Godfrey-Payton, Arthur

Age: 27
Date of birth: 29/03/1889

Parents: Harry George and Janet Park Godfrey-Payton
Wife:
Address: The Bridge House, Myton

Occupation: Valuer at the Valuation Department, Inland Revenue, Coventry

The following article is a full copy of Arthur Godfrey-Payton’s entry in the Oundle School World War I Memorial Archive.  Our sincere thanks for the Archivist at Oundle School and C Pendrill – Yarrow Fellow

ARTHUR GODFREY-PAYTON 29 AUGUST 1916

“His men worshipped him and all the officers loved him as a brother.” This was one description, by a fellow officer of Captain Arthur Godfrey-Payton OO. He was from the town of Warwick, so it was no surprise that he joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment which was so heavily engaged during the Battle of the Somme. His Brigade Major would later describe him as an admirable company commander “cool, conscientious and efficient.”

He was born in 1889 and came up to Sidney House in 1904, staying for three years. He won a form prize and a prize for drawing during his time at Oundle. We have a postcard picturing the School Cloisters, on which he writes a brief note to his sister Janet. He tells her that “the weather here has been very cold.”

He left school in December 1906 and went to train as an assistant in his father’s office, as a land agent. The school archive has a postcard written to him the next term by one of his Sidney chums, Dudley Cooper-Hunt. “Thanks for letters”, he writes. “I have not a scrap of time to write a letter….there is a house Fives competition on the go at the moment…”

By 1911, Arthur Godfrey-Payton had qualified for a fellowship of the Surveyors Institute, and received a permanent appointment in the Land Valuation Offices. He joined the Territorial (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Warwicks in December 1911 and was gazetted as 2nd Lieutenant. By October 1914, he had reached the rank of Captain and was sent to France in March 1915. He was wounded in action near Thiepval on the Somme on 26th August and died three days later, aged 27. His Commanding Officer wrote: “His loss to the regiment is a great one from a professional point of view, and his kindly, generous-hearted disposition endeared him closely to one and all.”

Arthur Godfrey-Payton lies buried at Puchevillers British Cemetery.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow

BIOGRAPHY

Arthur was the middle of three siblings. His brother Walter was 2 years older and he had a younger sister, Janet.

The following appeared in the Warwick Advertiser:

 

Military Service

Rank & Number: Captain, Not known
Regiment/Service: C Company, 1st/7th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Brigade/Division: 143rd Brigade, 48th Division
Date of death: Tuesday, August 29, 1916
Cause of death/Battle: Died of wounds
Commemorated/Buried: Puchevillers British Cemetery, Somme
Awards: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Commemorated locally at: St Nicholas Church, Warwick School

The Warwick Advertiser 15th April 1916 reported Arthur home on leave:

His death was announced 5 months later
Warwick Advertiser 2nd September 1916

Contributors

  • Unlocking Warwick Research Group
  • Trevor Harkin
  • Oundle School
  • C Pendrill – Yarrow Fellow
  • Warwick Advertiser excerpts courtesy of Warwickshire County Records Office

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