gatton Park Estate. He was working as a gardener, likely in the grounds of the estate. The grounds had been designed by Capability Brown, a well known landscape gardener.
John Payne signed up in Guildford on 19th August 1914. He was aged 22 and joined the 1st Battalion Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey).
Private John Payne signed page 24 of Nurse Harvey’s autograph album.
In his entry Private Payne reveals that he was wounded by shrapnel in both legs and feet on 16th June 1916. He arrived back in England on 9th August 1916 and was admitted to Balgowan on 9th August 1916. His entry in the autograph book was dated 24th November 1916.